Many people think of the book of Luke when they think of the story of Jesus’ birth. Often chapter one gets looked over in attempt to jump right into “and it came about in those days that a census should be taken…”
I noticed a few interesting things as I cruised through Luke chapter one this time.
1) Luke writes this gospel to a friend, Theophilus – but starts with “most honorable” as a title. We don’t know too much about this friend of Luke’s, but his name means “friend of God.” Many believe this to mean that the gospel of Luke was written to those who call themselves friends of God.
2) The same angel, Gabriel (who we’re familiar with his visit to Mary) came to a Jewish priest named Zechariah. Zech’s wife was barren. Ol’ Zech was serving in the temple because his order was on duty that week and he was chosen by lot to be the one to go in and burn incense. Suddenly Gabriel is in the temple, right beside the incense altar. Zech freaks out but Gabriel tells him not to be afraid. Gabriel goes on to say that Zech’s gonna be a daddy! And, to a very special boy – special to God. Zech sort of doubts so Gabriel speaks a lil’ mini-curse on him so he can’t speak until the baby is born (moral of story- always believe Gabriel when he tells you something).
3) I noticed later, when Gabriel visits Mary to tell her the other good news (that she’s also going to have a special baby), Mary also questions Gabriel. See verse 34:
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
I guess it was okay for Mary – who would naturally have questions about being pregnant since she was a virgin – to question the message of Gabriel. Perhaps it was in the way she asked the question, whereas ol’ Zech may have copped an attitude with this messenger of God. Who knows?
4) Lastly, the other thing that caught my attention is how Gabriel also tells Mary that Elizabeth, her relative, was also going to have a baby (Elizabeth was already 6 months pregnant). Mary rushed to visit Elizabeth in Judea. When Mary spoke, Elizabeth’s baby (to be named John – as in “the baptist”) leaped within her. John, even as an unborn child, recognized the voice of the mother of God.
Lots of great stuff in this chapter.
It’s good to be back in God’s word.