3. ANNA AND SIMEON (Luke 2:25-38)
BACKGROUND: The fact that Joseph and Mary offered only a pair of pigeons in the temple shows that they were poor. Compare
Lev.12:7-8. Many people were waiting for the Messiah at that time, but most of them thought he would show his power and authority to
- Imagine what Anna went through when her husband died after seven years of marriage (vs.36).
- Why didn't Anna want to remarry, as it was customary in those days- think of various reasons.
- What was the meaning of life for Anna during her 50-60 years as a widow (vs.36-37)?
- What do you think Anna prayed for in the temple day and night year after year?
- What does verse 38 show of Anna's faith? (What did she need redemption for?)
- Now imagine the life Simeon had led until the day he met Jesus - what were his joys and sorrows (vs.25-26)?
- What did the promise of God mean to Simeon (vs.26)?
- What does it mean for an elderly person to have something to hope for in the future?
- What does "waiting" have in common with "faith"?
- What was the difference between the Messiah Simeon was waiting for and the Messiah most of the people were waiting for? (See Note and verse 25.)
- How could Simeon see the Lord's Christ in a child of a poor family?
- Why didn't all the other visitors to the temple see what Anna and Simeon saw?
- Look at the text carefully and try to find indications of what kind of salvation these two old people expected the Messiah to bring (vs.25,31,32,38)?
- What do you want most of all from Jesus?
- What does it take for a man to say that he is ready to die (vs.29)?
- Apply the words of Simeon to your own life. Can you say as he does in verses 29-30?
- What new information did the words of Simeon reveal to Mary about her child (vs.30-35)?
- How did the sword pierce the heart of Mary? (The answer comes outside of this text.)
- Anna and Simeon never met Jesus again. In what ways did this encounter with baby Jesus change their lives? What stayed the same?
- What calling did these two old people have until their deaths?
- In our day, many people are interested in the gift of prophecy. Why was Anna called a prophetess? See vs.36.
GLAD TIDINGS: If you have seen Jesus through the Word of God you can say as Simeon: "Now, Lord, you have kept your promise, and you may let your servant go in peace. With my own eyes I have seen your salvation."