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Thursday, December 29, 2016

ANNA, THE PROPHETESS

LUKE 2:36-39  NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
“Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.”
         Anna, was a prophetess, indicating not that she predicted future events, but rather that she was exceptionally close to God.  A prophet’s main role was to speak for God by proclaiming his truth to the people of Israel. Anna and Simeon are just two of the many Jews who were anticipating the coming of the Messiah.  Being spokespersons for the Almighty, they were keenly in tune with godly events that were to transpire. Just as God granted Simeon’s wish to allow him to see with his own eyes the Deliverer of God’s people, so too he allowed Anna, who at 84 years old had waited a very long time to see the Messiah as well. 
         Anna was a young widow, having lost her husband after only 7 years of marriage. She dedicated the remainder of her life to serving the Lord. Being a prophetess it is likely that she had some sort of lodging provided at the Temple where she stayed day and night worshipping God. Her constant presence there allowed others to consult with her or seek her advice on important spiritual matters.  It is very likely that she lived in an almost constant state of prayer. While everyone has other duties to perform throughout the day, we need to always be ready to pray.  Prayer grabs ahold of the Lord and makes things happen in his timing.  Since nothing ever surprises him, God is always well aware of our needs and what we are praying for. We pray for our benefit and the benefit of those we pray for so that when the answer does come our faith can be bolstered and our spirit encouraged. 
         The last portion of the above scriptures states that Jesus was “filled with wisdom and God’s favor was on him”. What a wonderful thing to be said about someone.  Because we are redeemed by Christ’s blood God’s favor is upon us as well.  It is his grace, God’s undeserved favor which he blankets us with if we establish a personal relationship with him.  If you wish to grow in wisdom as Christ did, then we must draw close to the Lord and immerse ourselves in his word.  Allow yourself to be led by his Spirit.  This is what a follower of Jesus Christ does.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible; The Matthew Henry Commentary on the Bible.

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