The Gospel of Luke was crafted with great care. The author begins by explaining how and why he wrote. Luke had done careful research. Almost 30 percent of his content is unique, not presented in the other gospel accounts. You’ll also find that Luke documented Jesus’ life in an “orderly” way—not always chronologically, sometimes topically or logically.
Luke addresses a man named Theophilus, likely a Gentile convert, to strengthen Theophilus’s faith, to assure him that “the things you have been taught” were true (v. 4). Luke begins his record with a priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. They were “righteous in the sight of God” (v. 6). Elizabeth was barren, and they were both old. But as with previous pregnancies of formerly- barren women (Sarai, Genesis 15; Rebekah, Genesis 25; Rachel, Genesis 30; Hannah, 1 Samuel 1–2), this conception was an act of God. The angel Gabriel came to Zechariah at a pivotal moment in his priestly career. This was likely the only time that Zechariah would have been chosen by lot to place the incense on the altar. This was a holy time of offering, a moment to recognize the human need for cleansing.
When the angel appeared, Zechariah understandably responded with terror. The angel made a clear and joyful announcement of the coming miraculous birth. This child had been chosen by God for a special work. He would turn people’s attention back to God and prepare them for salvation.
When Zechariah questioned the announcement, the angel rendered him mute. But when Elizabeth did become pregnant, she gave glory to God. “The Lord has done this for me” (v. 25). While her baby’s ministry would be very public, the blessing of his birth was also personal.
>> May God use this study to strengthen your faith. As we reflect on Luke’s Gospel, we will be assured once again that the “things [we] have been taught” are true!
We praise Your holy name that we should live in the New Covenant, saved by the works of Your Son! The gospel is our salvation, a tale of Your faithfulness, love, and triumph. As we study this month, we worship You!