Luke 1:1-38 — The Birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Foretold
Luke 1:39-80 — Mary Visits Elizabeth, The Birth of John the Baptist
Luke 2:1-40 — The Birth of Jesus, The Shepherds and Angels
Luke 2:41-52 — Jesus as a Boy in the Temple
Thoughts about serving others
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One Reply to “Aug 7 — Luke 1-2”
The contrast between th stories of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, and Mary, mother of Jesus, caught my attention this morning. Zechariah “was on duty and he was serving as a priest before God” (Luke 1:8) when the mighty angel Gabriel appears before him. Gabriel tells Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard” (1:13). By saying this, Zechariah should have figured that Gabriel was qualified to announce the birth of John the Baptist, but Zechariah asks for a sign: “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years” (1:18). Ooops! Not the best response Pastor Zech. Do you not remember the story of Abraham and Sarah? Gabriel introduces himself, “I stand in the presence of God” (1:19). This revelation humbles Zechariah and I think he truly realizes his mistake. “And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words” (1:20).
Six months later, Gabriel visits Mary, “a virgin pledge to be married to a man named Joseph” (1:26). Gabriel tells Mary she has been chosen to “conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus” (1:31). Mary asks, “how will this be?” (1:34). She didn’t ask for a sign, just clarification since she was a virgin. Gabriel explains and Mary’s response is amazing: “I am the Lord’s servant…may your word to me be fulfilled.” (1:38).
I’m comforted to see God’s plan was revealed and worked in both cases, so whether my response is one that questions God’s ability or humbly accepts his plan, he will still do what he says. I also find peace in that Gabriel merely sentenced Zechariah to silence for nine months. This gave Zechariah plenty of time to think carefully about his words. When John is born, Zechariah’s song summarizes the thoughts which he could not speak during the pregnancy: “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins” (1:76). This is an amazing thing to say, “forgiveness” of sins refers to a great prophesy. Zechariah’s silent time taught him well. I pray I can listen and hear what God has to say and in turn do his will this day.