Meet Dr. Luke, a physician, an educated man. He was a close friend and companion of Paul. He was a Greek, and the only Gentile author in the New Testament. In addition to his gospel, he wrote the book of Acts. The Gentiles and the Greeks are his target audience as he writes from Rome or Caesarea in AD 60.
Luke paints a portrait of Jesus’ humanity as he takes us from His birth, and the role of John the Baptist, through Jesus’ ministry and to His death and resurrection in 24 chapters. His is the most comprehensive gospel account. I identify with this as I tend to be very detail-oriented (and analytical to a fault). Verses 9:51 through 18:35 provide details not found in any other gospel.
The notes and lessons are primarily from my Life Application Study Bible.
Let’s get started with the first part of Luke 1 (1-25). At times, like now, I will break the chapters into small chunks rather than posting on a whole chapter.
(1-20) Zecheriah, a Jewish priest, is the first to hear of the Messiah’s forthcoming visit, as told to him by the angel Gabriel, who also tells him he will have a son to be named John. (He will become John the Baptist.) At first he doesn’t believe, as his wife Elizabeth is old and past childbearing years. For his unbelief, the angel makes Zecheriah unable to speak until after the baby is born. (Sometimes people might wish an angel would shut me up. I tend to talk too much.)
(23-37) Old lady Elizabeth becomes pregnant soon after Zecheriah’s encounter, and she goes into seclusion for five months. In her sixth month, Gabriel appears to her relative, the virgin Mary, who is engaged to Joseph, a descendant of King David. Mary accepts what he says, that she will give birth to a son to be named Jesus who will reign forever. He has also told her about Elizabeth.
Elizabeth reminds of a miracle story I heard on the Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Aly is a young woman who beat stage 3 breast cancer, but the radiation left her unable to conceive – or so she was told. She and her husband adopted a child. THEN, A MIRACLE. She discovered she was pregnant. But it gets better. The mother of their adopted child was pregnant again and asked if Aly and Josh would adopt her second child who was due the same week as Aly. Now they have 3 young children. Although she is much younger than Elizabeth, the miracle child Aly gave birth to reminds me of Luke 1:36-37 –
36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.
What’s In a Name?
John means “the Lord is gracious”.
Jesus is a Greek form of Joshua, meaning “the Lord saves”.
In my next post I will continue and finish Luke 1.