15 Dec, 2002
PLACE: BBC Mallow
A. Joseph and Mary have just brought baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem
B. Jesus is only 8 days old
C. They had come to circumcise Him, and to officially name Him
D. Along with Jesus, they brought two turtledoves as a sin offering, because they were too poor to bring a lamb – how funny though, that they actually had the LAMB of God in their arms!
E. While passing through the temple courtyard, two people run up to them
1. The first one is a guy named Simeon
2. The other person was an old lady named Anna
F. You would think, that an old lady in a Church yard, or temple, would be pretty grumpy and mean – so many are, even older Christian women
1. Unhappy lives
2. Unfulfilled expectations
3. God never seemed to shine on them
G. But not so with Anna. She had a hope that was steadfast, and God rewarded her for it
H. My job today is to talk you into getting the same kind of hope and confidence that Anna had, so that God can truly bless your life as well!
Message – Anna’s Hope (Luke 2:36-38)
A. Background - Who was Anna? (2:36)
1. A prophetess
a. Very rare in history
b. 13 are listed in the Bible
1) Miriam, the older sister of Moses
2) Deborah, a judge with Barak
5) The wife of Isaiah
6) Elisabeth, mother of John the Baptist
8) Philip’s 4 daughters
9) Jezebel – a false prophetess
c. Means that she could tell the future – could prophesy. If a prophet, or prophetess could not accurately tell the future, then they were a counterfeit
2. Of the tribe of Aser, Asher
a. Not a prominent tribe, like Judah, or Ephraim
b. But God used people from all over
3. She was very old – she was of great age. She now was 84 years old – she was not too old though – you are never too old!
4. She had waited until marriage – kept her virginity
5. She had been married for only 7 years, and then lost her husband
6. The last 67 years, she has remained a widow
B. The Life of Anna (2:37,38)
1. Had been at home with her husband – expected everything to be wonderful, and to be able to grow old together with her husband
2. But her life was changed – drastically with the death of her husband
3. But from that time, until this moment here in Luke 2:
a. She lived right in the Temple
1) David had always wanted to just be a DOOR-keeper of the house of God
2) People who so dearly love God, want always to be close to His Temple, and Church – where God is active
b. She served God night and day in two very special ways:
1) By prophesying – soul-winning
2) By praying
4. Let’s look at her ministries
1) She loved to talk about the coming of the Messiah – quoted Scripture after Scripture from Genesis 3 through Mal 4
2) She loved to talk about the meaning of His coming – redemption – the gift of God is eternal life through the Messiah (Rom 6:23)
3) She could tell that the Messiah was coming very soon – book of Daniel foretold to the very day His coming
4) That is the ministry of soul-winning! Convincing people to believe that Jesus is the One and Only Saviour of the world!
1) She had a ministry of praying for other people’s needs – took it upon herself to pray to a God who hears and still answers prayers
2) God had brought her through some hard times so that she could powerfully pray for others (2Cor 1:3-5)
3) She not only prayed about people’s needs, but fasted as well – she meant business with God! Her life was wrapped up in a living relationship with God that exceeded food!
C. The Lord of Anna (2:38)
1. She recognized who this baby was instantly
a. How could she recognize Him from all the people, all the babies in the Temple courtyard?
1) Just as Simeon had done (2:25-35)
2) The Holy Spirit guided her to the BABY
3) Did you notice that her attention was NOT on Mary, but on Jesus
b. As soon as she saw Jesus, she lost it – she started praising God
2. She recognized what this baby meant
a. That the promised Messiah had come - all the Old Testament prophecies were coming to pass right before their eyes
1) 300 prophecies are in the Old Testament about the Messiah
2) From Genesis 3:15
3) Through to Malachi 4
b. That redemption was now here
2) The full payment of our debt to God, was going to now be paid BY God Himself
3) Salvation – saved from hell
4) Saved from SIN (Mt 1:21)
5) You see, all the lambs of the past could not pay off ANY sin (Heb 9:22) – it could only buy you a little time, until THE Lamb came
3. She recognized that everybody needed to know about Jesus
a. Unfortunately, the only ones who listen, are those who already are looking for salvation
b. But how are people going to be looking for a Redeemer, unless Christians are talking about a Redeemer (Rom 10:13,14)?
A. Who Are You and Me?
1. Probably a lot like Anna - Except, probably, not prophesying
2. Kind of insignificant – from some small village in the world
3. Maybe past your prime – at least as far as the world is concerned
B. What Kind of Life do we Live, or Have to Endure?
1. Maybe you had some pretty hard times
a. Short marriage – or not married at all
d. Long span of empty time – or so it seemed
g. Bad health
2. But maybe, some of you are keeping your home close to the church, and keeping your walk with Jesus the most important thing in your life!
C. What the Lord Jesus can Do for Us!
1. He can Complete your life
a. By coming into it – salvation – but you have to ask Him
b. By confirming everything He has promised in His Bible – not one jot or tittle shall fail
2. He can Give you a Ministry to others – get involved in two of the greatest ministries
3. He can Excite your life
a. No greater life than one lived as a winner
b. You can be like Anna, and grab the attention of a world that knows not that Jesus really HAS come
1) Many think He is an old story, or tale
2) Many think His usefulness has past – Santa is more efficient
3) Many don’t know anything about Redemption – don’t think there is any other kind of life to live than the one they currently are trapped in
Conclusion – How to Get Anna’s Hope
A. Call on the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12; Rom 10:13)
B. Consider God’s words – study this Book, and learn of all that God has promised through Jesus Christ – I bet most of you don’t know hardly any of God’s promises to you!
C. Look for their fulfilment, in your daily life – God will reward you one day – you WILL see Jesus!
D. That’s how your hope gets stirred, and one day your faith will turn to sight!