Luke begins his introduction by declaring that he has carefully investigated everything from the beginning. Apparently, he didn’t take anyone’s word for it. He was a physician, so he was a man of intelligence.
He was specifically directing the gospel to Theophilus, whose name means “one who loves God.” He was a Roman official of a high office. Even though the book is directed to him, it does not limit its teaching It was written to strengthen the faith of all believers and to answer the attacks of unbelievers. Luke wanted to show that the place of the Gentile Christian in God’s kingdom is based on the teaching of Jesus. Certainly, still relevant today, as all of the Bible is.
Luke also wanted to let the folks know that he had checked out things on his own, and to know for certain what he’s been taught.
He is giving an account of the life of Zechariah, a priest, and his wife Elizabeth, who was a barren woman. He says, “Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.” (Luke 1:6)
This couple was both well along in years. That’s a proper way of saying they were old! Scholars say Elizabeth was beyond childbearing age.
As Zechariah was serving his priestly duties, burning incense, “An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.” (Luke 1: 11)
Zechariah was gripped with fear. “But the angels said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear a son, and you are to give him the name John.” (Luke 1: 13)
Zechariah’s response was a normal response, asking, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1: 18)
Zechariah wanted a sign, to know that this really would happen. It sounded way too good to be true. He just probably didn’t want to be disappointed.
Believing for the impossible takes great faith.
The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.” (Luke 1: 19)
Zechariah says, “I am an old man.” The angel says, “I am Gabriel.”
Zechariah wanted to know for certain that this would be true! He wanted to believe the impossible, to see and know and to believe–just like us.
Gabriel’s response was, “And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.” (Luke 1: 20)
- Believe for the impossible.
- God’s blessings and truth go beyond logic.
Why did Gabriel appear to Zechariah? Why didn’t he appear to Elizabeth? Just saying! That’s the way God wanted it. There are some things that happen that are just the way God wants it–even if it makes no sense at all to us. He chooses when and how to act!
- Father always knows best.
Maybe Zechariah needed to believe the impossible? Maybe Zechariah’s faith needed boosting? This is all speculation, of course, but this visitation left him speechless for months until Elizabeth delivered John the Baptist.
- Never underestimate the power of the spoken word.
For five months she remained in seclusion. What’s that all about? She responded, “The Lord has done this for me.” (Luke 1: 25)
- Know the certainty of the things you’ve been called to.
John the Baptist was called to prepare and make ready a people for the Lord. Go back and read each verse of what Gabriel prophesied about the birth and call of this forerunner for the Lord.
- Our belief or unbelief is the forerunner (precursor) to a promise given and received.
One commentary said this, “Our unbelief in a promise God has given, prevents us from enjoying that promise! It doesn’t nullify God’s word, but it removes the joy which comes with receiving it.”
- Don’t let unbelief, doubt, or logic spoil the surprises of God.
- They are joy killers.
(Shared from Luke 1: 1-25, Modified)
Prepare The Way
Isaiah was told to prepare the road, just like John the Baptist was told to prepare the way. “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Release the obstacles out of the way of my people.” (Isaiah 57: 14)
- Preparing the way may involve removing obstacles.
(Shared from Isaiah 57, Modified)
Watchman Prepare And Give Warning
Ezekiel knew what he had been called to. The Lord said, “I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” (Ezekiel 33; 7) That’s a pretty clear and specific calling.
God shows him the importance of a spoken word and to speak to the house and to the countryman.
- Knowing the certainty of what you’ve been taught and called to, requires obedience and a cost.
Put Into Practice What We’ve Heard
Yes, know the certainty of not only what we’ve been taught, but what we’ve been told. God told Ezekiel, “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice, with their mouths. They express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.” (Ezekiel 33: 31-32)
- We are to put into practice what we have been told.
- We are to know with certainty the things we have been taught, and the keys we have been given, and we are to act on them.
(Shared from Ezekiel 33, Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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