42-BSG-1 (Luke 1)

Bible Study Guide.
Luke 1
March 11, 2018
42-BSG-1

Prayer: Father, we thank You for the Bible. We invite Your Spirit to teach us the richness of Your Truth in this chapter. Forgive us Lord we pray. Prepare us for Thy kingdom. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Chapter Overview
Characters: Holy Spirit, Luke, Theophilus, Herod, Zecharias, Elizabeth, Gabriel, Elias, Joseph, Mary, Abraham, John.
Key Words/ phrases: “Do not be afraid” Lk 1:30; You shall “bring forth a Son,” Lk 1:31
Strong Verses: Lk 1:31, 32, 35, 37, 78, 79.

Biblical People/Groups:
[1] Zechariah (John’s father), Lk 1:5-9, 11-14, 18-24, 40, 59, 62-65, 67, 69
[2] Elizabeth, Lk 1:5-7, 13, 15, 18, 24-25, 36, 38, 40-44, 56-61.
[3] Mary (mother of Jesus), Lk 1:27-31, 34-36, 39-49, 56.

Biblical Places:
[1] Nazareth, Lk 1:26,
[2] Judea, Lk 1:5, 65
[3] Kingdom of Judah, Lk 1:39

Biblical Things:
[1] Stomach, Lk 1;15, 31, 41-42, 44
[2] Hose, Permanent dwelling, Building, Lk 1:23, 27, 33,40,56,69
[3] Incense, Lk 1;10-11.

Biblical Events:
[1] Gabriel appears to Zechariah in the Temple, Lk 1:8-23
[2] Gabriel appears to Mary, Lk 1:26-38
[3] Mary visits Elizabeth, Lk 1:39-55
[4] Mary stays with Elizabeth, Lk 1:56
[5] John the Baptist is born, Lk 1:57-58
[6] John the Baptist is circumcised, Lk 1:59-80

Summary of Main Points:
[1] The preface, and dedication to Theophilus, Lk 1:1-4.
[2] An account of Zacharias and Elisabeth, Lk 1:5-7.
[3] The angel Gabriel appears to Zacharias in the temple, and promises him a son in his old age, who would be singularly eminent and useful, Lk 1:8-17.
[4] Zacharias is chastised for unbelief, by being struck dumb, Lk 1:18-23.
[5] Elisabeth conceives, and hides herself, Lk 1:24, 25.
[7] The angel appears to the virgin Mary; and assures her that she should become the mother of the Messiah, the King of Israel, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Lk 1:26-33.
[8] Mary’s humble faith and acquiescence, Lk 1:34-38.
[9] Mary visits Elisabeth, and is saluted by her: she prophesies, and praises God, Lk 1:39-56.
[10] The birth, circumcision, and naming of John the Baptist, Lk 1:57-63.
[11] Zacharias, restored to the use of speech, and prophetically praises God, Lk 1:64-79.
[12] The manner in which John spent his youth, Lk 1:80.


SECTION I: BIBLICAL THEMES (LUKE 1)

Luke 1:1–4
Word of God (the Bible) → Authority, Authorship → Luke-Acts
Word of God (the Bible) → Purposes → Individual writers or books → Luke

Luke 1:5–10
Jesus Christ: Information About Him → Preparations for ministry → Announcement by forerunner (John the Baptist)

Luke 1:12
Barrenness → Miraculously removed: Elisabeth
God’s Acts in Fulfilling His Purposes → Commissions servants to do His work → John the Baptist

Luke 1:13, 30, 65.
Human fear in the presence of God—this response is normal and appropriate when confronted with the mighty work of God

Luke 1:15
God’s Acts in Fulfilling His Purposes → Commissions servants to do His work → John the Baptist
Prophecy, Clear (Non-Apocalyptic) → John the Baptist → To be Filled with the Holy Spirit

Luke 1:16-17
Prophecy, Clear (Non-Apocalyptic) → John the Baptist → Will Turn many to God

The Mission of John the Baptist → Repentance (Mk 1:16, Lk 3:3, Mt 3:1, Mk 1:4)

God: Names, Titles, Descriptions, Status → Lord (when used for “God”) → In the NT (Kyrios: only occurrences in which the word is clearly refers to the first person of the Trinity) → Lord with God → Lord & God with Possessive pronouns → Lord Their God

Luke 1:20
Mute, dumb, deafness→ Stricken of God (Luke 1:20; Luke 1:64; Exodus 4:11)

Luke 1:26-33
Gabriel Announces Christ’s Birth

Prophecy, Fulfilled → Israel (All Israel) → Promises → Become again Messiah’s own people, the nation in which He would be born

God’s Acts in Fulfilling His Purposes → Commissions servants to do His work → Mary

Prayer → Subjects of Prayer in the Bible → Praise to God for What He Does or Did → Praise because He → Gave, gives → Jesus (to Israel and to the world)

Jesus Christ: Information About Him → Nature, Attributes, Qualities → Manifested before resurrection → Human → Seen as human in his Birth: “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” (Luke 1:32, NKJV)

Luke 1:32
Prayer → Subjects of Prayer in the Bible → Praise to God for What He Does or Did → Praise because He gave, gives Jesus (to Israel and to the world)

God: Names, Titles, Descriptions, Status → The Most High → In NT (hypsistos)

Prophecy → Messiah, Christ → General predictions independent of time → Descent → Son of David; → Also Son of God

Prophecy → Messiah, Christ — Predictions → After His return — He will reign, rule over Israel

Luke 1:35
Jesus Christ: Information About Him → Relationships with God The Father → He was Identified as His Son

Jesus Christ: Information About Him → Relationships → Holy Spirit → Effectuated His incarnation

Jesus Christ: Information About Him → Titles, Names, Status → Holy One

Luke 1:37
God: Non-Moral Attributes → Limitlessness in Power (Omnipotence, Greater than any other)

Luke 1:50
God: Moral Attributes → Compassion, Mercy

Luke 1:51-53
Sins (Specific Sins) → Sins Directly Against Self → Pride, conceit, gloating, haughtiness, disdain; desire for distinction or praise.

God: Acts → God’s Acts in Fulfilling His Purposes → Intervenes directly in nature & in human affairs in order to accomplish His purposes

Luke 1:54–55
Prayer → Subjects of Prayer in the Bible → Praise to God’s for what He is → Merciful, compassionate

Luke 1:67–69
Holy Spirit → Interaction with Believers → Filling of the Holy Spirit for special purposes.

Luke 1:78
God: Acts → God’s Acts in Fulfilling His Purposes → Commissions servants to do His work → John the Baptist

Jesus Christ: Information About Him → Titles, Names, Status → The Rising Sun (AV: Dayspring)


 

SECTION II: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS.

[1] To what man was Luke writing? Theophilus (Lk 1:3).

[2] What was Zacharias? A priest (Lk 1:5).

[3] What was the name of the wife of Zacharias? Elizabeth (Lk 1:5).

[4] What message came to Zacharias the priest while in the temple? The promise that he should have a son, whose name should be called John. (Lk 1:13).

[5] Who was this son? He was afterwards called John the Baptist.

[6] What was his work to be? To prepare the way for Jesus, the Christ. Luke 1:17.

[7] What was the angel’s name that spoke to Zacharias? Gabriel (Lk 1:19).

[8] Did Zacharias believe at once? No; and the angel messenger told him therefore that he should be dumb until the promise was fulfilled. Luke 1:18–20.

[9] What could Zacharias not do until his son was born? Speak (Lk 1:20).

[10] What angel was sent to Mary about Jesus’ birth? Gabriel (Lk 1:26).

[11] Where did Mary live when the angel visited her? Nazareth (Lk 1:26).

[12] To whom was Mary espoused? Joseph (Lk 1:27).

[13] Whom did Mary visit after the angel’s announcement? Zacharias and Elizabeth (Lk 1:39, 40).

[14] What was the name given to the son born to Elizabeth? John (Lk 1:60, 63).

[15] What wonderful song did Zacharias sing after the birth of John? “The Benedictus.” Luke 1:68–79.

[16] To what other person was the same angel sent? To Mary of Nazareth. Luke 1:26. Compare Luke 1:19.

[17] What message was brought to her? That she should have a son whom she should name Jesus; that he should save his people from their sins, and rule over the kingdom of David forever. Luke 1:30–33; Matt. 1:21.

[18] What wonderful song did Mary sing? “The Magnificat.” Luke 1:46–55.


 

SECTION III: COMMENTARY ON SELECTED ITEMS.

Who was Luke?

