Simeon must have had a life long habit of listening to and following the Spirit for he “happened” to be at the temple the day Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to be redeemed (a tax necessary to redeem the firstborn from priestly service).
Luke described Simeon as a “just and devout” man who had been promised he would not die until he had seen the Savior. When he saw the baby his spiritual eyes were opened and he recognized the Savior of the World. He took the child in his arms and declared, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation [Jesus], which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
This was great news for the Gentiles. Joseph McConkie said Simeon’s declaration “reached far beyond the understanding and hop of those of his nation, for he saw the universal nature of Christ’s ministry. He bore witness that Jesus was Savior to Jew and Gentile alike.” (Joseph F. McConkie, Twelve Witnesses of Christ’s Birth, Ensign, December 1990)
He offered Mary a priesthood blessing perhaps he visualized how difficult and rewarding her future would hold. Eli was an archetype of Simeon in the fact that they both gave blessings to the parents who gave their sons to God. Can you imagine the feeling at that sacred meeting? No wonder Mary pondered these things in her heart. What experience have you had that have caused you to ponder?