Why this is important: When God makes a promise, He is true to His word. His Spirit gives power to the word and it comes to pass. Jesus brings peace into our life. When we see Jesus, we see salvation.
Simeon could have done something else about the time Jesus parent’s brought Jesus to the temple. There were lots of choices for him I bet. In fact, he probably had other plans. But the Spirit was on him and led him.
Good news: We know Jesus. We have salvation. We have been delivered from missing God’s goal [sin].
May I listen to God and not worry about my plans so much.
May I see Jesus today and know that He is my salvation.
In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see Christ [the Messiah] of God before he died.
Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God: God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised. With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation; it’s now out in the open for everyone to see: A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, and of glory for your people Israel.
Simeon and Anna, like Zacharias and Elizabeth, were a part of the faithful Jewish remnant that eagerly looked for their Messiah. Because of his readiness and eagerness to die, Simeon is usually pictured as a very old man, but nothing in Scripture supports this. Tradition says he was 113 years old, but it is only tradition.
“The consolation of Israel” means the messianic hope. One of the traditional Jewish prayers is, “May I see the consolation of Israel!” That prayer was answered for Simeon when he saw Jesus the Messiah in the temple. He was a man who was led by the Spirit of God, taught by the Word of God, and obedient to the will of God; and therefore he was privileged to see the salvation of God.
How important it is for people to see God’s salvation, Jesus the Messiah, before they see death.
Digging Deeper – What is salvation?
Salvation is deliverance from danger or suffering. To save is to deliver or protect. The word carries the idea of victory, health, or preservation. Sometimes, the Bible uses the words saved or salvation to refer to temporal, physical deliverance, such as Paul’s deliverance from prison.
New Strong’s Dictionary
σωτηρία sōtēria, so-tay-ree´-ah; fem. of a der. of 4990 as (prop. abstr.) noun; rescue or safety (phys. or mor.):— deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.
One of the central messages of the Bible. Scripture reveals God but it also reveals his plan for the human race, that of salvation. In that sense, salvation is the theme of both the ot and nt. Because of the progressive nature of revelation man sees different aspects of God’s plan, but the kernel truth of salvation is present throughout the writings of the Bible. God is a God of salvation desiring that all humankind repent and be saved (Ez 18:32; 1 Tm 2:3, 4).
Holman Treasure of Key Bible Words
The Hebrew word for salvation, yeshuʿah, is a powerful word with connotations of deliverance. The Hebrew verbal root yashaʿ means basically “to deliver.” The noun yeshuʿah comes from this root and is usually translated as “salvation or deliverance” depending upon its context. The noun can be translated also as “help,” “victory,” “prosperity.” Its basic denotation is “to rescue from danger or distress.”
The word can also refer to help or deliverance given by persons (1 Sam. 14:45; 2 Sam. 10:11). It can indicate the safety or security (yeshuʿah) provided by fortified walls that protect people from danger. But primarily the word highlights the marvelous salvation provided by the Lord in the Old Testament and brought to light in the prophets.
Lexham Bible Dictionary
In the Bible, salvation usually comes from God, Jesus, or an agent of God. Terms for salvation include:
- יָשַׁע (yasha’) and יְשׁוּעָה (yeshu’ah)—Hebrew words most often translated as “save” and “salvation”;
- נָצַל (natsal)—also Hebrew, usually translated as “rescue”; and
- σῴζω (sōzō) and σωτηρία (sōtēria)—Greek words meaning “save” and “salvation.”
International Standard Bible Dictionary
That St. Paul expected the near advent of the kingdom of God with a judgment preceding, and that salvation meant to him primarily deliverance from this judgment, need not be argued. And, accordingly, emphasis is thrown sometimes on the future deliverance and sometimes on the present conditions for the deliverance (contrast Rom 5:9 and 8:24), but the practical problem is the latter. More explicitly than in Christ’s recorded teaching the nature and the blessings of the kingdom are described (see Kingdom of God), but the additional matter is without particular religious import. A certain privilege of the Jews appears (Rom 3:1–8; 9–11), but the practical content of the privilege seems to be eschatological only (11:26). Individual conversion is of course taken for granted, but the life after that becomes highly corporate
Dictionary of Bible Themes
The transformation of a person’s individual nature and relationship with God as a result of repentance and faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. All humanity stands in need of salvation, which is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ.
