Special Information About
– Luke One –
Luke is the inspired writer of both Luke and Acts. He provided detailed information about Christ and His church to a man named Theophilus. Luke was a physician. (Colossians 4:14) He was a co-worker with Paul. The person to whom these things were written was Theophilus. "Theophilus" means "lover of God." Luke's purpose in writing was clearly stated, "It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." (Luke 1:3-4) Luke could write with such certainty because he was an inspired eyewitness of the things he wrote. Luke points us to Jesus as the true Savior of all humanity. "Savior" is Luke's distinctive title for Jesus. Luke proves beyond doubt that the gospel is for all. He emphasizes the equality of women with men in God's kingdom. He often shows the relationship of the Samaritans with God and in His service. Luke shows us God’s love for both the rich and the poor. The gospel is for all! Luke 19:10 provides a one verse summary of the work of Jesus. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)
Luke's inspired preface for this gospel -- Luke 1:1-4: Many people had taken it upon themselves to try to write a narrative of what God had done among the Jews and during the days of the early church. The gospel of Luke was written around 59 to 62 AD. Others wrote their accounts based on information passed on to them. Luke had a "perfect understanding of all things from the very first." He was inspired by God. He wrote to Theophilus to tell him exactly what took place. Luke wanted Theophilus to understand with certainty the things that had taken place.
The birth of John was announced -- Luke 1:5-25: The birth of both John and Jesus took place while Herod was king of Judea. During this time there was a good man names named Zacharias. He was a priest of the course of Abia. His wife was a descendent of Aaron. Her name was Elisabeth. Both Zacharias and Elizabeth were loving toward God and obedient to Him. They were old and had not been able to have children. On an occasion when Zacharias was fulfilling his priestly duties of burning incense in the temple an angel appeared to him and told him that he and his wife would have a son. The angel also said "you must name him John." It was predicted that John would grow up to be a great servant of the Lord. The angel said, "He shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." His work would be to go before the Lord in the power and spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for the Messiah. Zacharias asked Gabriel how he could know these things were true. He again said that he and Elizabeth were very old. The proof was that Zacharias would not be able to speak until John was born. When Zacharias exited the Temple the people knew that he had seen a vision. Shortly after this he went home and soon Elizabeth was expecting a baby. She hid herself five months. She felt that God had taken away her reproach among the people.
The birth of Jesus was announced -- Luke 1:26-56: A month after the announcement of John's birth God sent Gabriel to Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to a man named Joseph. They were both from the house or family of David. The angel greeted Mary saying, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." The angel told Mary that God was pleased with her and that she would have a male child. He said, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:32-33) Mary reminded the angel that she was not even married. She was told, "The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God's power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God." As proof the angel told her that her cousin Elizabeth was expecting a child and that "Nothing is impossible for God!" Mary simply yielded to God as His humble servant. Soon Mary made a visit to Elizabeth. Mary received additional confirmation from her. "When Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" God blessed Mary, Her child Jesus and the entire world through Him. Mary was blessed because she believed that God would keep His promises. In Luke 1:46-55 we have a great song of praise for God from Mary. "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." (Luke 1:46-55)
The birth and early life of John -- Luke 1:57-80: When Elizabeth's son was born her relatives and neighbors came on the eighth day to circumcise him. They called him Zacharias after the name of his father. They were surprised when Elizabeth said "No, he shall be called John." The people argued that no one in the family was named John. They motioned to Zacharias to find out what he wanted to name his son. He wrote, "His name is John." Immediately after this Zacharias started speaking and praising God. When others heard of this they knew the Lord was with this child. They wondered what he would grow up to be. Immediately when Zacharias began to speak he praised the God of Israel! He understood that these things were related to God giving the world a mighty Savior from the family of David. The coming of the Savior was the fulfillment of the covenant that God had made with Abraham. Our goal must be to serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. John was to be a prophet of God who would prepare the way for the Messiah. John would make known to the people that they could be saved when their sins were forgiven through Jesus. As we look at Jesus God's mercy and grace shines forth like the brightness of the sun. As John grew up, God's Spirit gave him great power. He lived in the desert until the time he was sent to the people of Israel.
The point of Luke's gospel is that no one is a lost cause to Jesus. No matter how sinful you have been, Jesus loves you. He is willing to forgive you. He can then use you to share His love with others. Do you believe in Jesus as Savior? You can enjoy redemption in the blood of the Lamb and also forgiveness and hope because of the Savior preached by John. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (Mark 16:16), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) Life on earth is always better when we have Jesus as Savior and the hereafter with Jesus will be very far better!