Our Pastor is going through the book of Luke. We’re now in Chapter 10, but I want to circle back and capture some of the keys points that have stood out to me as we have spent many weeks in this book thus far.
“ Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught” Lk 1:1-4
That is quite the objective – “that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught”. Ah, “truth” something we are in desperate need of in this day and age of media spin. Interestingly, Luke does not promise all truth, just truth based on what he has seen and investigated. Perhaps a standard we should adopt when relating: stories, posts, memes or tweets, what do I know personally, what have I investigated. In examining the scripture, there is always an application for each of us, a promise to cling to, a sin to shun, a godly character trait to pursue, or a prayer we should make our own.
Now the story begins in earnest, here are the players:
“there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.” Lk 1:5,6
After 400 years of silence, – no new prophets in Israel – God is about to cleave human history with the birth of His one and only Son, history would be known as B.C. “Before Christ” and A.D. “Anno Domini” “the Year of the Lord”. Christ’s parents are Mary and Joseph and we’ll look at them in a moment. Zacharias and Elizabeth are the parents of John the Baptist as Luke explains – the angel said to Zacharias you will have a son – his name is to be John and…
“… he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. 16 “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Lk 1:15b-17
Yet Zacharias was not believing the angel, so he was struck mute – till the boys naming and dedication. Elizabeth became pregnant and six months later this same angel that had visited Zacharias, Gabriel would visit a maiden in Nazareth – Mary.
And now, the main event, the angel Gabriel said to Mary: “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
Mary would visit Elizabeth, a census would be called that would necessitate travel to Bethlehem. Then she would give birth, I’ll let Luke tell it.
“ …and she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest,And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” Lk 2:7-20
There it is History punctuated, the world would never be the same ever again for the God of creation would inhabit this small globe and reveal Himself to people through face to face interactions. A select few would get to see and experience Him, yet all are called to recognize Him for who He was/is, we are called to believe this truth as laid out by Luke.