There was also a prophetess, Anna, from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. Then her husband died, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. Anna never left the Temple but worshiped God, going without food and praying day and night. Standing there at that time, she thanked God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem. (Luke 2: 36-38 NLV)
I have a friend in his early seventies who has spent most of his life as a missionary. As a teacher, he has great wisdom and stories. He understands the poor and multi-cultural. Now in the United States, he still wants to teach but has been unable to find employment because of his age. Anna was over a hundred years old but lived during a time when seniors were cherished because of their wisdom, and widows were cared for. Normally, a woman’s job was to take care of the home and children.
The women in the temple must have loved talking with Anna. She gave them hope. Not only was Jesus their Savior, a woman was a prophet. God was willing to give a woman a respectable job outside the home, and He wanted women to know Jesus was their Savior, too. Anna praised God by fasting, thanking and worshiping Him. She loved her relationship with God.