“He (Jesus) said to them...But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said...You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Roget's Thesaurus describes announce as: “To announce is to give out news, often of something expected in the future”.
Anna was a prophetess and an announcer. She was a woman of 84 years of age, and a long-time widow. After her husband died, she joined other holy women and they spent day and night in the Temple. She devoted her life to attending the Temple, and “worshiping God with fasting and prayer.”. She kept within her an expectant, but simple faith. She believed one day she would see the Old Testament prophesy fulfilled in that she would see the Messiah.
Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus were present at the same Temple as Anna for the ceremonial service of Mary's purification which was forty days after the birth of Jesus. Anna's faithfulness was rewarded when she “came along just as Simeon was talking to Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God”. Anna boldly announced to everyone that the baby Jesus was the long awaited “promised King”.
John the Baptist was also a prophet and an announcer. He is often referred to as the foreclosure of the Old Testament, and the precursor to the New Testament. He lived in the wilderness, wore clothing made of coarse camel hair with a leather belt around his waist. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. He was familiar with the teachings in the Old Testament. For example he stated: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness...Prepare a straight pathway for the LORD's coming!”, which were the words Isaiah had “spoken of John (the Baptist)” in Isaiah.
John the Baptist was obedient, bold, and inflexible, and he knew his godly appointed mission, and he put all his efforts towards fulfilling it. He displayed no fear or weakness when he presented his message: “Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”. He used many such warnings to the crowds, and even though he had no authority or influence in the Jewish political system, he stated the same type of warning to Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee. He baptized with water to symbolize the washing away of their sins. John the Baptist was God's chosen messenger to proclaim the repentance of sins; to prepare the way for Jesus; and to announce the arrival of Jesus Christ the long awaited Messiah.
William Penn stated: “To be like Christ is to be a Christian.”. All of God's people ought to strive to be announcers similar to Anna and John the Baptist. Jesus, in His “Great Commission”, stated: “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved...” (Mark 16:15-16). Keep your faith powered by God's Word. When God presents you with opportunities to share the Gospel with others, recognize that it will anchor them with Jesus Christ, and give them hope for their future.
Lord God, thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ. Help us to recognize the opportunities to announce the Gospel. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington