Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Anna, the Lady of Luke 2

Anna is one of those very interesting people in the Bible, mentioned in only three verses, yet we know a lot about her and can learn much from her exemplary life.

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38).

Her age? Old women never tell their ages, and this one doesn’t exactly, either. We know she was married seven years, widowed eighty-four years. Let’s assume she was married young, maybe fifteen or seventeen. That would make Anna at least 106-108 years old. We are talking about a very old lady.

The Bible says she served God in the temple, actually “living” there—she was there that much. She served God with fasting and prayer. She was serious about intercession. She prayed deliberately. It was part of her service to God.

I find it extremely interesting how Anna did exactly what the Apostle Paul advised many years later: she stayed single after her husband passed away. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I (1 Corinthians 7:8). I admire her for understanding her role in service to God as a single woman. 1 Corinthians 7:34 says, The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. Anna was busy serving God. Yes, she had been married a short time, but now—and for eighty-four years as a single woman—she was serving the Lord full-time.

The letter Paul wrote to Timothy tells us a lot about how the church was to treat widows. Read this passage, thinking about Anna’s stellar example: Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work (1 Timothy 5:3-5, 9-10).

What was Anna’s trademark? Service and fervent prayer.

Eight days after Christmas, Anna was doing what she always did, serving in the temple. She must have come upon Mary, Joseph, Jesus and Simeon, just as Simeon was voicing his great prophecy* about Jesus.

Her response? It was what she always did: She . . . gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38). She talked to God first and then she told others all about the little Redeemer which had been born.

The Bible calls her a prophetess. She is one of the very few ladies in the New Testament labeled like this. A prophetess is a woman who tells something revealed to her. In this case, it was either through Simeon that she learned the good news of Jesus’ coming or through special divine revelation. She knew that Jesus was the Savior, and she told it to everyone.

Can you imagine her access? All good practicing Jews went to the Temple at Jerusalem. Where was she? Right there, ready to praise God, ready to tell the good news.

Remember her age. This lady was at least over a century old. What did she do for the rest of her life? She told everyone about Jesus!

Lessons for us, from Anna:
  • Do right. Whatever our disappointments in life, they can be overcome by serving God, staying pure, and having a life of communication with God and devotion to Him.
  • Age is no factor in service, especially in a prayer ministry. Intercede for others. Praise God.
  • Tell the Good News. Jesus has come. He died to save souls from sin. He died to save your soul from sin. If you know Him, tell others.
  • Prayer is not the last resort. You hear often, “All we could do now is pray.” Instead, pray first, pray always. Be in communication with God all the time, night and day. Anna was. Prayer is the best way to handle anything, good or bad, happy or sad. Take it to God.
  • Single women have a huge place in God’s service. God can have a single woman’s life without the distractions of husband and family. Anna is one of those amazing examples of consistent service to the Lord as a single woman—for over eighty-four years.

I praise the Lord for Anna’s amazing life and ministry. I hope someday to be thought of as someone just a little bit like her. What an example! 

*For more about Simeon, please see my post, here.


  1. Si que s un buen ejemplo para las mujeres, tanto las viudas, como para las solteras. Esta muy claro que una vida en el Señor es mejor que una vida sin Él, pues nos ayuda en todo momento y sabe bien lo que necesitamos y cuando.


    1. I'm glad you see God's help in your life and were challenged by Anna. Thank you, Tere, for your comment.

  2. Anna is one of my favorite people in the Bible. In fact, hers was one of the names on my list to use if we ever had a girl, but I never got to use it. :)

    1. I like that name, too. In fact, in Spain, everyone calls me Ana, the translation of "Ann," my second name. :o) Biblical Anna is truly inspirational for women. Thank you, Barbara, for your comment. Happy New Year!


Please share your thoughts.