Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 1:49-2:52

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Luke 1:49

mighty. The Lord is a powerful warrior who gives great victories to his people (see Pss. 45:3-5; 120:4; Zeph. 3:17). His name is holy. God's holiness is displayed in his character as well as his righteous acts (see Ps. 111:9).

Luke 1:50

fear. Fearing God is part of worshipping him (Ps. 103:17). It is acknowledging who he is, which leads to living reverently and obediently towards him (see Gen. 22:12; Prov. 9:10; Acts 9:31; 10:2; 13:16).

Luke 1:51-55

A key theme in Luke's writing is reversal. Those that are lowly are exalted and those who are exalted are brought low. This is the Lord's working as he displays his power and reveals salvation, which is God's victory over his enemies (4:18; 6:20-22; 7:22; 14:13, 21).

Luke 1:54-55

See BC 18.

Luke 1:54

Israel his servant. Echoes the Servant Songs from Isa. 50–55. Just as Israel was often called God's servant, so Jesus would be the perfect Servant. He would fulfill the work of trusting and obeying God, bringing salvation even to the Gentiles (Isa. 49:6).

Luke 1:55

Abraham. In bringing about salvation through Jesus, God continued to remember his promises to Abraham (see Exod. 2:24; 32:13; Deut. 9:27; Ps 105:7-11, 42).

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.

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