Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 1:6-20

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Luke 1:6-7

Luke emphasized the piety of Zechariah and Elizabeth (see Ps. 119:1). They were examples of the faithful remnant of believers in Israel. Yet, Luke's description does not mean they were sinless (vv. 18-20). It does show that their barrenness was not the result of sin. Their age is reminiscent of the situation of Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 18:11). See WCF 15:2; WLC 76.

Luke 1:8-9

This was not mere chance, but God's active providence (Prov. 16:33). He willed that Zechariah serve that day. Lots were used to select who would serve due the large number of priests (v. 5). incense. A mixture of ingredients designed to produce a sweet aroma (Exod. 30:34-38). This was offered twice a day along with the morning and evening sacrifices (Exod. 30:7-8). The incense represented Zechariah's own prayers as well as the prayers of the people gathered outside the temple (v. 10). Given the large amount of priests in each division, each priest offered the incense for the daily sacrifice only once in their lifetime, which made this a particularly a significant day for Zechariah.

Luke 1:10

Prayer is a key theme in Luke's Gospel. Luke showed the connection between prayer and significant events in God's plan (see 3:21; 6:12; 9:18, 28-29; 11:1-4; 22:40, 46; 22:32). Luke emphasized the importance of prayer for Christian discipleship.

Luke 1:11

Angelic beings dwell in God's presence (Ps. 68:17; 103:19-22; Mark 12:25; Rev. 4:6-7; 5:1-2, 11-12) and often act as his messengers (Judg. 6:12; Dan. 9:21). They should be distinguished from the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament (Gen. 16:7-13; 22:11-18; 31:7-13; Num. 22:22-35; 2 Sam. 14:4-20).

Luke 1:13-20

The angel's word of promise to Zechariah was the first word Israel had received from God since the close of the Old Testament. It was a significant moment in preparation for Jesus's arrival.

Luke 1:13

prayer has been heard. Zechariah prayed for a son. But as a priest, he would have also prayed for all Israel (Joel 2:17; Mal. 1:9). Perhaps he had prayed for God to send his long-promised Messiah. John. John's name means Yahweh has given.

Luke 1:14

The joy that came from John's birth would extend from his parents to many others in the world. The reason for this joy is explained in vv. 15-17.

Luke 1:15

never drink wine or strong drink. John's lifestyle was similar to that of a Nazarite (Num. 6:1-3) or one dedicated to the Lord (Lev. 10:9). This outward setting apart pointed to a greater spiritual reality. filled with the Holy Spirit. While other prophets in the Old Testament has been empowered by God's Spirit (see Num. 11:25; 2 Kgs. 2:9; 2 Chron. 2420; Ezek. 43:5; Mic. 3:8), John was the first to be filled from the womb. Unlike anyone else, God redeemed John and set him apart for the work of preparing the way for the Messiah (v. 17; 3:1-17). See WCF 10:3

Luke 1:16-17

Through John's prophetic ministry, many would be converted to the Lord. go before. He will prepare the way for God's coming (3:4). spirit and power of Elijah. John's ministry would be reflective of Elijah's before him. Even his lifestyle resembled Elijah (2 Kgs. 1:8; Matt. 3:4). This was in fulfillment of God's promise (Mal. 4:5-6). people prepared. John would bring a spirit of repentance to Israel. Because of his preaching, people will begin turning from their sin towards God. This will even be seen in the restoration of families.

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