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.
This man was righteous. Before the cross, no one could be made righteous. The gift of righteousness had not been given and the “one act of righteousness” had not be done (Rom. 5:18). This is why Old Testament saints such as Abraham were credited with righteousness on account of their faith in God (see entry for Rom. 4:3). The Jews probably considered Simeon righteous because he was a good man, but God considered him righteous because he was looking for the consolation of Israel. He was waiting in faith for Jesus.
And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
My Father. In the earliest recorded words of Jesus we have a hint of his future ministry: Jesus came to reveal God our Father.
In the Gospels, Jesus referred to God as Father more than 150 times. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to pray to “our Father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). Although God is the Almighty Creator and the Ancient of Days, he wants us to relate to him as our loving Father. When Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:28), he was saying, “May you be known as Father.”
The Bible has many names for God, but Jesus gave us the best name of all: “Abba, Father” (see entry for Mark 14:36). Abba is not the name of a distant and mysterious God. Abba is your heavenly Father who cares for you and knows your needs (Matt. 6:31–32). Abba Father is the name of God who loves you as much as he loves Jesus (see entry for John 17:23).
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