Bible Study Notes on Luke 1:1-25 – 20180507

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Bible Study Notes

Luke 1:1  “…many have taken in hand…”
Wonder how many he had in mind.  We have only three others that are canon.  I would bet on Mark and Matthew.  John may have been written later.

2  “…eyewitnesses and ministers of the word…”
Don’t know how much of what happened was witnessed first hand by Luke, but it is apparent he spoke with many who were first-hand eyewitnesses of the events.  No way to know for sure, but I think it possible those people included some of the apostles themselves.

3  “…having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first…”
Sounds to me like he’s been an eyewitness himself from the very beginning.  Commentaries say the Greek is better translated as having traced events from the beginning.  In that case he wouldn’t have to be an eyewitness if he spoke with eyewitnesses and followed the events step by step.  Another example of the wisdom of God creating the New Testament in Greek instead of English.

4  “…in which you were instructed”
Appears Theophilus was a fellow believer and had been taught the truth.  Won’t get into the speculation of who or what Theophilus may have been.  Enough to say Luke knew him and wanted to give him an account of Christ from the beginning as accurately as possible.

5  “…of the division of Abijah…”
Of the divisions which David set up in 1 Chronicles 24.  He had them cast lots for the order, and Abijah was the eighth.

5  “…wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth”
Zacharias was obviously from the tribe of Levi.  Here we see Elizabeth was also.  Occurred to me the question of how could Mary and Elizabeth be related or cousins.  Older versions say cousin, newer ones relative.  Leaves some leeway, but cousin wouldn’t be out of the question.  Apparently since the Levites didn’t have a land inheritance, they could marry women from other tribes.  Perhaps Elizabeth’s mother was from Judah and a sister to Mary’s mother or father.  Exact connection is speculation, but certainly several options are possible.  Interesting note, it appears the scriptures show the lineage through the male line.  Today, if you want to prove you’re a Jew, it’s easier if you can prove your mother was Jewish rather than your father.  Of course, DNA testing probably equalizes that field now.

8  “…while he was serving as priest before God…”
Not as High Priest, but at one of the other priestly duties.  They apparently had something of a rotation between the divisions.

9  “…his lot fell to burn incense…”
His particular duty this time around.

13  “…for your prayer is heard…”
To have children and especially a son was the prayer of every Jewish couple, to continue the line and heritage.  While it doesn’t mention they had been praying, obviously they had been.  And now the answer was going to come in a very miraculous way and purpose.

15  “…shall drink neither wine nor strong drink…”
Part of the rules of the Nazarite.

15  “…filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb”
Didn’t make him perfect or guarantee he would do as he should.  He had a choice as all do.  Samson was similarly gifted, but he chose to live life his way instead of God’s.  John chose to follow God.

17  “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah…”
I’d forgotten about this connection to Elijah.  While Christ told that John was the fulfillment of the Elijah prophecy, Gabriel did as well.

18-20  “…How shall I know this…you will be mute and not able to speak…because you did not believe my words…”
Honest question given the circumstances.  I suppose our faith should be such that if God sent an angel to speak to us, we should have no problem believing it regardless of the human impossibility of it.  But given human frailty and the fact that God usually chooses to act through earthly channels, it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable question.  However, Gabriel’s reply implies that Zacharia had a bit more than a normal question.  So he provides something physical Zacharia can hold to.

23  “…days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house”
Not sure how they did their service.  Sounds like he stayed at the temple while doing it rather than just going in to work each day so to speak.

24  “…his wife Elizabeth conceived…”
Not immaculate conception.  They were obviously intimate in their older age.  Seems the folks of the scriptures didn’t have a problem being intimate regardless of age.

25  “…to take away my reproach among people”
Women without children felt a reproach, an embarrassment among the people.  Felt like they weren’t adequate since they hadn’t provided a male heir to their husband’s line.  I think it also goes deeper to the core of a woman.  Women carry the children.  It’s a distinctly feminine trait.  I can see the perceived stigma of not being able to do that as a woman.  Just as a man doesn’t feel he’s adequate if he cannot provide for himself or his family.  It strikes at the core of his manhood.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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