Bible Study Notes on Luke 1:57-80 – 20180511

Bible Study Notes

Luke 1:58  “…they rejoiced with her”
Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.  We’ve gotten so bad today there would be derogatory remarks made.  The situation was nothing but positive, yet today, our society would find something wrong with it.  So glad it didn’t happen there.  If it did, at least it was drowned out by the good.

59  “…on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise…”
According to the Mosaic Law.  If I’m remembering correctly, I heard a doctor say once that a newborn’s white cell count or clotting ability spikes eight days after birth.  That would be the best day to perform any minor surgery.  Ancient Jews wouldn’t have had a way to know this, but God would.  The doctor suggested this was one reason God told them to do it when He did.  Actually, we now know there are good physical reasons for doing things the way the Jewish law said.  God created it all.  He would know exactly how it was supposed to work.

62  “So they made signs to his father…”
Gabriel said Zacharias would be mute, unable to speak, not mute and deaf.  Yet here the people are making signs.  They should have been able to just ask him.  Commentaries are split.  Some suggest Zacharias was made deaf as well as mute.  Since one born deaf was usually mute as well, declaring he would be mute might have included him being deaf also.  Others suggest reasons signs were made instead of speaking such as a tendency to treat mutes as though they were deaf also, or not wanting to ask aloud to contradict Elizabeth, or that a sign was all that was needed since Elizabeth had already said the baby’s name was John so they just pointed to Zacharias for confirmation.  Good reasons for both.  Text doesn’t say.  I wonder about him actually being deaf.  Seems like Luke, a physician, would have mentioned it after Gabriel made the declaration.  I would expect him to say something like he could not speak nor hear them.  But if it was so commonplace for mutes to be deaf, he may not have thought anything about it.  Another thing we’ll need to ask when we get home.

63  “…he asked for a writing tablet…”
Interesting only because Luke says they made signs even though they could speak and he says he asked although Zacharias could not.  Obviously he made signs for the tablet.  Wondering about what Luke was thinking when he wrote it.  That’s the key to exactly what happened.

63  “…they all marveled”
Commentaries use this to back up the suggestion Zacharias was also deaf.  They claim the people marveled because Zacharias wouldn’t have heard Elizabeth’s answer, or they imply the parents hadn’t talked about the name before now.  I don’t see that as any indication they had not communicated about the child’s name.  Obviously they had or Elizabeth wouldn’t have known to call him John.  Besides, what expecting parents wouldn’t have had at least one conversation about what to call their child.  I think they marveled because both parents were going to call him something besides a family name.  They thought Elizabeth was giving an odd answer, so they asked Zacharias and were amazed when he said the same thing.

65  “Then fear came on all who dwelt around them…”
That had to have been hilarious.  He writes the name on the tablet and suddenly he can speak and goes into a praise session to God.  I’ll bet it scared everyone around them.

65  “…all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea”
Supports the idea that Luke gained most of his knowledge from checking with eyewitnesses.  Sounds like he checked with all the neighbors in the area.

66  “…What kind of child will this be?…”
If this much supernatural drama was involved with his birth, God must have something special planned for him.

69  “…has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David”
Zacharias understood John wasn’t the Messiah, but that he was the forerunner.  If the forerunner was here, the Messiah had to be right behind him.  The promise was being fulfilled.

76  “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways”
The actual purpose for John.

80  “…was in the deserts…”
Sounds like he was isolated, staying away from others.  Commentaries suggest it was to study and meditate, possibly with others doing the same thing.  Dwelling in obscurity, not known publicly until he began his ministry at thirty.  The age of thirty was when a man had fulfilled all his obligations to his parental family.  Jesus did the same thing.

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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