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.
Incarnation Day messages from the last 4 years
23 DEC 2007 – Luke 2:8-20 - The First Noel (Shepherds)
28 DEC 2008 – Luke 2:21-35 - Who Knew? (Simeon)
Other recent Incarnation Day messages:
24 DEC 2006 – 1 Timothy 3:16 – The Great Mystery of Ungodliness
20 DEC 2009 – Hebrews 2:9 – What is Man?
27 DEC 2009 – Isaiah 61:1-2 – Between Two Worlds
Let us pick up today in Luke 2 where we left off in 2008!
I. Let Me Introduce You To Anna – Wouldn’t You Like To Meet Anna? (2:36a)
And there was one Anna
Same as the Heb. Hannah (“grace”, “He was gracious”) –
cp. 1 Sam. 1:2, 5, 9, 15, 19, 22, 25
How many persons go unnamed in the Gospel accounts of Christ’s birth?
The Wise Men (apocryphal names only)
No Little People, by Francis Schaeffer (n.p.: L’Abri Fellowship, 1974)
A Commentary on the Holy Bible, by Matthew Poole (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, n.d.; reprint from 1685 original ed.), 3:198
“in this most corrupt time there was a Simeon and an Anna, and also others, who had a true notion and expectation of the Messiah; and these the Holy Ghost taketh more notice of than of all the Jewish doctors, all the scribes and Pharisees, whose names are enrolled, while what these persons said and did shall remain for a memorial of them wherever the gospel shall be preached to the end of the world.” (pp. 91-92)
II. Let’s Get To Know Anna – Don’t you think Anna is a very interesting person? (2:36b-37)
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.
We are told 8 important facts about this woman Anna:
1. a prophetess
2. the daughter of Phanuel
3. of the tribe of Aser
4. she was of a great age
5. and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity
6. And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years
7. which departed not from the temple
8. but served God with fastings and prayers night and day
These 8 important facts may be summarized as having to do with 4 subjects: her spirituality, genealogy, age, and service
1. Her spirituality (1)
(1) a prophetess
Ex. 15:20 - And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
Judges 4:4 - And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
2 Chron. 34:22 - And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect.
Joel 2:28-32 –  And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
Acts 21:9 - And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
Rev. 2:20 - Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
2. Her genealogy (2-3)
(2) the daughter of Phanuel
(3) of the tribe of Aser
Phanuel = Heb. Penuel, Peniel
Asher = 2nd son of Jacob and Zilpah, one of the lost and scattered ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom
Genesis 30:12-13 –  And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son.  And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
Joshua 19:24 - And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.
3. Her age (4-6)
(4) she was of a great age
(5) and had lived with an husband seven years from her
(6) And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years
Some calculate her age at 103-106 (John Gill: possibly 111-113), understanding the 84 years to be how long she had been a widow.
4. Her service (7-8)
(7) which departed not from the temple
(8) but served God with fastings and prayers night and day
III. Let’s Listen To Anna – She Has Something Very Important To Tell You! (2:38)
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.
Isaiah 40:2 - Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. (cp. 1-11)
Isaiah 41:14 - Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 43:14 - Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.
Isaiah 44:24 - Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Isaiah 52:9 - Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. (cp. 8-10)
Cp. also Ps. 130:5-8; Joel 2:28-32
Luke 1:68-79 –  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,  And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;  As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:  That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;  The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,  In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.  And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,  To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 2:25 - And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luke 23:50-54 –  And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:  (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.  This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.  And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.  And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
Matthew 27:54-60 –  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.  And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:  Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.  When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:  He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.  And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,  And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
Mark 15:42-46 –  And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,  Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.  And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.  And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.  And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
John 19:38-42 –  And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.  And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.  Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.  Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.  There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
Luke 24:21 - But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Acts 26:7 - Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Romans 8:23 - And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
2 Tim. 4:8 - Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Aren’t you glad that you met Anna, learned of her, and listened to her?