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Friday, February 28, 2020

2020.02.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 2:36-38

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom does Luke 2:36 introduce? What tribe was she from? How old was she? How long had she been married? How long had she been a widow (Luke 2:37)? Where did she stay? To do what? When? When does she run into Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:38)?  
Ana is an example to us of someone who is great in the kingdom—precisely because she is little in the world’s eyes, and especially because she is little in her own eyes.

In the world’s eyes, she is elderly, helpless, and useless. Even if she married at 14, that would make her 21 at the beginning of her widowhood and 105 at the time of our passage (some modern translations find it so unbelievable that they make 84 her age instead of the years of her widowhood). And there is no one more helpless than a widow. Ana is little in the eyes of the world.

She is also little in her own eyes. At her age, one might understand if she took what comfort and pleasure she could. But she is constantly at the temple. Denying herself food (fastings, Luke 2:37). Denying herself sleep (prayers night and day). Indeed, even on a horizontal (person-to-person) level, she has made it her business to know who in Jerusalem is “looking for redemption” (Luke 2:38). And now, having come in the instant that Simeon was prophesying about Jesus (verse 38a), she seeks to gladden all who have been hoping for Him. She places others—and especially God—above herself.

And yet the Lord honors her. By granting to her to announce His redemption as a prophetess. By granting to her to live to a great age. By granting to her to hear Simeon’s proclamation. By granting to her to meet the baby Jesus. By placing her in the Scripture account of the gospel of our Lord!

Such is the gospel grace of our Lord Jesus—He has a special interest in the poor and despised– something that is a special emphasis throughout Luke’s gospel. And something that is a special encouragement to us, if God will give us the humility to know that we are nothing!
Why is grace for the weak and unimpressive such good news for you, personally?
Suggested songs: ARP131 “My Heart Is Not Exalted” or TPH146 “Praise the Lord! My Soul, O Praise Him”

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