Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 1:63-2:1

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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.

Luke 1:80

The summary of John's growth is similar to the description of Samuel (1 Sam. 2:21). However, as an adult, John would live in the wilderness until he began his public ministry. This was the uninhabited parts of Israel. These remote areas were often a refuge for prophets (1 Kgs. 18:45–19:21) and a place of communion with God (5:16; Mark 1:45).

Luke 2:1

in those days. This phrase connects what follows to the previous section (1:80). Christianity is grounded in history, not mythology (see notes on 1:1-4). Caesar Augustus. The great nephew of Julius Caesar. He fought his way to power by defeating Marc Antony and Cleopatra. His reign was characterized by the peaceful stability he brought to the empire (31 BC–AD 14). Originally named Octavian, he was the first Caesar to take the title Augustus after the Roman senate granted it to him. The title means holy or revered. This was the first step at making the Caesars gods for the people. One ancient city had an inscription that hailed him as "the Savior of the whole world." Luke showed the contrast between Caesar and Christ, the true Savior. census. For the purpose of collecting taxes. Luke used exaggerated language to describe its extent. It extended to the known world of the Roman Empire.

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