The following is from OBC’s daily devotional for today:
Luke’s two-part account of Christianity provides a solid basis for the faith, centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Luke’s gospel details the foundation of Christianity, and his second part, Acts, describes the growth of Christianity.
Verses 5-25 give the background and announcement of John the Baptist’s birth (note what would be John’s character and ministry, vv. 15-17).
Verses 26-38 detail the background and announcement of the birth of Jesus, the Son of the Highest, Israel’s promised King and Messiah (note what would be Jesus’ character and ministry, vv. 31-33).
Verses 39-56 relate Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and Zacharias, and how she praised the Lord for who He is and what He has done and will do.
Verses 57-80 describe the birth of John the Baptist and Zacharias’ praise and prophecy.
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- The virgin conception of the Messiah, Israel’s King and Savior. Mary was legally married to Joseph (“betrothed,” v. 27) but by Jewish custom was not yet living with him. God promised that Israel’s promised Messiah and King would be a descendant of David yet rule forever (2 Sam 7:13; Isa 9:6-7). This required a human being descended from Abraham and David who was also God. Mary believed God’s message (unlike Zacharias, v. 18), but was puzzled about the mechanics of becoming pregnant without a man. Verse 35 (and Matt 1:18, 20) teach that the life-giving Spirit enabled Mary to miraculously conceive a child that was the permanent union of the eternal Son of God with a human nature.
- Note the different names, titles, and descriptions of Jesus: Son of the Highest (v. 32); descendant of King David (v. 32); eternal ruler and king of Israel (v. 32); holy (v. 35); Son of God (v. 35); the anticipated Deliverer of Israel (from their enemies, v. 71, and their sins, vv. 77-79); fulfilling God’s promises to Abraham (vv. 73ff).
- We see different responses to God’s Word here from Zacharias (vv. 18-20, 64-65, 68-79), Mary (vv. 38, 46-55), and Elizabeth (vv. 42-45). Faith is a right response to revelation—truth—God gave. Faith believes, welcomes, accepts, depends on, and submits to. God gave his Word so his people will have certainty, have a sure hope, praise him, pray, and obey and serve him.