Read: Luke 2:36-38
Luke has just 3 verses dedicated to Anna, but he says quite a bit about her in those verses. She was a prophetess, of the tribe of Asher, widowed 7 years into her marriage and had never remarried, 84 years old, the daughter of Phanuel and worshipped in the temple day and night. Anna is not the only prophetess in Scripture. By calling her this, Luke ranks her among many other remarkable women including Miriam the sister of Moses (Exodus 15:20) and Deborah (Judges 4:4). It’s interesting that Luke makes all these notes about Anna. In fact there is more biographical information about her than information about what she did when she saw Jesus, which was praise God and God tell others about the coming redemption of Jerusalem, namely through Jesus.
Anna is one instance of Luke’s special attention to the role of women in the story of Jesus. When writing Luke the role of women in most of the world at that time was not very high. But nevertheless Luke’s intentionality on the part of women and also the Gentiles for that matter show that Jesus is not redeemer for a select few, rather the redeemer for all people and that all people are equally valuable to him regardless of what status they may have in the world and all have a role in his work.
While Anna’s deeds may not have been some great miracle on a grand scale, her life-long commitment to God make her among the greats in Scripture. Everyone who believes has a part in God’s work, and those that live a life committed to God’s work will leave a lasting legacy even though no single deed is his or her defining moment. Living faithfully day to day in the monotony of life will culminate in a testimony that will be remembered and an example to be followed.
Lord, Help me to live faithfully all my days!