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. 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.
The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Devotional – Ps Raelle Smit
In these short 4 verses of scripture something very powerful is occurring. These are not just throw away verses of no importance to the story of the Messiah. No. Luke is continuing to layout witness after witness to the truth that this littlest of packages, this baby, is without a doubt the answer that the world has been waiting for.
We have seen Jesus revealed to shepherds and it is wonderful to know that God comes to the least of value. But would they be considered reliable witnesses?
Then we encounter Simeon, a man declared by Luke as “righteous and devout” (verse 25). God reveals the truth regarding Jesus to him. Now this is more like a reputable witness.
Then enters Anna. And on the surface, as a witness, she might be called into question. For she is a woman and a widow at that. But Luke makes sure to give her testimony value, by declaring what she is known for – a prophet. For her to be called a prophet she had to be recognised as a prophet. There had to have been evidence of her accuracy. Luke would have been ridiculed for declaring her as such if she were not.
Now we have the testimony of two or more witnesses as Deuteronomy lays out. Making the declaration that Jesus, this tiny little baby, is in fact the long awaited Messiah.
God has pulled together an assembly of all walks and stages of life, of different classes and genders. Each to meet the incarnate God, this little baby Jesus.
In the same way He calls each of us. We may never find ourselves even begin given even 1 sentence let alone 4 in the history books like Anna has in Scripture. Most of us will likely live in obscurity, only known to this time and by the small communities in which we live. Still our encounter with Jesus and our witness to others of this encounter, they matter to Him. We matter to Him.
Will you search for Him like Anna?
Will you declare who He is to the World like Anna?
“She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” verse 38