The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

In our youth-orientated culture, we rarely see the value of the older generation. This is unfortunate because the older generation has much-accrued wisdom. Many times, the potential contributions of older folk are ignored. At the time of Jesus, the Jewish culture highly respected their elders. As Mary and Joseph went to the Temple to obey the Mosaic laws concerning the birth of Jesus, they met two older people. Simeon had words of praise and prophecy for the baby Jesus. Anna praised God for Jesus and told everyone she knew about the baby.

Simeon and Anna Were Older

Scripture doesn’t tell the exact age of Simeon, but because of his readiness to die, we assume he is an older man. Luke 2: 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.”[1] Tradition says he was 113 years old.[2]

Anna was a devout Jewish widow. Luke mentions her ancestry to establish her credentials. Her name means “grace,” and her lifestyle includes worshiping, fasting, and praying. She had been widowed at a young age. “The Greek text here can be understood in one of two ways: either that Anna was eighty-four years old or that she had lived on after the death of her husband of seven years for eighty-four more years.[3] Either way, she was an elderly lady who worshipped whenever the Temple doors were open.

Wisdom of the Older Generation

As older people, the praise and prophecy of Simeon and Anna carried extra weight. Both looked forward to the rescue of the nation by the Messiah. Luke 2: 25 At that time, there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him…  38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.[4]

Simeon and Anna knew their hope of the coming Messiah was based on God’s faithfulness. We, too, can place our hope in God because He is faithful. We can also urge older people to share their wisdom and experience. Their testimonies of God’s faithfulness and resulting hope can encourage us on our faith journey.

To learn about the value of the older generation, listen here:

[1,4] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 177). Victor Books.

[3] Trites, A. A., William J. Larkin. (2006). Cornerstone biblical commentary, Vol 12: The Gospel of Luke and Acts (p. 60). Tyndale House Publishers.

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