“The apostle Paul referred to Luke as a physician (Col. 4:14). Luke’s interest in medical phenomena is evident in the high profile he gave to Jesus’ healing ministry (e.g., Lk 4:38–40; 5:15–25; 6:17–19; 7:11–15; 8:43–47, 49–56; 9:2, 6, 11; 13:11–13; 14:2–4; 17:12–14; 22:50, 51). In Luke’s day, physicians did not have a unique vocabulary of technical medical terminology; so when Luke discusses healings and other medical issues, his language is not markedly different from that of the other gospel writers.” (John MacArthur, The Macarthur Bible Handbook, p. 327)

Luke was a companion of Paul (Acts 16:10-11; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24) and Paul called him the beloved physician (Colossians 4:14). Because Luke was a doctor, he was a man of science and research, and this in reflected in his history of the life of Jesus.

By every indication, Luke was a Gentile. Colossians 4:10-11 and 4:14 show that he wasn’t Jewish, because he is not included in the group who are of the circumcision. This makes Luke unique in that he is the only New Testament writer who was a Gentile.

God gave this lone Gentile writer a great privilege. Because he also wrote the book of Acts (which makes up the second volume of this Gospel), Luke wrote more of the New Testament than any other human writer did.

Commandments and Ordinances.
“And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” (Luke 1:6, NKJV)
In the days of Zacharias and Elisabeth this meant living in harmony with both the moral law and the law of Moses.

“Since all men “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23; see also 1 John 3:4), all stand in need of someone to “deliver” them from death, the penalty of disobedience (Rom. 6:23; 7:24). The Deliverer is none other than Christ Jesus (chs. 7:25 to 8:4). But until the Saviour came into the world, God ordained a system of sacrifices (Heb. 9:1), which He “imposed on them until the time of reformation,” that is, until Christ should enter upon His priestly ministry (vs. 10, 11). In other words, Zacharias and Elisabeth purposed to obey God, sought salvation through the means provided, and as a result were accounted “righteous before God.”” (SDA BC 5/ Luke 1)


SECTION IV: STRIKING FACTS/ TRUTH TO BELIEVE.

[1] “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” (Luke 1:15a, NKJV) “ In the estimation of Heaven it is not wealth, rank, noble descent, or intellectual gifts that constitute greatness. God values moral worth and prizes the attributes of love and purity. John was great “in the sight of the Lord” (see Matt. 11:11) in contrast with Herod, “great” in the sight of men who crave rank, wealth, and power. John was a great servant of his fellow men; Herod was a great tyrant over them. John lived for others; Herod lived for self alone. John was great in the same way that Elijah was great, in turning “many of the children of Israel … to the Lord their God” (Luke 1:16). Herod was great in the same way that Nimrod was great (see on Gen. 10:9–12), in leading men to doubt and oppose God (Gen. 10:9, 10; see ch. 11:2–4)” (SDA BC 5/ Luke 1)

[2] “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” (Luke 1:16, NKJV) “John’s baptism was a “baptism of repentance” (see Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24; 19:4). Repentance, or turning from sin, was the keynote of his message. Men must repent if they would be “prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17) and if they would enter His kingdom (see Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7). John’s work was to persuade men to forsake their sins and to urge them to seek the Lord their God. This was the work that Elijah accomplished (see on 1 Kings 18:37). The OT narrative closes (see Mal. 3:1; 4:5, 6), and the NT narrative opens, on the theme of “the children of Israel” turning “to the Lord their God” (SDA BC 5/ Luke 1)

[3] The spirit and power of Elias. “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”” (Luke 1:17, NKJV)

The dauntless courage of Elijah in days of apostasy and crisis (see 1 Kings 17:1; 18:1–19, 36–40) had made the prophet a symbol of thoroughgoing reformation and loyalty to God. A similar work was now needed in order to turn the hearts of men to the faith of their fathers (see John 8:56; 1 Peter 1:10, 11). The work of John the Baptist as the forerunner of the Messiah had been made a matter of prophetic record (see Isa. 40:1–11; Mal. 3:1; 4:5, 6), as those who studied the Scriptures knew. Even the scribes recognized that “Elias must first come” before the coming of the Messiah (Matt. 17:10; Mark 9:11, 12). His message was one of reform and repentance (see Matt. 3:1–10). John resembled Elijah, not only in the work he was to do and in the fearlessness with which he was to proclaim truth (see 1 Kings 21:17–24; Matt. 3:7–10), but even in his manner of life and in his general appearance (see Matt. 3:4; see on 2 Kings 1:8). Both prophets suffered persecution (see 1 Kings 18:10; 19:2; Matt. 14:10).

