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According to Luke's Gospel, Jesus was presented to the Temple in accordance with Jewish custom of the day. It was customary for parents to present a male child to the altar and a sacrifice either of a lamb or turtle dove to be offered. They were in essence offering the child to God, and the sacrificial animal served as witness to that fact. The presentation of Jesus was important because of the presence of Simeon and Anna, who both prophesied at the time.Simeon had been told he would see the Messiah before he died. He then states in a prayer that he is ready to die because "my eyes have seen thy salvation." Simeon also prophecies to the suffering and death of Jesus. Anna, a prophetess, also testified that Jesus was the Messiah. It is also important to indicate that Mary and Joseph complied with all requirements of the Jewish law concerning a male child, including having him circumcised at an early age.
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