Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church

Recognizing God's intent

Some people are able to see what God is doing before anyone else. They get excited over things that everyone else might dismiss as "no big deal." But they can see the potential in the small start before them, even if it's only an idea.

Anna was someone like that. Luke 2:36 says, "There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher."

As a prophet, it's likely that Anna regularly built up, encouraged and consoled others. (1 Corinthians 14:3). She was the kind of person who recognized early what God was doing and was able to help others see it, too.

By the time the gospel of Luke mentions her, she was 84. The gospel says, "She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day."

Because she was in the temple continually, when Mary and Joseph arrived to present Jesus and Mary to the authorities for the purification offering, Anna was there. Most of the people in the temple saw just another baby. But Anna looked and saw the Savior of the world, the redeemer of Israel.

Luke says she "began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem."

Reflection questions

When have you been able to encourage someone? To console someone? To build someone up?

When has someone encouraged you? Consoled you? Built you up?

When have you recognized something God was doing before others could see what you could see?

God, help us to see what you are doing and joyfully respond, even when others don't recognize your intent because it's so early. Thank you. Amen.