Prophecies concerning the forerunner of the Messiah were so strikingly fulfilled in John the Baptist that the common people and also their leaders recognized the resemblance of John to Elijah (see John 1:19–21). Even after the death of John the priests, scribes, and elders did not dare deny that John was a prophet (Matt. 21:24–27; Mark 11:29–33; Luke 20:3–7). Nor did the heartless Herod dare take the life of John until circumstances seemingly drove him to do so (Matt. 14:3–11; Mark. 6:17–28; DA 222). John denied that he was Elijah in person (John 1:21), but Jesus affirmed that John came in fulfillment of the prophecies of the coming of Elijah (Matt. 11:9–14; 17:10–13). This fact was fully understood by the disciples (Matt. 17:13).

The very work accomplished by Elijah and John the Baptist is needed today. In these days of moral corruption and spiritual blindness there is need of voices that will fearlessly proclaim the coming of the Lord to the people of earth. The call of this hour is for men and women who will order their lives as did John and Elijah of old, and who will call upon others to do the same. There is needed a work of earnest reform, not only without the church, but within it as well. God calls upon all who would love and serve Him to go forth “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (3T 61, 62). (SDA BC 5/ Luke 1)

[4] Highly favoured. Literally, “endowed with grace.”

“And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”” (Luke 1:28, NKJV)

This expression designates Mary as the recipient of divine favor, or grace, not the dispenser of it. The Latin phrase, plena gratia, of the Vulgate, is rendered “full of grace” by Wyclif, Tyndale, and by various Catholic translations. But this phrase does violence to the statement of the angel if taken to imply that Mary was henceforth to be a dispenser of divine grace rather than a recipient of it. Gabriel did not endow her with personal merit to bestow upon others. That the angel bestowed upon Mary nothing more than is available to all Christian believers is clear from the use of the same Greek word in Eph. 1:6, where Paul states that “he [the Father] hath made us accepted” (literally, “he endowed us with grace”) in Christ—not in Mary, significantly. Mary was “highly favoured” only, as the angel explains, because the Lord was with her She had “found favour with God” (Luke 1:30) and was, literally, “endowed with grace.”

Mary is nowhere called “blessed” except by Elisabeth (Lk 1: 42) and by an unnamed woman (Lk 11:27), and to the statement of the latter Jesus personally took exception (Lk 1:28). He ever treated His mother with courtesy and consideration (see on John 2:4), but never exalted her above others who heard and believed in Him (Matt. 12:48, 49). At the cross He did not refer to her as the “Mother of God,” or even as “mother”—He simply addressed her as “woman,” a title of respect (see on John 19:26). Neither Paul nor any other NT writer attributes to her any extraordinary merit, or influence with God.

The Catholic exaltation of Mary has no basis in Scripture, but is founded entirely upon the fantastic legends of the apocryphal gospels, which even Catholics themselves deny a place in the sacred canon. In the early Christian centuries these legends were combined with pagan myths concerning the Oriental “queen of heaven” (see Jer. 7:18; 44:17, 18; etc.), consort of the gods, and the Magna Mater, or Great Mother, of Asia Minor. The Catholic concept of Mary as the “Mother of God” is basically little more than this pagan female deity clad in Christian terminology, made dogma at the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431. Ephesus, incidentally, was the home of Diana, Gr. Artemis; not, however, the Greek virgin goddess Artemis, but an Asiatic mother goddess sometimes identified with the “Great Mother.” According to tradition, Mary spent her last years at Ephesus, in the home of the apostle John.

The words of the angel’s salutation have been perverted by the Catholic Church into a prayer addressed to Mary as an intercessor. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, it is composed of the angel’s words (1), with the addition (before 1184) of the opening words of Elisabeth’s inspired greeting to Mary found in v. 42 (2), and the further addition (by 1493) of a plea for prayer (3), and a still later addition (4), made by 1495, and included in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, with the entire form officially recognized in the Roman Breviary of 1568. Thus artificially constructed, the Ave Maria reads as follows:
[1] “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
[2] blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
[3] Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
[4] now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” (SDA BC 5/ Luke 1:28)


 

SECTION IV: APPLICATION.

