As usual, my study created more questions than answers. Maybe that is how it should be based on how many questions Jesus asked people instead of answering them directly! It makes you wrestle with the answer, maybe giving you more ownership when Christ reveals it to you...not sure.
Today I studied the life of Anna. WOW - talk about a dedicated life. She literally spent her entire life in the temple PRAYING without ceasing for the coming of Messiah!
To simplify the study:
The temple was HUGE. Anna lived in a small quarter on the temple grounds. There was no way she would have heard Simeon dedicating JESUS by accidentally strolling by at just the right time. God placed her there, close to them!
At any given time there were thousands of people at the temple. But on this special day God connected Mary and Joseph with Simeon to bless this precious God Child. And he gave Anna the desire of her heart - not just by SENDING Messiah, but He directed her to be within EARSHOT of what Simeon was doing. And that must have been close, due to the age the scriptures suggest she was - she could have been hard of hearing! (just a little conjecture on my part - ha!)
By faith she KNEW immediately that this was the MESSIAH! Many doubted because they thought Messiah would be a mighty, full grown, muscle bound, powerful SAVIOR that arrived to save them. But Anna KNEW HIM immediately and that required a revelation from God.
The reason she was called a prophetess (one of only 5 women in the old Testament referred to in that way) was because she studied and taught the Word of God constantly! When she wasn't praying she was sharing with everyone who would listen about the God she loved so intimately and the coming Messiah.
And now, in an instant, during a walk around the temple - God let her be one of the few that saw CHRISTS' revealing and dedication.
As this week points us toward Easter I found it interesting that I would be studying the beginning of his short life on earth...
The question this study created within me is this, if Anna was mentioned in scripture largely because of her incredible dedication to study, sharing with others the Gospel and prayer, particularly her constant prayer asking for the Messiah, should I now constantly prayer for Jesus' second coming?
Maybe believers longing for Christ's return, praying without ceasing - with no distractions - from prison cells, and poverty are more blessed than I with all my stuff and distractions...
Do I HONESTLY long for Him??? This question is where the story of Anna took me - very convicting.