The Fulfillment of God’s Promise {Luke 1}

12:00 AM



By Mari Sandoval

While doing a bit of research for today’s study I found out that strictly speaking, The Gospel of Luke is anonymous, but Luke the physician and companion of Paul is probably the author of the Gospel by his name ( A.D. 58/60). Luke appears to be a Gentile, and to be writing his gospel to a Gentile Theophilus, who  appears to be man of some position, for he was called most excellent on vs. 3
In his gospel, Luke wants us to know the history of Jesus: the birth and the life, miracles and doctrines of Christ as a part of God’s redemptive plan and purpose. He also tells us about his sources: that even though he was not a witness to all these events, he obtained his information from eye witnesses and “servants of the Word” (v. 2). Luke will focus on details that are not included in the other gospels, to provide us a more “accurate” account of the life and times of our Lord.
- There are thirty-five miracles specifically detailed in the gospels, twenty of which are found in Luke. Of the twenty in Luke, seven are unique to this gospel alone. 

- There are some fifty-one ‘parables’ spoken by Christ. Needless to say, this number is not fixed, since there is much disagreement as to what constitutes a parable. However, of the fifty-one so classified, thirty-five are found in Luke, and nineteen of those are unique to this gospel. (Bible.org)
In vs. 5-24, Luke begins his gospel with the angelic announcement of Gabriel to Zacharias, an elderly priest, that he and his wife Elizabeth  (who were “righteous in the sight of the God” vs.6) will have a son: “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 [which is to seek and submit to the will of God]—in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.”  (AMP) This was foretold  400 years earlier (Mal. 4:5-6) and finally God’s promise was to be fulfilled!

In vs. 26-38 we find the second angelic announcement of Gabriel to Mary: “31 Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and eminent 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 (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”

In my research I found interesting a contrast between the two announcements: 

-Zacharias was a man; Mary was a woman. Zacharias and his wife were elderly; Mary was young. 
Zacharias and Elizabeth were married. Mary was a virgin (engaged to be married); Zacharias doubted the angel’s message, but Mary believed.

In Elizabeth’s sixth month, Gabriel appeared to Mary, announcing to her that she would miraculously bear a child who would be Israel’s Messiah. Her child would be great in the sight of God, and called the “son of the Most High” (v. 32). He would reign forever on the throne of his father David (vs. 32-33).

Mary had a request of the angel Gabriel, too, but her request was not for a sign, but for clarification. Zacharias wanted some kind of proof that he and his wife would have a child in their old age. Mary wanted clarification as to what she was to do, in order to cooperate with the purposes of God, as the angel announced them to her. She wished to learn how her conception would be achieved, since she was a virgin. She was asking for clarification, not confirmation. There is a world of difference between her request and that of Zacharias. Hers came from her faith; the question of Zacharias from his lack of faith.

Gabriel explained to Mary that she would not need to do anything, that the conception in her womb would be the result of God’s miraculous intervention .Therefore, the child will be called the “Son of God” (v. 35). Gabriel encouraged Mary by telling her that her elderly relative, Elizabeth, was in her sixth month of pregnancy! Imagine her surprise and joy!  He then continued: “37 For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” Amen!! Nothing is impossible with God!! Mary gave a beautiful response… given with a heart filled with love and total surrender to our God: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” (v. 38)

Luke gives us a marvelous account of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth (vs.39-59): “ When Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting, her baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him. 42 And she exclaimed loudly, “Blessed [worthy to be praised] are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”  Mary was also filled with the Holy Spirit and expressed the sweetest song of  Praise, “The Magnificat”.

 “Elizabeth, Zacharias, and Mary, while they would have been given no attention by secular historians, are significant to Luke because they played an important role in the appearance and ministry of our Lord. One of the significant statements in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel is “… in the sight of the Lord.” Elizabeth and Zacharias were “righteous in the sight of the God” (1:6). John would be “great in the sight of the Lord” (1:15). Divine history measures the greatness of men in terms of God’s evaluation, not man’s.”  (Bob Deffinbaugh –Bible.org)

Isn’t that amazing? Our God used these faithful people to fulfill His Perfect Plan of Redemption: “… for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. “  (1Chr. 28:9)  He knows each one of us… each one of our hearts and He is willing to use us if we are willing to surrender in trust and obedience to Him!

In vs. 57-80 Luke records the birth of John and all the great facts of such important event:  “Zacharias uttered a prophecy concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah. The gospel brings light with it; in it the day dawns. In John the Baptist it began to break, and increased apace to the perfect day. The gospel is discovering; it shows that about which we were utterly in the dark; it is to give light to those that sit in darkness, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  (M.Henry)  God’s Perfect Plan of redemption for His people: “Because of the tender mercy of our God.” (v.78) Amen, because He loves us!!  I pray for those who are still in darkness, that they may surrender their lives to our God of tender Mercy.

Blessings!

Mari

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