1 Since many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 even as they delivered them to us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That you might know the certainty of those things in which you have been instructed.
- Luke was a physician, a Greek Christian who was a close friend and companion of Paul.
- Theophilus means lover of God.
- Luke wrote this book to Gentiles and peoples everywhere to present Christ to them as the perfect man and Divine Savior.
5 In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there was a certain priest named Zachariah, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances from the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child because that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were now advanced in years. 8 And while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the time of incense. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared there to him standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
- Zachariah was a priest doing his month long rotation of service at God’s house. His job was to burn the incense.
- Angels are quite beautiful and startling in appearance.
- Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
12 And when Zachariah saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell on him. 13 But the angel said to him, do not fear, Zachariah: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and will drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will 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.
- This was foretold at the end of the Old Testament, that God would send a herald to prepare God’s people for the coming of earth’s true King.
- Jesus said it was John the Baptist if the people received Him.
- This herald was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb.
- God has given us also His holy spirit.
- Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD
- Matthew 11:14 And if you will receive it, this is Elijah, who was to come.
- John 14:26 But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
18 And Zachariah said to the angel, How will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel that stands in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you, and to show you these glad tidings. 20 And behold, you will be silent and not able to speak until the day that these things are performed, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season.
- Zachariah received a small chastisement for his unbelief.
- Hebrews 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.
- Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
21 And the people waited for Zachariah, and marveled that he delayed so long in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he kept making signs to them, and remained silent. 23 And it came to pass, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and hid herself five months saying, 25 This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days in which he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
- Being barren or without children was a reproach in ancient times.
- It was as if God had not looked on you with favor.
- Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
The Son of the Highest
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in to her and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and pondered in her mind what kind of greeting this was. 30 And the angel said to her, Do not fear, Mary: for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name JESUS. 32 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: 33 And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end. 34 Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you: therefore that holy one who will be born of you will be called the Son of God.
- There is no end to the greatness of our Lord.
- He is the Son of God, the son of the infinite and eternal Maker of the universe.
- His knowledge has no end, His power has no end, His righteousness has no end, His love has no end and His kingdom will have no end.
- Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day I have begotten You.
With God nothing is impossible
36 And behold, your cousin Elizabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word. And the angel departed from her. 39 And Mary arose in those days, and hurried into the hill country, into a city of Judah; 40 And entered into the house of Zachariah, and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, that when Elisabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit: 42 And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And how has it happened that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there will be a performance of those things that were told her from the Lord.
- God fulfills what He says.
- Matthew 5:18 For truthfully I say to you, Until heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle will in no way pass from the law, until all are fulfilled.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on those that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has showed strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted those of low degree. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things; and he has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever. 56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
- How precious our God is to regard the lowly and exalt them.
- Mercy is the Hebrew word ‘chesed’ which means loyal love.
- Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy on her; and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zachariah, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother answered and said, No! He will be called John. 61 And they said to her, None of your relatives are called by this name. 62 And they made signs to his father, as to what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they all marveled. 64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosened, and he spoke and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that lived around them: and all these sayings were spread abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child will this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And his father Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, 68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he said by the mouth of his holy prophets who have been since the world began.
- This was huge; this is the announcement of the Savior that God promised man in Eden when they ate the forbidden fruit and fell into sin and misery (Genesis 3:15).
- The world had waited 4,000 years to hear these words.
Jesus saves us from our enemies
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant to us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest: for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God; by which the dayspring from on high has visited us, 79 to give light to those that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 80 And the child grew, and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts until the day of his showing to Israel.
- Our enemies are Satan and his demons, the fallen angels.
- Since man ate of the forbidden fruit of evil, these enemies seek our destruction.
- All the misery of our lives can be laid at their feet by our choice to follow them.
- Through God’s mercy at sending us His Son we are saved forever from all of that into a life wonderful beyond imagining—His eternal kingdom with its street of gold, gemstone foundations, gates of pearl where there is great joy with nothing bad—no sickness, loneliness, poverty, war, famine, heartache or death.
- 1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
1 And in those days a command went out from Caesar Augustus for all the world to be registered. 2 (this registering was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 So all went to be taxed/registered, every one to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be registered with Mary his betrothed wife, being great with child. 6 And while they were there, the days were fulfilled for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
- This was earth’s most astounding day, earth’s most astounding event so far--the Maker of the universe, born into human flesh (John 1:3).
8 And there were in the same country shepherds staying in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were greatly afraid.
- Ezekiel 1: 26-29 describes the glory of the Lord as a brilliant, fiery amber form of a man radiating rainbows of light.
God fulfilled His promise to send mankind a Savior to rescue us from sin, sickness, disasters, sorrow, pain, and death
10 And the angel said to them, Do not fear: for behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign to you; You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels went away from them into heaven, the men, the shepherds said one to another, Let’s go now to Bethlehem, and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. 16 And they hurried and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
- Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law
- Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you he will come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
- Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin will be with child, and will bring forth a son, and they will call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying that was told them concerning this child. 18 And all those that heard it marveled at those things that were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as was told to them. 21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
- The name Jesus means deliverer.
- Doesn’t the world need a deliverer from all its suffering and disasters?
- Don’t we need a deliverer from all our troubles and miseries?
22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb will be called holy to the Lord;) 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 25 And watch this, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 And it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word: 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 that you have prepared before the face of all people; 32 a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.
- 1John 1:5 God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
- John 8:12 Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
33 And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things that were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which will be spoken against; 35 (Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
- John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and instantly came out blood and water.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she had been a widow about 84 years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she came at that very hour giving thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
- 4,000 Biblically recorded years can be counted from creation to Jesus’ birth.
- The Bible contains 330 prophecies about the Messiah that were all fulfilled at this birth.
- Pete W. Stone, a professor of science and mathematics at Westmont College, Calif., calculated the mathematical probabilities of these prophecies being fulfilled by coincidence.
- For merely 8 of the 330 prophecies to be fulfilled by coincidence the odds are 10 to the 17th power.
- For 48 of the 330 prophecies the odds that it could be a coincidence are 10 to the 158th power. Which would be the same as covering Texas with silver dollars 2 feet deep and then marking one of them with a red X with only one chance to reach down one time to get the one with the red x on it.
Jesus astonished, even as a child
The grace of God was on Him
40 And the child grew, and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was on him. 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother did not know it. 44 But they, supposing he was in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 And when they did not find him, they turned back to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
- At 12 years old, the human boy Jesus knew and understood more than the greatest minds of His day.
- 1John 3:20 God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Child, why did you do this to us? Behold, your father and I have sought you sorrowing. 49 And he said to them, How is it that you sought me? Did you now know that I must be about my Father’s business? 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
- Jesus already knew who His real father was.
- The Son of God became fully human and submitted Himself to God’s ordinances for man.
- Included in those ordinances is for children to be in submission to their parents.
- So Jesus, though He was God in human flesh, submitted Himself to His human parents’ will.
- It was the Heavenly Father’s will for Him to do this.
- His Father’s business is to save mankind.
- Matthew 3:15 … it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.
- Psalm74:12 God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
SUMMARY: Luke 1-2
- The Son of the Highest
- With God nothing is impossible
- Jesus saves us from our enemies
- God fulfilled His promise to send mankind a Savior to rescue us from sin, sorrow, sickness, disasters, pain, and death
- Jesus astounded even as a child
- The grace of God was on Him