Luke 1:1-25 The preparation for Jesus’ coming.

GIVE GOD TIME 

The hymn is under worship at the end now

A WORD IN YOUR EAR 

Prologue…

This version of Luke was translated using the theological student’s Greek interlinear, along with the now rusty Greek I once learned at Bible College, but which was also double-checked one verse at a time using the “Open Source” King James Bible, so I am not infringing on Bible publisher’s copyrights. It took years to complete along with the checks, and you are the first to read it. Having said all that, if find any translation errors, please do feel free to email me. I saw a tee shirt with the slogan, “I may be wrong, but I doubt it!” But more seriously, if you do find an error, please do advise me!

Introduction to Luke’s Gospel.

The Gospel of Luke is the first of two letters written by Dr. Luke. (The second is “The Book of Acts”). Both documents are written to “Most Excellent Theophilus”, a Roman official with the title of “Most Excellent”, which was a title used for a legal official. So, why did Luke write to Theophilus? 

The Gospel of Luke was written while Paul was in prison awaiting his first trial. Dr. Luke says that his first letter, (now called the Gospel of Luke) was written to explain “all that Jesus began to do and teach”. (Acts 1:1) 

Paul as a Roman citizen was automatically entitled by law to a trial, with full representation. Paul was in prison in Rome and it makes sense that Luke’s briefing to a legal counselor, ‘Theophilus’, can only really have been in order to represent Paul. So Luke had taken on the job of explaining to this court official, who Jesus was that Paul followed. 

Luke’s record of events prepared for Paul’s first trial actually worked, in that it resulted in Paul being released from prison; (at least on this first occasion, anyway).

The eye witness, John, proves to us the Divinity of Jesus in his gospel. However, by going through Luke’s gospel, which was also compiled from eyewitnesses, we will see the human side of Jesus. Jesus was Divine as the Son of God, having lived from all eternity, and CHOSE to be born on earth through Mary to become a human being so that He could die for the sins of mankind, as a man. 

Luke’s Gospel with highlights in intermediate English.

Blue = Words from heaven

Red underlined = Jesus’ words

Red –

(but underlined in blue) = Obey Jesus  

Orange = human interaction

Green = Saints speaking by the Holy Spirit

Brown = devils

Black = narrative.

Chapter 1: The preparation for Jesus’ coming.

1-4 Luke’s introduction:

Others have set out an orderly account of the things which we are sure are true. 2They passed them onto us, as they were eyewitnesses from the beginning, and are now sharing the truth with others. 3So it seemed right for me too, (having understood perfectly well everything that happened from the very beginning,) to put the events in order, and in writing, to you, Your Honour, Theophilus. 4This is so that you will know the truth of what really happened regarding the things which you have been told about.

5-25. John’s parents

5When Herod was the King of Judea, there was a priest called Zacharias from the line of Abia; who had a wife called Elizabeth, a daughter of Aaron’s family. 6Both of them were righteous before God, obeying all the commandments and regulations of the Lord, completely. 7Elizabeth was unable to have children and they were now both very old. 8It all started when he was faithfully going about his priestly duties before God, (just as he always did,) 9and, according to the custom of the priest’s position, he was chosen to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10All the people were praying outside when the priests burned incense.

11An angel of the Lord appeared to him standing on the right-hand side of the altar of incense.

12When Zacharias saw him, he was very worried and became afraid. 13But the angel said,

“Don’t be afraid Zacharias; your prayer is heard and your wife will give you a son, who you will give him the name of ‘John’. 14You will have joy and be glad and many will be so happy when he is born. 15He will be great in the Lord’s eyes and will not drink wine or strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even while he is still in his mother’s womb. 16He will turn many of the children of Israel back to the Lord their God, 17and he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to see the wisdom of those who are godly; in order to prepare the people for the Lord”.

18And Zacharias said to the angel,

“How do I know that this is true? I am an old man, and my wife is as old as I am!”

19And the angel answered him,

“I am Gabriel that stands in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, to give you this good news. 20But because you did not believe my words you will not be able to speak until the day when these things happen, which will in fact all come true at the right time.”

21The people waited for Zacharias and wondered why he took so long in the temple. 22When he did come out, he couldn’t speak to them, and they realised that he had seen a vision in the temple, (because instead of speaking he waved to them to come to him). 23As soon as the days that he was on duty had come to an end, he went back to his own house. 24After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and she didn’t go out of the house for five months. She said, 25

“The Lord saw my situation and did this for me which has stopped people from looking down at me.”

—-Summary

This opening passage of Luke’s gospel introduces how John the Baptist fits into the picture of Jesus’ story. 

The passage in bold is one of a couple of passages that, taken together with another one, enable us to work out that Jesus was born at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles; – which works out to be at the end of September to the beginning of October. That means that the religious leader, “Pope Gregory the Great” got the Messiah’s dates all wrong when he instructed Augustine of Canterbury to use December the 25th – the day the celts worshipped the sun god, to celebrate the coming of the Messiah. 

Pope Gregory forbade the church from using Jewish Feasts. (In addition, Wikipedia tells us this about HOW the year “0” came about because that is wrong too because Jesus came in -4BC! “The Anno Domini era was introduced in 525 AD by Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguus (c. 470 – c. 544), who used it to identify the years on his Easter table.” Wikipedia.) So the church got almost nothing right. 

  • Today’s Challenge

To ponder… Would it change anything for you if the Bible showed that Jesus was born at the time of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, which is always between the end of September and the beginning of October each year, and not at the time of the Gentile worship of the sun god? 

Prayer suggestions;-

  1. The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’)
  2. The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
  3. Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)

Prayer, Praise and Worship

“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23. 

Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer ‘; (Luke 11).

Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’ 

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.

Pray along with this hymn… ‘Breathe on me, Breath of God’ at this link… 

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