36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[a] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 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. 39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
This passage is about the prophetess, Anna. After 7yrs of marriage, she lost her husband. A widow of 84 years, living in the temple, praying and fasting to God. I can only imagine she had been in the temple about 60yrs!
After Simeon, had prophesied over Jesus, Anna came up to him too. It is not clear if Anna heard what Simeon said, but regardless, she too gave thanks to God. And Anna spoke “about this child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem”. The holy city of God’s chosen people. Thereby confirming Simeon’s prophecy. This, I believe, took a lot of boldness!
The bible calls Anna a prophetess. She must have had may prophesies for many faithful Jews. Inspired by the Holy Spirit.
What this passage speaks to me, is how God uses women, like men to speak prophetically and serve the Lord. Certainly Anna may not have had anyone to provide for her, but her faithfulness in the Temple, loving and seeking God, was foremost to her.
Father God, please fill me with your Holy Spirit that I too, will seek you passionately, and know you have a purpose with my life, as you did with Anna.
Written by Linda Stengl