Examining Anna

Here are the words we read about Anna, in Luke 2.

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.  She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When we hear that Anna was very old, it might not be ninety years of age! It is thought that the average life span of most people of that time was about thirty-five to forty years of age. Their definition of old might not be ours.

Of course, some people live longer. For instance, in Sunnybrook hospital, in Toronto, there are currently fifty veterans over the age of 100.

Some studies suggest that 90% of the population in Jesus’ time struggled with food shortages.  Infant mortality was about 30%. This puts a new light on something like feeding the five thousand. Think what a gift that was to people who lived on the edge of starvation. Imagine them eating more than the average portion, just in case they had no food the next day.

No wonder hungry people followed Jesus the next day. But they were hungry for the wrong things.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. (John 6:26)

Why do you follow Jesus?

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