Luke Chapter 1 Second Continued
Luke 1:57-58 “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.” “And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.”
We see here, a woman far beyond her child bearing years who has brought forth a son. Perhaps none believed when she had told them. Now they rejoiced with her.
These very same people that were so close to her knew how Zachariah had a vision in the temple and was left unable to speak. All sorts of things were probably going through their minds.
Luke 1:59 “And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zachariah, after the name of his father.”
“On the eighth day”: In accord with God’s commandment (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:1-3; Phil. 3:5), it had become customary to name a child at circumcision. The ritual brought together family and friends, who in this case, pressured the parents to name the baby “after his father”, probably intending this as a gesture of respect to Zachariah.
On the eighth day the circumcision was done to seal the Abrahamic covenant with God. As is many times done at baptism, the name of the child is given as well. Even today many parents name their first son after its father. This was about to occur here until Elisabeth and Zachariah stopped them.
Luke 1:60 “And his mother answered and said, Not [so]; but he shall be called John.”
“Not so”: Elizabeth had learned from Zachariah in writing (verse 63), everything Gabriel had said to him.
The father had gotten word to Elisabeth what his name was to be even though he had lost his voice. Elisabeth speaks up and says his name is John. Now there is a stir. Why is this baby to be named John?
Luke 1:61 “And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.”
“John” means the grace of Jehovah. Here is a name none of their relatives have used.
Luke 1:62 “And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.”
“Made signs to his father”: The priests conducting the circumcision ceremony appear to have assumed that since he could not speak he was also deaf.
Luke 1:63 “And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all.”
What is going on here? They are really questioning now. The father agrees his name is John. He can’t speak so he writes this name, His doubt is gone.
Luke 1:64 “And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue [loosed], and he spake, and praised God.”
The instant he put his doubt behind him, Zachariah’s tongue was loosed and he spoke. What wonderful things he had to tell them about what happened in the temple and about this miracle birth.
Luke 1:65 “And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea.”
“Fear”: The normal response, and an appropriate one (12:5), when someone is confronted by a divine visitation or a mighty work of God (Judges 6:22; 13:22; Mark 16:5). Luke seems specially to take note of this; he often reports fear in the presence of God and His works (30, 65; 2:9-10; 5:10, 26; 7:16; 8:25, 37, 50; 9:34, 45; 23:40).
“Throughout all the hill country of Judea”: I.e., Jerusalem and the surrounding area. John the Baptist’s reputation began to spread from the time of his birth (verse 66).
Now these neighbors and cousins know that there has been something super-natural about this birth. Word spread fast that something miraculous has happened here.
Luke 1:66 “And all they that heard [them] laid [them] up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.”
We see that the Lord is with John. The people even from the first know that John is anointed of God from birth to do some great job.
Luke 1:67 “And his father Zachariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,”
“Filled with the Holy Ghost”: In every case where someone was Spirit-filled in Luke’s nativity account, the result was Spirit-directed worship (Eph. 5:18-20).
We see the minute Zachariah recognizes publicly the miracle of God, that God fills him with the Holy Ghost. The easiest way to receive the Holy Ghost is to totally submit your will to God. When he did this he began to prophesy. (Verses 68 through 79), is what he prophesies.
Verses 68-79: This passage is known as the Benedicts (the first word of verse 68 in the Latin translation). Like Mary’s Magnificat, it is liberally sprinkled with Old Testament quotations and allusions. When Zachariah was stuck mute in the temple (verse 20), he was supposed to deliver a benediction. So it is fitting that when his speech was restored, the first words out of his mouth were this inspired benediction.
Luke 1:68 “Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,”
We see here, that his very first statement blesses God and prophesies redemption of his people. Every word of this prophecy will come about because these words coming from Zachariah’s mouth are not his words, but the word of the Lord through him.”
Luke 1:69 “And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;”
We remember here that “horn” signifies strength. We realize that our strength is in our salvation. In the direct lineage of David, the Lord Jesus will be born.
Luke 1:70 “As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:”
In (Genesis chapter 3:15), we see the first prophecy of this Savior.
