Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 1:15-27

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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.

Luke 1:26

sixth month. Of Elizabeth's pregnancy (v. 25). Nazareth. Nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament. It was an obscure town that needed to be identified as being in Galilee. See note on 1:5–2:52.

Luke 1:27

virgin engaged. Mary is introduced as a young woman about to be married. She had not been with a man before this. In Jewish culture, she was already legally married to her betrothed beginning at engagement. Joseph. Her betrothed husband who was a descendent of David, just as messiah would be (vv. 31-32; 2 Sam. 7:12). See WCF 8.2; WLC 37, 46; WSC 22.

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