Read Luke 1
Luke lays groundwork for non-Jews to understand the Truth about Jesus (Luke 1:4). Birth of John the Baptist foretold (1:5-25). Birth of Jesus foretold (1:26-45). John born (1:57-66); his mission (1:67-79), his growth (1:80). Angel declares Jesus Son of the Highest and Son of God (1:32,35). Mary divinely blessed (1:46-48).
Jesus would have had the sinful nature of Adam if Joseph had been His biological father. This would have made Jesus a sinner like all mankind and, thus, unable to be the sinless substitute for our sins. But Gabriel, the angelic messenger of Good News, came to Mary and said: Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. . . . behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His Name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest . . .. the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee . . . that Holy Thing (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:28,31-32,35).
Luke records that Mary was deeply troubled at his saying (1:29). Joseph also was troubled when he learned Mary was pregnant and contemplated a private divorce. The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS ("Jesus" in Hebrew is the same as "Joshua" meaning "Jehovah (Yahweh) is salvation"): for He shall save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:20-21). How comforting this must have been to Mary. Instead of living under suspicion, there was a miraculous confirmation to Joseph of her virginity.
About 700 years before, Isaiah foretold: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel (God With Us). . . . unto us a Child is born . . . the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Is. 7:14; 9:6). Jesus' birth revealed His unique nature as both God and Man.
The prophet Micah had foretold that the Messiah, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Mic. 5:2), would be born in Bethlehem of Judah. This small town, about six miles south of Jerusalem, was called the city of David, for that is where David was born.
Zacharias . . . prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people (Luke 1:67-68).
Thought for Today:
Be not a terror unto me: Thou art my hope in the day of evil (Jer. 17:17).
1:40 saluted greeted, embraced; 1:46 magnify exalt, praise; 1:54 holpen helped.
For Luke 1:17: See Mal. 4:5-6. Luke 1:50: See Ps. 103:17. Luke 1:53: See Ps. 107:9. Luke 1:71: See Ps. 106:10. Luke 1:76: See Mal. 3:1. Luke 1:79: See Is. 9:1-2; 59:8.
Pray for Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Officials: Sec. Hilda Solis (Dept. of Labor) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) • Country: El Salvador (5.9 million) in Central America • Major language: Spanish • Some intolerance of Protestants by government officials • 75% Catholic; 20% Protestant; .5% Baha'i; 2.5% Other; 2% None • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for courage to praise the Lord before unbelievers (Ps. 96:3-5).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:34