We are in the Christ Stream today starting the book of Luke the physician and historian. We are reading from the New American Standard Bible this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Thank you Lord for preparing the way for the Savior. Thank you for preparing a Savior for us. Thank you for preparing us to be saved. Your ways are perfect. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Amen.
Luke 1 – Luke’s opener tells of his motivation for writing Luke. [He later wrote Acts.] Luke is a paragon historian that ranks with the best the world has ever seen. He researched Jesus and got straight stories from those who were there. Whereas John says in places, “I saw this….I witnessed this…” we do not see this wording in Luke. There is no record that Luke ever met our Savior. My husband, who has three degrees in Bible says he has encountered some n’ere-do-wells who falsely comfort themselves saying,”I only want to read about Jesus; the eyewitness accounts of those who were there.” Thus they won’t read the Old Testament/Psalms/Prophets. And they won’t even read Paul’s letters. Well, friends. Moses, Joshua, Paul met with God/The ‘yet-to-be-named’ Jesus personally (Paul met Him on the road to Damascus), whereas Luke never met Jesus —> it isn’t recorded anywhere in literature. Pardon the side note here. One other reminder: Matthew wrote his account to Jews in Israel – the first copy was in Aramaic. Mark wrote to Jews who were throughout the world -the original was in Hebrew. John wrote to The World (for God so loved the…what did he so love?…The World.) And Luke wrote to the Greeks; including the Romans in the Greek world who spoke Greek -and therefore it was written in Greek. Luke was a doctor. So we find him noticeable mentioning Jesus’ body; His hands, His mouth where the other gospels don’t. Luke also talks of the power involved in Jesus’ ministry. The power of the spirit, the power of God, the “power that was present for Him to heal.” The Greeks were very impressed with the concept of power, so Luke presents it clearly. Though we are spending the next 16 weeks in Luke, perhaps that is enough introductory notes – – –
-The chapter today is the preparation for the arrival of the Savior that happens in ch. 2.
Much goes into the drama of John the Baptist arrival and his family. Father Zechariah/mother Elizabeth were righteous souls who had no child. It’s a very interesting biblical motif that the birth of several vital characters occurs via a barren woman. This is seen in Genesis with the Patriarchs’ wives;. [An amazing ethical theme in action, btw.], Samuel’s mother Hannah also walks out the same story. Here an angel visits and announces about John the Baptist in a powerful monologue. Zechariah questions the angel and is therefore struck mute during the pregnancy. God isn’t being mean here – He doesn’t appreciate being doubted while making such an historical announcement. All the same, Elizabeth then becomes pregnant and it is such a blessing for this godly household.
Six months later Thee Angel Gabriel [!!] visits Mary, a virgin teen girl, who is chosen to deliver the Savior. It too is overwhelming. Mary’s question of “how will this be” gets a blessed response. She was just confirming because she’d never been with a man, wasn’t with a man, wasn’t engaged and, uh, how, uh…???” It’s a valid question that warranted a clear answer. Whereas Zechariah’s question revealed that he was having trouble even believing the angel – and there was punishment for unbelief. Please make special note of Lu. 1:37; “For nothing is impossible with God.” Make a poster (or 10) of this verse and put them around your house. Much of our faith pivots on whether we believe this verse or not!
Mary then goes to Elizabeth and here they are, two mothers pregnant: one with the Savior and the other with the one who will announce the Savior – the joy and faith displayed is marvelous. Mary’s song of worship is what has been labeled “The Magnificat” by ancient Believers. She is truly blessed for being chosen to deliver the Savior. And this isn’t some “way out there” assignment given to Mary. We are called to deliver the Savior too. And there is eternal blessing for us who fulfill this assignment with reverence, obedience, resolve, and faithful focus; just like Mary.
Shortly following, John [the Baptist] is born and named, and the countryside was talking – especially after Zechariah resumed talking! They all sensed God was up to something. Zechariah then sings and prophesies and worships thankfully. Over the next 30 years John would grow; strong in spirit and remain in the desert until his call to preach commenced. Does anyone wonder what is coming next? It couldn’t be more exciting.