The researcher was curious about Simeon. Who was he? What kind of man would understand the words of Isaiah and apply them to a baby being carried into the temple? Was he one of the religious leaders? Did he belong to one of the reclusive ultra-religious groups?
It’s possible that Simeon was a man without a known background. But the researcher wasn’t willing to have his account say, “Some man walked up to Mary and Joseph.”
He started thinking through the kind of person he needed to talk with. It would have to be someone who was in Jerusalem when Jesus wasn’t. It would have to be someone who spent time in the temple, who was knowledgeable about people with spiritual understanding. And it would have to be someone willing to talk to a follower of Jesus.
None of the Galileans were possibilities. They had spent time away from Jerusalem. In fact, none of the remnants of the Twelve would be helpful.
Mary had said that she had looked for Simeon when she was in town. If he had been around for the crucifixion, she would have seen him.
But there was a name that John had mentioned.
Nicodemus would know about someone with a righteous reputation.
John had said that Nicodemus came privately to talk with Jesus early in his ministry. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, part of the ruling council. If anyone would have known religious people, it would be Nicodemus. A couple of years later, he recommended that the Council be less violent in their attacks on Jesus. And after the crucifixion, Nicodemus sealed his division from the leadership when he helped Joseph of Arimathea put Jesus in the tomb.
Nicodemus was the perfect person to talk about Simeon.
“I remember Simeon,” Nicodemus said.