Bible Discussion — Luke 1:1-38

December 12, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, MC-B, Mike J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the beginning of a brand new book for us, Luke 1:1-38.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
Luke always lets you know exactly what he’s doing at the beginning of each passage, and here he states in clear and beautiful language the purpose for this epistle. He has attained a clear spiritual and chronological understanding of the Gospel that Theophilus has staked his life on, and he wants to be sure his friend has that same clarity as a sure foundation.

Mike:
Two godly women set an example for their husbands — and us — as they agree to play challenging parts in the coming of God’s Kingdom. For one, a pregnancy was beyond hope and for the other, it was beyond imagination.

Connie:
An account of the ministry of Jesus, as written by Dr. Luke to his friend Theo. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the most-quoted for the Christmas season and by the Peanuts Christmas special.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Connie:
Both Zacharias and Mary asked Gabriel “How?” types of questions in response to his declarations, but only Zach was punished… Hmmm.

Mike:
1:29: “[Mary] wondered what sort of greeting this might be.” She wondered if the angel’s greeting — “The Lord is with you” — was really good news, or whether it might just be terribly inconvenient to her life plans.

Steve:
Elizabeth was also from the lineage of Aaron, which made John the Baptist a priest from both sides.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Mike: No Business Being Pregnant
David: Zachariah
Connie: Theophilus
MC-B: Zechariah’s Division
Steve: Struck Mute

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF::
MC-B:
The discussion with Zechariah about having a child while being really old reminds me of the story of Abraham. When will these elderly people learn to have faith?

Mike:
It reminds me of all the people who have experienced miracles of physical and emotional healing, then have found that even better than the healing was their renewed relationship with God, their revived faith. Mary and Elizabeth both experienced miracles (though Elizabeth welcomed it more than Mary); but each was to find more blessing in the way those babies touched the world than in the miracle itself.

David:
Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Mary’s song, states that he hears echoes of Hannah’s song. Mary obviously was acquainted with Scripture and the history of those saints who came before her.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Mike:
God sets the natural order of things on its head; two women who had no business being pregnant are giving birth to babies who will change the world completely.

David:
God, after a period of 400 years of silence, has once again spoken to His people and is sending the promised Savior.

MC-B:
The passage talks about how John the Baptist, and by extension Jesus, will come, bringing many back to the Lord. The Christmas story is a beautiful narrative, but if we romanticize it too much, we grow ever closer to thinking that we don’t need it or that it doesn’t relate to us. We must remember always that Christmas is necessary only because of the fallen state of the world, which will lead to even greater rejoicing that the Christmas miracle took place.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Connie:
It seems strange that Gabriel would answer Mary’s “How?” by telling her about Elizabeth. After all, she would still have to take that on faith too, unless she went and visited her…

Mike:
Did Elizabeth actually like Zechariah being struck mute? Did it give her a peaceful nine months? (Perhaps my friends and family think that this might not be the worst punishment for God to strike me with either.)

David:
The accuracy of Luke’s historical references mark his gospel with an authenticity unrivaled in ancient literature. It was once proposed that he was wrong about the reign of Cyrenius in 2:2, until an engraving was found to explain that Cyrenius actually reigned on two separate occasions. As often happens, Luke was not wrong, but archeological discoveries just had not caught up to his thoroughness yet.

Steve:
It’s interesting that the angel paired John the Baptist’s infilling of the Holy Spirit from birth with a requirement that he never drink alcohol.

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
David:
In Mary’s womb.

Connie:
Declared in verse 31…

Mike:
Mary’s belly; ready to change the world because she agreed to this most unusual arrangement.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
David, MC-B:
1:37 — “For with God nothing is impossible.”

Connie:
1:33 — “[A]nd He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.”

Mike:
1:38 — “Let it be with me according to your word.”

Steve:
1:3-4 — “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, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
MC-B:
Why Mary? Any special reason?

Connie:
That bit about Zach and Mary from above.

Mike:
The whole virgin birth thing. If belief in the virgin birth is a litmus test for being a true Christian, then why do two of the gospels omit the story completely? I just would like to know.

David:
The difference between Zachariah’s doubts (v. 18) and Mary’s question (v. 34).

Steve:
Why is the angel named Gabriel, and how did Mary know it was the same one? Did he identify himself to her too, or did the ladies compare recollections of his appearance when they visited?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Mike:
When God asks you to play a part in what he is doing, it is important to swiftly answer, “Yes!” and give yourself completely to the task.

David:
Aslan is on the move.

Connie:
God can make a way, even when it looks absolutely impossible to us.

MC-B:
God fulfills His promises. Even after hundreds of years of waiting for the Messiah, God did not forget Israel.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Steve:
Miracle after miracle, as God breaks the centuries of silence in a frenzy of prediction and promise.

Connie:
Hallelujah!!! Hallelujah!!! Hallelujah!!!

Hal–le–lu–jah!!!

David:
Luke’s clarity of detail, clear chronological understanding, and eye for the Gentile (since he is one himself), make this gospel my favorite New Testament book.

 
CONCLUSION:
Steve:
We don’t believe Mary was sinlessly conceived, but as this passage makes clear, there is enough to admire about her example without adding unnecessary flourish and veneration. As our Advent devotions have shown, we can find many lessons in the lives of these people who lived two millennia past — not to mention the greatest Miracle of all, whom we will be honored to address next week.


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