Anna The Prophet
“There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who belonged to the tribe of Asher. She was very old. After she married, she lived with her husband for seven years. She was now an 84-year-old widow. She never left the temple area but worshipped God with fasting and prayer night and day. She approached at that very moment and began to praise God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
When Mary and Joseph had completed everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to their hometown, Nazareth in Galilee. The child grew up and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.”
-Luke 2:22-40, (CEB)
Download the iPhone Daily Bible Study App to read the week-long series about Anna the Prophet. We discuss her importance as a prophet, an elder, an official representative of the northern tribes of Israel, and how she links old and new worship.
Anna the Prophet
This week we are learning about Anna the Prophet. Anna ran into Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Simeon when Jesus’ family went to the Temple for the ritual of purification after childbirth (40 days after Jesus’ birth). Anna’s was a tenacious woman full of faith and wisdom. She lived in the Temple, worshiping and praying day and night. This week we will touch on her exemplary story.
It is no surprise that Anna, (a woman), is the only named prophet in the nativity story. Luke is intentional to highlight the important roles women had as those who first discerned God’s plan to restore the world through Jesus Christ.
Anna provides us a picture of a woman of great strength and faith for the encouragement of all people, but her story is especially poignant for older women. We know from Luke’s account she is agile and able to move about the temple in worship. Although she was somewhere between 84 and 105 years old (depending on the scholar you ask), she was alert, spiritually aware and dedicated to her ministry. She has been called the “worship workaholic”, available 24/7 for worship, prayer and her prophetic ministry.
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