Wayne Grudem on salvation 
- Election(God’s choice of people to be saved) is an act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure. The New Testament teaches election as a source of comfort for believers ( 8:28), as a reason to praise God (Eph. 1:5 – 6), and as an encouragement to evangelism (2 Tim. 2:10).
- Effective calling (proclaiming the message of the gospel)is an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith ( 8:30).
- Regeneration (being born again)is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us (John 3:3 – 8).
- Conversion (faith and repentance) is our willing response to the gospel call, in which we sincerely repent of sins and place our trust in Christ for salvation (John 3:16). Both faith and repentance continue throughout life ( 6:12; Gal. 2:20).
• Saving faith is trust in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God (John 1:12).
• Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 7:9 – 10).
- Justification (right legal standing)is an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight ( 2:16).
- Adoption (membership in God’s family)is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family (John 1:12).
- Sanctification (right conduct of life and likeness to Christ)is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives ( 6:11 – 14).
• The baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to the activity of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Christian life when he gives us new spiritual life and cleanses us and gives a clear break with the power and love of sin (1 Cor. 12:13).
• The filling of the Holy Spirit can occur repeatedly in a Christian’s life and produces increased sanctification, increased power, and effectiveness in ministry (1 Cor. 12:31).
- Perseverance (remaining a Christian). The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again (John 10:27 – 39).
- Death (going to be with the Lord) is the final outcome of living in a fallen world, is not a punishment for Christians, and is used by God to complete our sanctification (1 Cor. 15:54 – 55).
In the intermediate state between death and resurrection there is a separation of body and soul. The souls of believers go immediately into God’s presence (2 Cor. 5:8) and the souls of unbelievers go immediately to eternal punishment (Luke 16:24 – 26), but the bodies of both remain on earth.
- Glorification (receiving a resurrection body)is the final step in the application of redemption. It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own (1 Cor. 15:12 – 58).
Two Parting Notes
Common grace is the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation (Matt. 5:44 – 45). God gives common grace in the physical, intellectual, moral, creative, societal, and religious realms. God gives common grace to redeem those who will be saved, and to demonstrate his goodness, mercy, justice, and glory.
Union with Christ is a phrase used to summarize several relationships between believers and Christ, through which Christians receive every benefit of salvation (Eph. 1:4). It includes the following aspects: (1) We are in Christ; (2) Christ is in us; (3) We are like Christ; (4) We are with Christ.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom then should I go in dread?
Psalm 27:1 REB
With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Isaiah 12:3 KJV
She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21 NJB
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11 ESV
[Simeon’s ‘Nunc Dimittis’] Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Luke 2:29–32 BCP
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:17 ESV
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:12 KJV
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:13 KJV
God our Savior … desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3–4 NRSV
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?
Hebrews 2:3 KJV
Our salvation, thank God, depends much more on His love of us than on our love of Him.
There is no salvation outside the Church.
St Augustine of Hippo
The essential fact of Christianity is that God thought all men worth the sacrifice of his Son.
Salvation means the incoming into human nature of the great characteristics that belong to God.
A person may go to heaven without health, without riches, without honors, without learning, without friends; but he can never go there without Christ.
Man needs, above all else, salvation. He needs to turn round and see that God is standing there with a rope ready to throw to him if only he will catch it and attach it to himself.
All our salvation consists in the manifestation of the nature, life, and Spirit of Jesus in our inward new man.
Looking at the wound of sin will never save anyone. What you must do is to look at the remedy.
Dwight Lyman (D.L.) Moody
Salvation is worth working for. It is worth a man’s going round the world on his hands and knees, climbing its mountains, crossing its valleys, swimming its rivers, going through all manner of hardship in order to attain it. But we do not get in that way. It is to him who believes.
Dwight Lyman (D.L.) Moody
The way to be saved is not to delay, but to come and take.
Dwight Lyman (D.L.) Moody
The terms for ‘salvation’ in many languages are derived from roots live salvus, saos, whole, heil, which all designate health, the opposite of disintegration and disruption. Salvation is healing in the ultimate sense; it is final, cosmic, and individual healing.
 Strong, J. (1996). The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Carpenter, E. E., & Comfort, P. W. (2000). In Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained (p. 159). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
 Morrison, M. D. (2016). Salvation. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 Easton, S. B. (1915). Salvation. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2668). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.
 Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.