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Bible Pathways 10/20/2002

October 20

Read Luke 1

In Today’s Reading:

Virgin birth of Jesus foretold; Mary's visit to Elizabeth; Mary's praise; birth of John the Baptist.

Jesus would have been born with a sinful nature like 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 angel messenger of Good News, came to Mary and said: [You . . . are] highly favored, the Lord is with [you]. . . . Behold, [you shall] conceive in [your] womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His Name Jesus. He [shall] be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give [to] Him the throne of His father David. . . . The Holy [Spirit] shall come upon [you], and the power of the Highest shall overshadow [you]: therefore also that Holy [One] which shall be born of [you] shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:28,31-32,35).

Luke records that Mary was troubled at his (the angel's) saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be (1:29). Joseph was even more troubled, and contemplated ending his legal engagement to Mary, but . . . the angel of the Lord appeared [to] him in a dream, saying, Joseph . . . son of David, fear not to take [to yourself] Mary [your] wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy [Spirit]. And she shall bring forth a Son, and [you shall] call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 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.

The miracle of the conception of Jesus had been revealed by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before, when he foretold: [The] virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel (God with us). . . . The government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6).

Isaiah spoke of "the one" virgin in the history of mankind who would conceive miraculously by the Holy Spirit, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:23). Jesus' birth showed His unique nature as both God and man.

The prophet Micah foretold that the Messiah, whose goings forth have been . . . from everlasting (Micah 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 had grown up.

Following the birth of John the Baptist, his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit), and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David . . . to remember his holy covenant . . . which he sware to our father Abraham . . . that we . . . might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life (Luke 1:67-75).

Thought for Today: Since the Lord has shown mercy to us -- we should also show mercy to others.

Word Studies:

1:40 saluted = greeted; embraced; 1:46 magnify = exalt, praise; 1:54 holpen = come to the help of.

Cross References:

For Luke 1:17: See Mal. 4:6. Luke 1:50: See Psa. 103:17. Luke 1:53: See Psa. 107:9. Luke 1:71: See Psa. 106:10. Luke 1:76: See Mal. 3:1. Luke 1:79: See Isa. 9:1-2; 59:8.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Robert Borski (PA), Rep. Chris Cannon (UT), Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (IL), and Rep. Hilda Solis (CA) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Barbados (259,000) on the island farthest east in the West Indies · Major language: English · Religious freedom · 79% Protestant; 8% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Avoid hindrances to your prayer life (I Peter 3:7).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 13:2

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