v. 36 Anna was a prophetess, unusually close to God. You do not hear that much about women in the bible having a non-traditional role. There are some and I really like to read about them. Seniors were highly valued in Jewish culture. Today it seems that we value youth and beauty. Listen carefully to the older people around you, they have such wisdom to share if we only would choose to listen.
v. 37b Anna never left the temple, she worshiped night and day, praying and fasting. There are days when I don't do my bible study for whatever reason. I don't beat myself up I just move on to the next day. I am in awe if this woman. She is someone that I would have just loved to watch and learn from. This woman was all in, she had an incredible heart for God. It is quite sad that over the years men have thought such absurd things about women, that there wasn't much we could do except for taking care of family and home. I wonder if it bothered the men who wrote the books in the bible to have to add such women. Don't get me wrong, I know that God put exactly what He wanted in His book. I think God knew that one day societies would be different and He wanted to show us that there are incredible role models in the bible to learn from that are just like us.
v. 44-45 Joseph and Mary couldn't find Jesus for three days. Anyone who has lost their child for even a few minutes knows the panic that follows that discovery. Three days sounds like an eternity.
v. 47 "Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers." Do not think youth equals ignorance. God uses what the world thinks foolish to confound the "wise", how many have been overlooked when they should have been listened to?
v. 49 Jesus responded to his parents that He was in His Father's house. We have to let our children go so that they can be who God made them to be. Whether we like it or not. The longer you put it off the harder it will be when they eventually go off on their own.
v. 52 Jesus had to continue to grow at home. It is vitally important that we are to train up our children to know God. It takes a lot of time and energy but I believe it will all pay off and we can rest assured that we did a good job. It might not even be during our lifetime but I want to get to heaven and God say, good job my child.