What must I do with this chapter? In order to answer this question, we are going to examine the following application questions, one item at a time.

GOD’S CHARACTER

[1] God is Omnipotent.
[2] God is Merciful.

[3] God is All-Knowing.
[4] God is Perfect.

SIN TO AVOID/ CONFESS

Zechariah’s distrust: “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”” (Luke 1:20, NKJV)

Compare: Lk 1:22, 62, 63. Ex 4:11. Ezk 3:26. 24:27.

“Dumb. Siopon, “silent;” for in this case, though there was no natural imperfection or debility of the organs of speech, as in dumbness, yet thou shalt not be able to speak. This was at once a proof of the severity and mercy of God: of severity, in condemning him to nine months’ silence for his unbelief; of mercy, in rendering his punishment temporary, and the means of making others rejoice in the events predicted.” (Jerome H. Smith, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Luke 1:20)

 

ATTITUDE TO CULTIVATE

[1] Persistence in prayer.
“But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” (Luke 1:13, NKJV)

Acceptable prayer defined.
Prayer is the offering of our sincere desires to God. It involves a sense of our unworthiness and necessities.
(a) Penitence (Psalms 51:17).
(b) Faith (Hebrews 11:6).
(c) Sincerity (Jeremiah 29:13).
(d) Fervency (James 1:16).
(e) Love (1 Timothy 2:8).
(f) Delight in God (Isaiah 25:9).
(g) Perseverance (Ephesians 6:18).
(h) Humble submission to God’s will (Micah 7:7).
(i) In the name of Christ (Ephesians 3:12).
(j) With confession of our sins (1 John 1:9).

Jewish prayers were chiefly praise and benedictions. Always answered, but in God’s sovereign way. (W. H. Van Doren, D. D.)

COMMAND(S) TO OBEY

[1] Do not be afraid, Lk 1:13. This is a common heavenly greeting and message of reassurance found throughout the Bible (e.g., Lk 1:30; 2:10; Judg 6:23; Dan 10:12; Rev 1:17).

[2] Fear Not: Compare Lk 2:10. 5:10. 8:50. 12:7, 32. 24:36-40. Gen 15:1. 19:30. Josh 8:1. Judg 6:23. Is 43:1, 5. 44:2. Jer 46:27, 28. Dan 10:12. Mt 28:5. Mk 16:6.

PRAISE/ THANKSGIVING

“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”” (Luke 1:33, NKJV)

[1] Jesus Christ shall reign forever.
Compare: Psa. 45:6. 89:35-37. Isa 24:23. Dan 2:44. 7:13-14, 27. Micah 4:7. 1 Cor 15:24, 25. Heb 1:8. Re 11:15. 20:4-6. 22:3-5.

[2] Christ’s kingdom shall have no end.
Da 2:44. 7:14, 18, 27. Mi 4:7. Jn 12:34. 1 Col 15:24-28. 2 Tim 4:1. Heb 1:8. Re 11:15.

Psalm 45:6, 7. 145:13. Dan 7:14. Mic 4:7. 1 Col 15:25. 1 Tim 1:17. 2 Tim 4:18. He 12:28. 1 P 4:11. 2 P 1:11. Re 1:6. 11:15. 22:3, 5.

[3] Jesus Christ ability to save.
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” (Luke 1:31, NKJV)

Note:
(a) He “saves” by taking all the sins of His people upon Himself.
(b) He “saves” His people by bearing the penalty due to their sins.
(c) He “saves” by driving out the vipers of sin from the heart, and implanting in their stead fresh and holy thoughts, objects, ambitions, and motives.

[4] The Name “Jesus” (Luke 1:31b, NKJV)
This name is Christ’s personal name for ever.
(a) It is a home name. Given Him by His own mother.
(b) It is a heart name. Full of the music of love-moving our affections and firing our souls.
(c) It was His death name. Written over the cross.
(d) It is His resurrection name.
(e) It is His gospel name.
(f) It is His heaven name.

[5] Signification of the name Jesus Christ.
It means Savior.

Salvation is the beginning and end of revelation. It is the substance of gospel truth.
(a) Jesus gives us Light.
(b) Jesus gives us Life.
(c) Jesus gives us Liberty.
(d) Jesus gives us Pardon.
(e) Jesus gives us Sanctification.
(f) Jesus gives us Comfort.
(g) Jesus gives us Peace.
(h) Jesus gives us Hope.
(i) Jesus gives us Victory.
(j) Jesus gives us Triumph.
Christ was and still is the Savior. He is what this World needs. He is the Christos.

