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Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

LK2:36 Now there was a prophetess,[1] Anna, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, [a widow] who had only lived seven years with her husband from her virginity. LK2:37 She had been widowed eighty-four years and was never missing from the temple [courtyard of women] worshipping night and day with fastings and prayers. LK2:38 At that same moment she was standing nearby praising The God and speaking about [the Christ] to everyone who was waiting for Jerusalem’s redemption.[2]


[1] Prophetess: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. [Acts 21:9]

[2] Jerusalem’s redemption: Or, deliverance, liberation, salvation. About 60 years later Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Roman armies with one million dead.

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Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows

Simeon and Anna, seeing the infant Jesus in th...

Simeon and Anna, seeing the infant Jesus in the Temple (Photo credit: Martin LaBar (going on hiatus))

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  • The Prophetess Anna (thepassionists.org)
    Timothy Johnson observes that the parents of Jesus “observe the [Jewish] laws regarding circumcision, purification, and presentation of the first born as dedicated to the Lord, and do so within the symbolic heart of the people, Jerusalem and its Temple.” At that holy place they encounter Simeon and Anna, two righteous Jews who are receptive to the movements of God’s Spirit. Anna is depicted as an aged widow who is constantly in the Temple, worshiping God day and night in fasting and prayer.
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    Luke’s Gospel, however, presents Simeon and Anna as people of exemplary faith and piety who have the distinctive role of welcoming Jesus, the prophetic Messiah, into the very heart of Israel. Their lives of self-discipline, contemplation and worship prepare them to recognize the great initiative of God for the salvation of Israel. Anna is inspired to offer thanks to God for the child Jesus and to speak about him to others. She recognizes the moment of salvation when it dawns and she seizes this moment. The friendship with God that she has cultivated through many years of prayer and service in the Temple enables her to respond in faith to God’s visitation in Jesus.
  • Luke 2:21-38 Christmas Never Ends! (graceportland.org)
    Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
  • Luke 2:22 (heavenlyfoodblog.wordpress.com)
    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.
  • Anna’s Ultimate Purpose (whitehorseprophetic.wordpress.com)
    Anna’s ministry was worship, prayer, fasting AND the declaration of Christ. It isn’t enough for prophetic people to simply worship or to pray or to fast. Prophets and prophetess do many things, but the climax of their ministry is The Declaration. This is the staff that they hold. The other functions that they fulfill are ministry and they are unto the Lord. But the ultimate role is to hold the staff of Declaration.
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    Anna is remembered for many things in the Apostle Luke’s account of the history of Jesus life. She is remembered and commended for her fasting’s, for her prayers, for her worship. But most importantly she is remembered for identifying and highlighting the primacy of Christ, the ultimate Prophet, the Lover of all mankind.
  • 30th December, Gospel Reading (Luke 2:36-40) (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
  • Anna (ptdowning.com)
    Anna’s devastation drove her into a life of piety.  Sometimes the beauty and the aroma of the rose leads us to a loving God, other times it is the prick of the thorn which drives us into the caring arms of our Savior.Anna’s piety was rewarded with a glimpse of the redemption that God had promised the world.  Her natural response to seeing Christ was to tell others of his life and mission.
  • Presented in the Temple (thepuresacrifice.wordpress.com)
    39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
  • Tangible Evidence (fastpray.wordpress.com)
    After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, and they meet Simeon—a man who received a promise from God that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah. They also meet a really incredible, but probably really weird, old woman.
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    From what we know in the text, Anna received no such promise from God that she would see the Messiah, and yet, in her (probably) impoverished widowhood, abnormal, 24/7 prayer-warrior life—she never stopped praying and hoping and waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. And after 84 years of being a widow and who knows how many years praying and fasting in the temple, Anna received her tangible evidence that God was going to set right the wrongs and redeem His people.
  • Christmas Prayer: the Gift of Waiting (thecreativeprayer.wordpress.com)
    Anna and Simeon are examples of graceful waiting. While they waited for the fulfillment of prophecy and redemption for Jerusalem, each one learned how to wait in the Lord as well as on Him and they were not disappointed. Lord, teach me to wait gracefully!
  • Christmas in Context: Waiting for the consolation of Israel… (faithfulstewardship.wordpress.com)
    No doubt between the news of what happened in the Temple Courts (the expansion of which was one of Herod’s projects), the visit of the Magi (and subsequent disappearance), and the rumors of Shepherds seeing the Heavenly Hosts… Herod was paranoid of losing his power over the Jews, and his authority under Rome. So, to make a point, he has all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity 2 yrs and younger killed. God hid Jesus in Egypt until Herod’s death (Matt 2:13-20). But when they returned home, it wasn’t to Bethlehem or Jerusalem, but to Nazareth in the north. And so, we have the context of Christmas… the Birth of a Savior.
  • And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (writingsistersblog.wordpress.com)
  • Relishing the Myth: Simeon the Righteous, the God-Receiver (Repost – 2013) (unsettledchristianity.com)
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