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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 everyone.
  1. 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)?
  2. 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?)
  3. 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)?
  4. 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.)
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. 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.)
  9. Anna and Simeon never met Jesus again. In what ways did this encounter with baby Jesus change their lives? What stayed the same?
  10. 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."

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