Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory – Part 2 of 2
Simeon was the Christ child’s first witness at His presentation at the Temple (Luke 2:25-32). Jesus Christ’s second witness at His Temple presentation was a woman. Whereas women were forbidden to witness in legal cases, Scripture records how God allowed women to witness certain important events – Anna witnessed Jesus’ Messiahship (Luke 2:36-38), and later, He allowed Mary Magdelene to be the first evangelist of His resurrection (John 20:18). Jesus had come to save all those who believed on Him, whether man or woman, Jew or Gentile, because He loves us all. So – who was this Anna, who boldly proclaimed to the world the Earthly arrival of the Messiah?
Anna was a prophetess, and her very name signified God’s grace, which, of course, is the hallmark of the New Covenant brought by Jesus Christ. Her father was Phanuel, whose name reminds us of Jacob’s wrestling at Penuel or Peniel (Genesis 32:30), which means the face of God. Jacob’s wrestling with God and seeing His face was part of God’s mystery of His revelation; now the mystery unfolds further as the world is able to see God face-to-face in His Son with our spiritual lives being preserved by His grace.
Anna’s lineage came through the tribe of Asher, which was in Galilee. Some scholars suggest this fact further rebuked those who caviled that no prophet could come from Galilee. Ironically, the Spirit of prophecy had only just begun to revive from the intertestamental period and it was a degenerate age of the church; however, no sooner did prophecy revive than it appeared from Galilee, a location repulsive to the elite. Despite its obscurity, God did not leave Himself without a witness.
As with her counterpart Simeon, Anna was very old. It is not clear whether she was 84 years old when Jesus was born or whether she had been a widow for 84 years. If the latter, which included a seven-year marriage, she would have been more than one hundred years old. She was widowed while she was young, only living with her husband for seven years, but she never married again and stayed a widow until her dying days.
Anna exhibited Godly traits and activities to the world. She was an ever-present fixture in the Temple and probably lived nearby. She was in constant attendance of public worship, and she served God with fasting and prayers night and day. She had no secular business in which to employ herself, and so, gave up herself wholly to her devotions. She not only fasted twice per week, she spent her time in exercises of faith, time which others spent feasting, drinking, and sleeping.
Whereas the Pharisees fasted often and made long prayers, they served their own pride and covetousness. In contrast, Anna did these things to serve God. It is little wonder why God chose her to witness for His Son. After years of faithful service, Anna is now rewarded abundantly as she is chosen to bear testimony to our LORD Jesus.
Anna came at the instant the child was presented, just as Simeon began his discourse about Jesus. She who had been such a constant fixture in the temple could not miss this historic opportunity to witness for the One who would save us all. She gave thanks to the LORD, in the same manner as Simeon, with both of them comforted by knowing they could depart this world in peace.
It is normal for those to whom Christ is made known to give thanks to the LORD for such a favor. Anna supported Simeon in praise to God, together creating a harmonic gladness emanating from both man and woman, to the One who would save anyone with faith in Him. Their eyes had seen the glory of the LORD, looked at Him face-to-face, and were healed of what they had no power to heal. While others in Jerusalem looked for redemption through the Law, Anna knew how to recognize the Christ child, where to find Him, and how to praise His name.
Anna did the normal thing and told everyone about the gift God had sent to this fallen and hurting world. She viewed it as Good News and her joy would not allow her to remain silent. How will your joy in Jesus allow you to witness for Him this Christmas season?
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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