11. Simeon and Anna Rejoiced Over the Newborn Messiah
Simeon lived in Jerusalem. Anna lived in the Temple itself. Their stories are told in Luke 2:25-38. Both were prophets. The Lord had told Simeon that he would not die in old age until he had seen the Messiah. Then the Lord spoke through Simeon exalting the Christ child and speaking words of exaltation and warning to the newborn’s mother, Mary.
While Simeon was so happy he was ready to die, Anna probably was older. The literal reading of the text says she had been married for seven years and then lived as a widow for eighty-four more years. If Anna was married at age 13 (not uncommon in ancient times), she would have been 104 years old when she walked up and joined Simeon.
Unlike Simeon, Anna had never felt more alive. We read that “she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). I can imagine her radiant smiles and excitement as she went around the Court of the Women talking with everyone she met. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s still doing that in heaven!
12. John Lived a Full Life in Love with the Savior
The youngest of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, John outlived them all. His lifespan probably covered almost all of the first century A.D. Traditionally, John was the author of the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation.
The Gospel of John includes arguably the most famous Bible verse, John 3:16. Not surprisingly, John uses the word “love” more than the other three Gospels combined. It’s true that every New Testament book (except Acts) uses the word “love” repeatedly, but 1 John uses it far more often than any other New Testament epistle (letter). John even uses “love” repeatedly throughout the book of Revelation.
No wonder John often is called “the apostle of love.” Then again, make no mistake: John wasn’t in love with love. Instead, he deeply loved the Savior. He also deeply loved his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ—and rejoiced greatly when they walked in the truth.
After the Lord Jesus Christ gives me a bear hug and welcomes me into heaven, I can’t wait to get another bear hug from the apostle John. What a welcome that will be!
David Sanford coaches leaders passionate about demonstrating the relevance of Jesus Christ in every major sphere of life. His book and Bible projects have been published by Zondervan, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, Doubleday, and Amazon. His speaking engagements have ranged everywhere from The Billy Graham Center at the Cove (NC) to UC Berkeley (CA).
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