Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 1:13-25

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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.

Luke 1:18

Zechariah knew the stories of God miraculously giving children to the elderly and barren (see Gen. 11:30; 25:21; 29:31; Judg. 12:2-3; 1 Sam. 1:15). This was evidence of his unbelief (v. 20; see 11:16; Mark 11:18; Acts 13:11).

Luke 1:19

Gabriel. One of only three angels named in the Bible. He previously spoke to the prophet Daniel (8:16; 9:21). He had the special privilege of standing in God's presence. This gave his message authority. If Gabriel came from God, so did the good news he brought for Zechariah.

Luke 1:20

silent, unable to speak. Both a rebuke for disbelief as well as a sign for God's word (see Ezek. 3:26; 24:27). The repetition of the phrase emphasized something given (silence) and something taken away (speech). Thus, Zechariah was made deaf and mute. This explains the hand signs later used to communicate with him (v. 62). This also means Zechariah was temporarily disqualified from serving as a priest (Lev. 21:16-23). until the day these things take place. Zechariah's impairments would only last until the promise was fulfilled by John's birth. See WCF 11.5.

Luke 1:21

Normally, the priest would offer a blessing after exiting the temple (Num. 6:24-26). Zechariah's delay could have led them to fear God's judgment (see Lev. 10:16-20; 16:1-2).

Luke 1:24-25

It is unclear why Elizabeth secluded herself. Nevertheless, like Rachel before her (Gen. 30:23), she rejoiced in God's grace that removed her shame of childlessness.

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