SIMEON AND ANNA
Luke 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
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. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36 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; 37 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. 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. 39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
Before we start, we should take careful notice of that verse twenty-four. It should break our hearts that the very Lamb of God could not be afforded but the blood of the least expensive offering of two young pigeons. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
If you are redeemed, you had the holy blood of the Lamb of God to take away the sin of your world, and to present you faultless before the throne of God. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, He denied himself of that which he afforded you. He only had the blood of a pigeon to present him to the Father. Bow and worship!
We want to consider these two attendants of our Lord – the last Adam – upon his presentation God and to the public eye. 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
The Apostle Paul writes in his Roman letter that the first Adam is the figure of him that was to come. Therefore as the first Adam had a man and a woman brought forth upon his showing to the world, (Adam and Eve); so here we have a man and a woman introduced to us upon the showing of the last Adam, Simeon and Anna.
That first couple were married to each other, but these last two were not. Anna, as we can read, had been married, but not to Simeon. Therefore the first two spoke of natural procreation for the bringing in of Messiah. But these last two being unmarried to one another speak of, not natural procreation, but the spiritual birth. For God uses his believers in the salvation of others. 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
But even with human involvement, this work is done exclusively by the Holy Spirit. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
For in the last Adam’s spiritual realm, that is, the gospel age, we read, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;” (1 Corinthians 7:29). For in the last Adam’s kingdom physical marriage is a “great mystery” set forth to reveal the relationship of Christ to his church. Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
The Lord God is said to be the church’s husband! Isaiah 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
And Eve was quite unlike Anna as Eve sought for her own personal attainment. Everything was all about herself and her wants. Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. Eve took the fruit in disobedience to God’s instruction, because she wanted it for her own self satisfaction and improvement, no matter what the Lord God had commanded.
And upon the birth of the very first child born into the world, she proclaimed that Cain was a man from the LORD, probably thinking she had birthed Messiah in accordance to the Lord’s Genesis 3:15 prophecy. But what does the Holy Spirit say of him? 1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
For just like many mama-called preachers, Cain was not prepared to tolerate a truly God-called man, which exposed him in comparison, to being an imposture! Therefore he slew Abel. John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But unlike Eve, Anna had even abandoned her private dwellings and was living day and night in the temple. She was so desirous of God to be honored and glorified, she even denied her own daily rations, as she lost awareness of her daily needs, being caught up in fasting and prayer. Sounds like her Master, doesn’t it? Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
John 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat (food) to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
True fasting is not the delaying of one’s meals in order to pray. True fasting is being so caught up with others needs that one forgets his own. Isaiah 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? 6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
And Adam was also unlike Simeon. For when offered the fruit that Adam himself had been commanded of God not to eat, we read that Eve “gave unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” But Simeon, being not a priest, and with only an inner revelation of the Holy Spirit, came to the temple, not to perform traditional religious ceremonies, but in complete submission to the Spirit’s instruction, fully expecting to come face to face with God in human flesh! He truly refused the religious world’s spirit! John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Darkness had preceded both Eve and Anna. Darkness was upon the face of the deep (Gen. 1:2) prior to Eve’s existence. And prior to Anna, there had been 400 years since God had communicated to mankind between the Books of Malachi and Matthew. Eve’s ‘prophesy’ concerning Cain was in error. But Anna recovered the prophetic light and life. See Luke 2:36 in our above listed text.
And consider these words in Peter’s Pentecostal message as he quoted the Prophet Joel. Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
The first Adam brought in sin and death. But Simeon’s man, the last Adam, brought in life and righteousness. Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
The result of Adam and Eve’s actions takes us out into the world away from God. Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
But the result of Simeon and Anna’s actions leads us to Christ and true spiritual worship. Let us recall their words. Luke 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And of Anna we read that she spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
This reminds us of the Apostle Paul’s words: 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
It is our privilege to follow, not the personalities of religion, but the faith of those set forth by the Lord. Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. For the effectual gospel, revealing the righteousness of God proceeds along the line of faith! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
When the bride asks the king where shall he be in the heat of the noonday, he instructs her to follow the footsteps of the flock. Song 1:7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? 8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.
And in all the afflictions and trials of the believer’s life, with the fiery darts of the wicked being hurled at them, they have always had the Lord’s teachers to direct and comfort them! Isaiah 30:20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Pastor Gene Breed
October 19, 2018