Monday, 9 December 2013

Looking

Doctor Luke.  Do come in.

Yes, I'm Simeon's youngest son, John, although he's been dead and gone these thirty years, God rest his soul.  I certainly wasn't expecting someone to be interviewing me about him at this late date!  Take a seat, do.  Now, what was it you wanted to know?

Oh yes, he was always very religious, especially in his later years.  Bit over the top, if you ask me.  I mean, I'll attend synagogue and hear the prayers like any good Jew, but he was into all that hand-waving, psalm-chanting, messages-from-God type stuff.  "I'm looking for the consolation of Israel," he'd say - whatever that meant.  God knows Israel could do with a bit of consolation, what with all these bloody Romans - 'scuse my Samaritan - but I don't expect to see it in my lifetime.

That reminds me, you know, of the other weird notion he had.  He'd picked up this idea that he wouldn't die until he'd seen the true Messiah.  With all those nutjobs proclaiming themselves Messiah every five minutes, back then!  Dunno how he thought he'd recognise the true one.

But there was that one funny incident.  I used to look in on him most days - his eyesight wasn't so good by then and he'd had a fall or two.  Well, I went over that day and they told me he'd gone to the Temple, which wasn't so unusual.  He had some good friends there.  So I thought I'd wander over and see him.  Temple's not really my kind of place, but anyway.  Usual kind of crush with people selling sacrifices and changing money and all that rigmarole, and I'd just managed to find my way over to Dad.

Suddenly he's yelling, "John! John! I see him!"  Well, I told you he was half-blind, didn't I?  I thought he'd lost it at last.  But he's hitching up his robes and practically running over to this country couple who were waiting to present their little boy to the Lord.  By the time I caught up he was gabbling away about revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Israel, and calling blessing down on them.  "My eyes have seen your salvation," he kept saying.  What they made of it God only knows.  I tried to pull him away, but he wouldn't stop talking.  He told this poor lady a sword was going to pierce through her soul, as I recall.  I ask you, what kind of thing is that to say to a new mother?

Oh, you've tracked her down too?  She'd probably remember what Dad said better than I did.  Hope it didn't scar her for life.

Crucified?  Well, that is a bad job.  Nothing worse than seeing your kid turn out a criminal.  Guess old Dad was right about that sword through the soul comment, then, hey?

Yes, I'm sure he said he was innocent.  I was a lawyer for thirty years, you know.  They'll say anything.

Well, I heard some rumour about a guy being raised from the dead, but naturally I didn't pay much attention.  You don't really believe it, do you?  And you reckon it's that same baby?  So that's what these questions are all about.  I see.

My dad?  Well, it's funny now you mention it.  After that Temple incident I told you about, he had a heart attack and died the very next day.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Luke 2:25-26

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