The Purpose of the Gospel Unfolds

Nat Wyeth, an engineer and inventor, told about his brother, artist Andrew Wyeth. He said Andy did a picture of Lafayette’s quarters near Chadds Ford, Pa., with a sycamore tree behind the building. “When I first saw the painting, he wasn’t finished with it. He showed me a … More

Preparation

We find that Luke was a very careful and conscientious investigator as he wrote this book. He tells Jesus story from the prospective of a Gentile physician. He sought out those who had known the Lord Jesus personally and learned the facts from their own lips  (vv. 1-4). There were probably hundreds if not thousands still alive who had personally heard Jesus teach and had seen Him perform miracles just thirty years previously. He was, of course, inspired by God, but the spirit of God led him to make use of all reliable sources of information. I can picture him going to Palestine, seeking out the still living  friends of Jesus, interviewing them and learning first-hand many facts concerning the Lord’s word and ways that others were not led to put on record.

In this passage we find interesting facts concerning Zacharias and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist (vv. 5-7). Only Luke recounts the birth announcement by Gabriel to Zacharias and  Elisabeth. This was during the days of Herod the Great who was a descendant of Esau (v. 5). Luke goes back farther than the other Gospel writers, telling the very first in the chain of marvelous happenings which gave the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist. This husband and wife were truly godly people and, as far as was humanly possible, they kept the Old Testament law (v. 6). Unlike the religious leaders who Jesus called hypocrites, Zacharias and Elisabeth did not stop with the letter of the law. Their obedience was from the heart and that is why they are called, “righteous before God.” This couple, like Abraham and Sarah of old had matured to old age without having a child of their own (v. 7).

Application

I learned in this passage how God used the parents of John the Baptist to “prepare the way” for Jesus. What am I doing to “prepare the way” for generations to come? What I have been able to accomplish for my Lord while on this earth will be reflected in my children and grandchildren.

Luke 1:1-7 (English Standard Version)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

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