Why didn’t Simeon tell everyone Jesus was the Messiah?

It was clear Simeon understood who Jesus was when He was presented at the temple. Why didn’t Simeon shout from the rooftops that the Messiah was here?

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The answer to your question comes from putting together the narratives from more than one Gospel.

Luke 2 has this story.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant 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 for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

Simeon was “guided by the Holy Spirit” to recognize and respond to the Messiah before him.

Jesus would have been 40 days old at the time when Mary came to offer herself for purification and her firstborn son for redemption.

This happened before the wisemen had come and before Herod sent his soldiers to massacre the infants under two years old (Matt 2). Jesus was called “a child” (παιδίου·) in that story, not a “newborn” baby (βρέφος).

Given that Simeon was guided by the Spirit, he was likely guided not to go about broadcasting the news of the Messiah in a way that would get Jesus killed prematurely.

As it was, the Magi did kind of give away the news to Herod, which is why the angel warned Joseph in a dream to leave Bethlehem and go to Egypt. Jesus would not have been developed sufficiently to endure a journey at forty days of age, but at six to 24 months – the age that Herod determined to be the cutoff for the age of the Messiah following the visit of the Magi – Jesus would have been more able to sustain traveling a long distance.

Also note that not even Jesus went about telling everyone he was the Messiah until the last few months of his three year long ministry.

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The Bible is silent about what Simeon did after speaking to Mary. So, he may have, like Anna, spoke of Jesus to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem or he may not have. We don’t know either way. If he didn’t speak openly of Jesus afterward, I suspect that he either died shortly after meeting the Holy Family or, as HarryStotle posted, the Holy Spirit who inspired him to come to the Temple in the first place and inspired him to prophesy that Jesus would be spoken against also inspired him not to speak openly of Jesus.

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In fact, tradition says Simeon died that very day, so even if he wanted to proclaim the Messiah’s identity far and wide, he had a few hours at most to do so. It’s a distinct possibility Simeon only lived long enough to leave the Temple grounds so that his corpse would not pollute it, for he had seen all that was promised to him and was ready to die.

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If people could look the adult Lord in the eyes and not believe, who would believe Simeon about a baby? And, a baby from backwater Nazareth…

“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

  • John 1:46
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Could it be that he did, but in the short time that he had on this earth no one paid attention?

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I can imagine him doing that, and basically dancing out of the temple, telling everyone “The Messiah is here! He’s a baby!” and everyone side-eyeing him thinking he’s just a crazy old man…

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I doubt it would’ve made any sense. Jesus’ time had not yet come-to reveal Himself, to proclaim the Kingdom, to do His work,

Maybe he also knew that Herod had spies looking around for the baby Messiah to kill him. Maybe he died shortly after the presentation. Maybe… does it matter why?

Not everything which occurred or even everything which Jesus said - had been put into Written form…
So maybe Simeon said something to some. or not.
Not even the Apostles fully Understood all about Jesus - until at least the time of Pentecost and beyond
It may not have been the Will of God that Jesus as Messiah was not to be said at that time.
It appears as if Simeon - was at the doorstep of dying… when this hopeful promise was granted

  1. Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

  2. 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,

  3. you may now dismissyour servant in peace.

  4. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

  5. 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

  6. 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

  7. and the glory of your people Israel.”

  8. 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

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