The infant JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More and his parents come to the Jerusalem templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More, where they meet Simeon and AnnaA prophet who recognized Jesus as the redemption of Israel. More. These two people praise God for Jesus and explain how the birth of this child is good news for both Jews and Gentiles.
Simeon’s statement of praise in vv. 29-32 (often called the Nunc dimittis, the first two words of the Latin translation of his statement) comes in response to seeing the MessiahThe Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified... More, something that the HolyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More Spirit had promised him would happen before his death. As with the other two “canticles” in LukeThe "beloved physician" and companion of Paul More 1-2 (the Magnificat and the Benedictus), the words of the Nunc dimittis come from numerous passages in the Old Testament.
The Nunc dimittis is forward-looking, describing the story that will unfold in the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, as the story of Jesus proves to be good news for both Jews and Gentiles. The coming of Jesus is the embodiment or the manifestation of the salvationSalvation can mean saved from something (deliverance) or for something (redemption). Paul preached that salvation comes through the death of Christ on the cross which redeemed sinners from death and for a grace-filled life. More that God provides. After this statement of praise, Simeon tells Mary that struggle and hardship await (vv. 34-35); not all of Israel will accept what God is offering, and Mary herself will experience suffering and grief.
The baby Jesus and his parents also encounter Anna, a woman whom Luke names as a prophet. Anna is deeply pious and she announces that Jesus is pivotal for Jerusalem’s redemption.