It had been 400 years since Malachi's prophecy. The number of faithful Jews had dwindled. Simeon has been given a prophecy to share with new parents Mary and Joseph that would reinforce what the angels had told them. This subtle message in verses 34 and 35 foretell not only of the rest of Jesus' earthly life, but also for the rest of history.
As we move past the Christmas story, Luke continues to introduce us to upright characters who are still living in anticipation of the coming messiah, in contrast to the rest of their society. Are we living for the return of the Messiah today?