What is the meaning behind Simeon’s words in Luke 2:29-32; 34-35?
Simeon now at an advanced age, moves through the crowd and takes the babe into his hands.
Luke 2:25-28 (NASB)
25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this
man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel;
and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him
by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the
Lord’sChrist. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when
the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the
custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God,
Simeon now content that he will depart in peace- "sleep in death"(Vs 29) lifts his voice and praises God .
Luke 2:29-32 (NASB)
29 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A Light of
revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”
The NT Scriptures , the miracles and and the physical facts have since borne out, that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the true Light to the nations, the One to remove the veil of spiritual darkness and bring salvation, not just to the Israelites but to all the nations of the earth. Compare the prophetic words of Simeon, with Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6
And now in a serious tone , Simeon turns to Mary and says;
Luke 2:34-35 (NASB)
34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this
Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a
sign to be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to
the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
"A sword will pierce even your own soul" (Vs 35a) Obviously the rejection of her Son by the majority of Jews made her grief, and the manner of His death was painful to Mary - it was like having a sword piercing through her.
"The end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. " (Vs 35b) Simeons words indicate that people would react to Jesus in different ways ,and that his teachings will reveal the thoughts in the hearts of many. As prophesied by Isaiah to those trusting him, will become a "sanctuary" a protection (Isaiah 8:14a), however, the majority of the Israelites proved unfaithful, opposed him, a rock to stumble over as foretold by Isaiah 8:14b-15
Isaiah 8:14 - 15 (NASB)
14 “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem“15 Many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught..