Anna and Simeon, Two Witnesses
By Patricia Jackson
In Luke 2, V 36, Anna is referred to as a prophetess. She was one of several women who spoke by divine inspiration or as an interpreter through the will or direction of God. Her appearance in the bible is brief, only three verses (V. 36, 37, and 38), yet her story gives us much to learn about prayer and being faithful.
Verse 36 tells us she was of the tribe of Aser. What is significant about her lineage and the tribe of Aser? (Note: The word Aser is found only two times in the bible and is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name Asher). Asher was one of the 12 tribes of Israel that later became the Jewish People. The twelve tribes were descendants from the patriarch Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. God’s love and desire to have a faithful family led to the birth of these twelve sons. Joshua assigned territory to each of the 12 tribes when Joshua assigned territory to each of the twelve tribes.
We find the twelve tribes mentioned in Revelation Ch. 7, verse 4. “And I heard the number of them which were sealed, and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel”. Verse 6 “Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand.”
Verses 36 and 37 tells us she was of a great age, 84 years, and a widow. She was not like most women of that time. She would have been encouraged to marry again, have children. She did not seek after another husband, choosing to remain single. She lived in the inner court of King Herod’s temple, where women were allowed. She served God with fasting and prayers night and day. God was her family, the temple her home, and prayer her occupation. We would call her a “Prayer Warrior.”
When Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus into the temple, Simeon recognized him as the Savior. Simeon was a just and devout man who knew that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Anna came in at that instance and gave thanks to the Lord. She experienced the very presence of God. Her eyes had seen the promised child. The news was too great to keep to herself. She spoke of him to all those in Jerusalem who waited for the promised Messiah.
I wondered why there were two who recognized the baby as the Christ child. Would one not be enough? Deuteronomy 19:15 says “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or wrongdoing”. Only on the evidence of two or three witnesses shall a charge be established. Two witnesses were needed to confirm the validity of the claim this was indeed the Christ child. Simeon was led by the Spirit into the temple and Anna lived in the temple. It was no accident these two were in the temple at the moment Joseph and Mary brought the child to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. These scriptures give us powerful insight into the life of those dedicated to seeking God. God does speak, lead, and guide His people. How would Anna or Simeon recognize Christ if God didn’t tell them? Our prayer should be to “Set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.” I Chronicles 22:19
Patricia Jackson is the Assistant Teacher for the Ladies Class at Redeemed Free Will Baptist Church, Glenwood, NC. She is a grant writer for non-profits, a published author and retired Nursing Home Administrator. She lives in Rutherford County with her husband. Contact information: email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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