Luke 2:38, The Promised Redeemer of Israel

Coming up to them at that very moment, [Anna] gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

//In today’s verse, an old widow of 84 years happens to spy Joseph and Mary with their 12-year-old son Jesus, and goes up to them. She identifies the child Jesus as the redeemer of Jerusalem, the anticipated Messiah who would set Jerusalem free. This, of course, matches the expectation every Jew had of the coming Messiah. He would arrive with a mighty sword, conquer the nations, lift Israel back to its place as the favored nation in God’s world, and then rule with a rod of iron. This seems to be the expectation of everyone else for the baby Jesus as well. Here are a few more opinions:

Mary: “He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.”

Zechariah: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.”

Gabriel: “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

A host of angels: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Simeon: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel.”

All of these voices are recorded in the first two chapters of Luke. Did they all misunderstand the role of the Messiah?

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