Tag: redemption of Israel
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)
Scripture reading for October 21st: Luke 1-2
The Gospel of Luke mentions two people who prophetically confirmed Jesus Christ as the Messiah shortly after His birth. Simeon and Anna were people of prayer who had the Holy Spirit upon them. They had been waiting for the promised Messiah for many years. Their prayers were answered as Jesus was brought to the Temple by His parents.
Simeon had lived in Jerusalem for many years. The Lord had revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Christ. (Luke 2:26) The Spirit of God moved him to go to the temple courts just as Jesus’ parents came that day. Simeon knew by the Spirit that this was the child and he took Him into his arms and spoke prophetically: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32) God was faithful to fulfill His promise to Simeon. Simeon spoke of his eyes beholding God’s salvation prepared by Him! This Holy Child was to be a light to the Gentiles. God’s plan was world-wide as well as to the glory of Israel!
After Simeon blessed the parents, he spoke a short word to Jesus’ mother. “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34b-35) Simeon warned Mary that her child would be controversial and cause the downfall of many as well as the rising of others. He also told her that she would suffer something that would pierce her heart like a sword.
Anna, a prophetess who was eighty four years old, was widowed early in her life. She was a woman of prayer who spent her time in the temple worshiping God and praying. When she saw Jesus and His parents, she came up to them and gave thanks to God, telling others about the child and His future redemption of Israel. We are blessed to hear about God’s faithful watchmen and women who recognized Jesus soon after His birth.