This name identifies Him with His people. The name declares His relation to them. It is to them that He is a Savior (Matthew 1:21).

Remember to praise and worship Him now, because the Bible says: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10–11, NKJV)

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DAILY LIFE

[1] Obedience to God, His Word, commands, and His law. (Lk 1:38)

[2] Willingness to live or die according to His will, walking in His ways. (Lk 1:38)

[3] Jesus: Teachings (by Precept or Example) → Servanthood: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! (Lk 1:38)

[4] Relations with God, Christ, the Holy Spirit — The Upward Dimension → Personal relations, interaction with God → Joy in God, in Christ: “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:47, NKJV)

[5] Character — The Inward Dimension → Humility, humbleness; honesty in way of life, not pretending to be what one is not: “For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48, NKJV)

[6] The Upward Dimension → Personal relations, interaction with God → Expressing gratitude to God: “And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord,” (Luke 1:46, NKJV) “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.” (Luke 1:49, NKJV)

EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW

That you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” (Luke 1:4, NKJV) God wants us to know that the Bible teaches truth and can be trusted in all that it declares. The Gospels are not a collection of religious fairy tales. They are parts of the only written source of eternal truth, God’s Word.

PROMISE TO CLAIM

[1] God will hear our Prayers.
“But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” (Luke 1:13, NKJV)

Compare: Gen 25:20-21. 30:22, 23. 1 Sam 1:9-11, 20-23. Ps 118:21. Acts 10:4, 31.

Note:
The answer to Zachariah’s prayer was–
(a) Earnestly desired.
(b) Long delayed.
(c) Promised in a surprising manner.
(d) Incredulously waited for.
(e) Gloriously granted.

[2] “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37, NKJV) We can trust God even in the most difficult of circumstances because no problem is too tough for Him to handle and no challenge is beyond His power to overcome. He has the ability to do what He says He will do.

DEVOTIONAL NUGGET:

“But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” (Luke 1:13, NKJV)

Fear Not. “Often the first words of celestial beings when addressing men (Gen. 15:1; 21:17; Luke 1:30; 2:10). The agencies of heaven are constantly at work to remove fear from the hearts of consecrated men and women (see Heb. 1:14; 2:15) and to substitute for it “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Perfect understanding of God and love for Him remove all fear from the human heart (see Matt. 6:30–34; 1 John 4:18).” (SDA BC 5/ Luke 1)

CONCLUSION:

The Ministry of John the Baptist: Preparing a people for the Kingdom.

“He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”” (Luke 1:17, NKJV)

“The people of Noah’s day were not prepared for the Flood (Lk. 17:27), nor were the people of Sodom for the destruction that overtook that city. The children of Israel who left Egypt were not prepared to enter the Promised Land (Heb. 3:19). The people of Christ’s day were not prepared to meet Him, and therefore “received him not” (see John 1:11). However, owing largely to the ministry of John the Baptist, there were some who were ready to receive Him. We are likewise counseled to be “ready” (Matt. 24:44), for it is those who are “ready” that will go in with Christ to the marriage (Matt. 25:10). It is the Christian who keeps the hope of our Lord’s return burning brightly in his heart who will be “prepared for the Lord” when He comes (see Heb. 9:28; 2 Peter 3:11, 12; 1 John 3:3).” (SDA BC 5/ Luke 1)

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE.

(Would you please hear the Lord’s voice, and be ready)

“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:42–44, NKJV)


 

OUR RESPONSES.

Praise Him! Praise Him!
Author: Fanny J. Crosby
Composer: Chester G. Allen
Tune: Joyful Song (Allen)
Scripture: Job 19:25; Lk 1:68–69; Gal 3:13; Rev 5:9

1
Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! highest archangels in glory,
Strength and honor give to His holy name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children;
In His arms He carries them all day long;

2
Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins, He suffered and bled and died;
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the crucified:
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep, and strong:

3
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever;
Crown Him! crown Him! prophet and priest and King!
Christ is coming, over the world victorious,
Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong:

Chorus

Praise Him! praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness!
Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!

The Gospel’s Voice © 2018