Scripture reading for March 17th: Luke 2:36-52, Psalms 60:1-12, Proverbs 11:15
The Bible tells us that by the mouth of two witnesses shall every fact be established. Luke took the testimony of the devout Simeon as one witness in the temple as Jesus was dedicated. He also made note of a devout woman who was led to the temple to see the Christ.
“There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38)
Women play a prominent part in Luke’s record of the story of Jesus Christ. God is no respecter of persons nor does he discriminate between men or women. God cares about all, and especially tender towards those who may be hurting, lonely, or rejected.
Anna was a widow for many years. There is no record of whether or not she had children in her seven years of marriage. From the record that we have here in Luke, it appears that she spent her lifetime following marriage in prayer and fasting. She was know as a prophetess who was faithful to the temple. She prayed there day and night in a place mainly known for the Levites and priests. Anna was of the tribe of Asher, not even a Levite woman! Anna was quick to recognize Jesus as the One who would redeem Jerusalem and told others prophetically about this Child! Luke gives record of her faithful testimony, adding to the story of Jesus Christ’s supernatural entrance into the realm of men.
The story of Anna should bring encouragement. God appreciates those who are faithful and cling to a relationship with Him. He reveals Himself and His will to these faithful believers. He gives them honor and allows them insight into His plans! “Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)