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Luke 1:71 “That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;”
One of the sweetest promises in the Bible for the believer is that God will cause even our enemies to live at peace with us. God remembers His covenant that He has made with man and Jesus Christ the God of all mercy will save us even from our own selves.
Luke 1:72 “To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;”
“His holy covenant”: I.e., the Abrahamic Covenant (verse 73), with its promise of salvation by grace.
Luke 1:73 “The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,”
We know from an earlier teaching here, that all who believe in Jesus Christ are children of Abraham and heirs to the same promises God made to him.
Luke 1:74-75 “That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,” “In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”
This prophecy is stating that we will be free from the bondage of this earth. We will be free from the guilt of sin and can go on in newness of life with Him. We can be holy and righteous, because we have taken on His righteousness and holiness.
We will no longer be servant to sin, but have the righteousness of Christ to walk in all the days of our life.
Luke 1:76-77 “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;” “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,”
Here Zachariah is saying prophetically that John will proclaim the coming of Christ. John will go ahead and prepare the way. His message will be their need for repentance of their sins.
“The remission of their sins”: Forgiveness of sins is the heart of salvation. God saves sinners from separation from Him and from eternal hell only by atoning for and forgiving their sins.
Luke 1:78 “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,”
“Dayspring”: A messianic reference (Isa. 9:2; 60:1-3; Mal 4:2; 2 Peter 1:19; Rev. 22:16).
We see here, and awakening that comes from God on mankind that will receive it. God had mercy on mankind and sent His Son to bring us out of darkness into His marvelous Light.
Luke 1:79 “To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. Those who sit in darkness here are probably speaking of the Gentiles and even most of physical Israel as well. No hope of eternal life could they see as they did not know of God.
They were in spiritual darkness until the Light of Jesus Christ shines in their heart and brings His glorious Light to them. Jesus is King of Peace. His is the only true peace.
Luke 1:80 “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.”
“Was in the deserts”: Several groups of ascetics inhabited the wilderness regions East of Jerusalem. One was the famous Qumran community, source of the Dead Sea Scrolls. John’s parents, already old when he was born, might have given him over to the care of someone with ties to such a community.
In a similar way, Hannah consecrated Samuel to the Lord by entrusting him to Eli (1 Samuel 1:22-28). However, there is nothing concrete in Scripture to suggest that John was part of any such group. On the contrary, he is painted as a solitary figure, in the spirit of Elijah.
We see that John the Baptist (child), grew physically and spiritually. You can tell from the statement about him being in the desert that he was not of this world.
He was in the world for a purpose, but not of this world. His thoughts were not of this world. He was a separated man (separated by God to carry out a mission). Nothing else mattered to John. Everything was focused on his mission.
Luke Chapter 1 Second Continued Questions
1. Who rejoiced with Elisabeth at the birth of her son?
2. Who did they believe shewed mercy on her?
3. What about Zachariah was probably going through their mind?
4. How old was the baby when they came to circumcise him?
5. When was the baby’s name given?
6. Who stopped them from naming the baby Zachariah?
7. What did the mother name him?
8. What reason did the onlookers give Elisabeth why she should not name the baby by this name?
9. How did Zachariah get word to them that he agreed with the baby being named John?
10. What does John mean?
11. When did Zachariah receive his voice back?
12. What did he do immediately when he could speak?
13. What effect did this have on the onlookers?
14. What part of the country did this quickly spread to?
15. What did they quickly realize?
16. What happened to Zachariah that caused him to prophesy?
17. What is the easiest way to receive the Holy Ghost?
18. What is the “horn” symbolic of?
19. Our strength is in our ____________.
20. Whose lineage will Jesus be in?
21. Who does God speak through to minister?
22. Where is the first promise of a Savior in the Bible?
23. What is one of the sweetest promises in the Bible?
24. Who are the children of Abraham?
25. What are two ways we must serve Him?
26. How can we be holy and righteous?
27. Who shall John be called?
28. What is meant by the “dayspring” visiting us?
29. Where shall the Light guide us to?
30. Who is the Light of the world?
31. Who is the child in verse 80?
32. What lets us know he is not a worldly man?
33. What was important to John?