“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” – Luke 2:36-38 (NKJV)
There are many stops I want to make as we travel with Jesus through His earthly ministry. Hard words. Miracles. Joy and sorrow. The mysteries of God revealed.
I simply can’t go on, however, without highlighting this little piece of the story. We saw how Simeon had looked for the Messiah and how the Lord honored His promise, but it wasn’t just Simeon who had a significant moment with the Savior that day. There was Anna.
Whether Anna had been a widow for 84 years or she was 84-years-old isn’t the point. Rather, the point is that she, along with Simeon, along with so many who are unnamed, had been waiting for Jesus. Longing for Him. Loving Him.
Simeon had more to say to Mary and Joseph:
“Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” – Luke 2:34b-35 (NKJV)
He foretold the Cross.
In that instant, the text says, Anna joined the little group standing in the temple and gave thanks to God. As a prophetess, as one who had been seeking and serving the Lord for many years, this old woman understood the importance of the baby. She may not have had all the details, but she knew, just as Simeon knew, that Jesus would do the work of redemption.
And she wouldn’t stop talking about it.
For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.