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Simeon's Bucket List, According to Luke 2:25–35

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Almost everyone has a bucket list these days The list includes several things that people want to do before they die. Simeon's bucket list included only one thing. Find out what that one thing was.

Bucket List: Definition

A bucket list is a list of activities people have determined they want to do before they die. Why is it called a bucket list instead of just any list? The answer is quite simple.

A bucket list comes from the expression "kick the bucket." To kick the bucket is an idiom that is actually a slang expression meaning to die. Kicking the bucket originated when older people living in a nursing home were bored because they didn't have many things to do. They went outside and began kicking a bucket or can down the road to see how far it would go.

The origin of a bucket list came about long before The Bucket List comedy-drama was released in 2007 starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. However, the expression became very popular after that film was released. More people understood what the expression meant after they watched the movie. Both men were terminally ill and they decided to make a list of all the things they wanted to do before they "kicked the bucket." They took a road to do what was on their list.

The same theme was featured in Last Holiday in 2006, a year before The Bucket List. Queen Latifah stars in Last Holiday as Georgia, a humble sales clerk. After the doctor told her she had a rare brain condition and only has a few weeks to live, she made a bucket list and enjoyed herself doing what she had put off doing. Georgia spent all of her money on a luxury holiday in Europe by traveling first class and staying in an expensive hotel. She dined at the hotel's fancy restaurant where she ordered every item that was on the menu at one setting.

Thinking she was going to die as the doctor had predicted, Georgia wanted to live it up before she died because she had skimped on doing nice things for herself all her life. She bought a new wardrobe and went skydiving. Since the movie came out 14 years ago, this is not a spoiler alert. The doctor was wrong. He had made a mistake and Georgia wasn't going to die in a few weeks after all.

Simeon holding Baby Jesus

Simeon holding Baby Jesus

Simeon's Bucket List

Unlike Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, and Queen Latifah's characters, Simeon had only one thing on his bucket list. The account of his story is detailed in the Gospel of Luke 2:25-35.

Simeon was an old devout and righteous man whose main wish was to see Jesus before he died. The Holy Spirit visited Simeon and revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen Jesus.

The Holy Spirit guided Simeon to the temple at the exact time that Jesus' parents arrived with their baby, according to the law. Because the Holy Spirit was part of the process, Mary and Joseph had no problem handing over their new baby to the old feeble man.

Simeon took the baby up in his arms and blessed God. He said:

"Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."

Simeon also blessed the parents and gave Mary a prophecy concerning Jesus' crucifixion. Simeon died in peace, and no other mention of him is in the Bible.


Your Own Bucket List

Most people are not like Simeon. They have a long list of material things that satisfy their natural beings. Simeon had only one item that satisfied him spiritually. He was guided by the Holy Spirit every step of the way.

What about your own bucket list? Is it one that pleases the Holy Spirit enough for Him to help you fulfill your desires before you die? If you have a bucket list, evaluate what's on it and see how many things are pleasing to God.