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2017.Jan.
19 Thu
 
The Gospel of Luke
[ Luke 1:1 - 1:17 ]
 
1. Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
2. just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4. so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
5. In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.
6. Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly.
7. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
8. Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,
9. he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
13. But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.
14. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
15. for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
16. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.
17. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
 

Reflection
To Theophilus (1:1–4)
Lukes Gospel is addressed to a most excellent Theophilus. We are not certain who this Theophilus is, but he is generally believed to have been a Roman citizen of some standing. Some scholars have suggested that the name may have been used as a general address to all Christians, as Theophilus means friend of God. From the introduction it is clear that Luke, the only Gentile author in all of the New Testament, intends to show by accumulated evidence, eyewitness accounts, and personal testimony that Jesus of Nazareth is truly mankinds only hope for salvation. His writing style and approach is quite different from the other Gospels, but his purpose is the same: to share the Good News that Jesus came, died, and rose again to save us all from the curse of sin.

Introducing John the Baptist (1:5–17)
Before Luke even introduces Mary and Joseph and the story of Jesus birth, he begins his Gospel narrative with John the Baptist, the last of the line of Old Testament prophets. This story has Gods fingerprints all over it. Elizabeth and Zechariah are a faithful yet childless couple who are advanced in years, yet Zechariah is told by an angel that they will have a son who will prepare the way for the Lord. From the very beginning of this Gospel, we learn that God is not limited by human circumstances. Nothing is impossible for God, and His answer to this couples prayer is a crucial part of His grand redemptive plan for humankind.

Application
- As you read through the Gospel of Luke, pay close attention to how Luke describes the person of Christ. Though you may already be familiar with these stories, allow them to deeply penetrate your heart.

- Are you still waiting on God for an answer to a particular prayer request? Do you believe that He is still good, able, and willing? Take heart; God will answer in accordance with His perfect will and timing.

A Letter to
God
Dear God, You have given me this precious and powerful ministry of the Gospel, so enable me to preach, live, and witness according to its power. Let me not rest on my laurels, but fill me with boldness and an urgency to see souls saved. In Jesus name. Amen.
 
 
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