Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 1:57-2:52

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Births and Childhoods - Luke 1:57-2:52

Luke continued his parallel between John and Jesus, now turning the emphasis to how their parents "fulfill" the requirements of the Law and to the significance of their names.

Luke 1:59

circumcise. A sign of the covenant between God and the people of Israel (Gen. 17:10-12). This rite took place on the eighth day (Gen. 17:12; 21:4; Lev. 12:3). Just as Abram was renamed Abraham when he was circumcised, both John (v. 60) and Jesus (2:21) were named at their circumcision. after the name of his father. This was a traditional practice.

Luke 1:60

Elizabeth and Zechariah (v. 63) displayed faith in God by acting according to his instructions (v. 13) rather than their own desires or traditions (see 14:26).

Luke 1:62

See note on v. 20.

Luke 1:63-64

writing tablet. Likely a small wooden plank covered in wax. "His name is John." Zechariah's strengthened faith is evident by the definitive statement. The emphatic is pointed to a decision already determined about John's name (see note on v. 60). The result is the immediate removal of his impairments.

Luke 1:65-66

It became evident to those present that God was at work. News and speculation about John spread to the surrounding region.

Luke 1:67

Holy Spirit. Luke emphasized the work of the Spirit in his writings. Already, John (v. 15), Mary (v. 35), and Elizabeth (v. 41) have experienced the presence of God's Spirit. Now Zechariah prophesies by the Spirit's power. This activity of the Spirit was a sign of God's new work among Israel (see Isa. 32:14-17; 44:1-4).

Luke 1:68-75

See WCF 20.3; WLC 38, 93, 97, 101; WSC 44; HC 122.

Luke 1:68

Luke often noted the response of praise to God's mighty acts (2:13, 20, 28; 5:25-26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15, 18; 18:43; 19:37; 23:47; 24:53). redemption. Zechariah probably did not have a full understanding of how God would redeem his people. Nevertheless, his joy was rooted in knowing God was again at work among his people.

Luke 1:69

horn. Animal's horn represented strength and power (Deut. 33:17; 2 Sam 22:3; Pss. 18:2; 75:10). David. Jesus is a descendant of David. He would be the instrument through which God's saving power will be seen.

Luke 1:70

The Old Testament prophets looked forward to this coming power of salvation. Therefore, Israel was expecting the horn of salvation (v. 69; Mic. 4:13; 5:4-5).

Luke 1:71

Zechariah may have been thinking in political term. Israel viewed Rome as its oppressive enemy. However, God's salvation would be even greater. He would bring about eternal salvation from evil spiritual powers (see Col. 2:13-15).

Luke 1:72-73

God's presence was a fulfillment of his past promises. Specifically, he promised to bless Abraham, and through him, bless all nations (Gen. 17:4; 22:16-17; Gal. 3:16).

Luke 1:76-78

Zechariah moved from praising God directly, to addressing his son, John. As God's prophet, he will prepare the way for the Lord's coming (Isa 40:3). He will prepare the way by giving knowledge of salvation to Israel. This knowledge was neither abstract nor theoretical. It was something learned by experience. It was seen in the forgiveness of their sins (3:3, 7-8). This is the essence of God's saving mercy in Jesus. It is one of the central themes of Christianity (see 4:18; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38). See BC 22.

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