Good Morning, Siblings!
Today we begin the book of Luke. Our readings are Luke 1.
Quick Facts about the book of Luke:
- This book was originally a letter to Theophilos, who was a high priest, to testify to all that the author (Luke) had witnessed as an apostle to Messiah.
- The book of Acts was also a letter to Theophilos, and is also accredited to Luke.
- Theophilus means “Friend of Elohim.” Elohim is a Hebrew term for the God of Israel, YHWH.
- Luke was also a doctor, see Colossians 4:14.
- Luke’s focus is on showing that through Yeshua, YHWH fulfilled His promises and that Yeshua upheld all that YHWH had put into place.
- Luke gives one of the most detailed accounts of Yeshua’s birth and through this book we have a potential timeline as to when He was born as well.
- Luke was believed by some to be a Gentile who came to follow YHWH. Not surprising, many Jewish sources claim he was a Jew while many Christian sources claim he was a Gentile. Regardless, we are all grafted into the same tree at the end of the day.
The conception of John and Messiah predicted:
I’m going to dance on the surface of this because it is not a hill worth dying on, but more of a topic I find interesting. In the Bible, YHWH has been very specific about exact dates of certain events. It is, therefore, no happenstance that the Father did not tell us the date of Messiah’s birth. That tells me that if we had of needed to know it, He would have told us. There is also no directive surrounding the birth of our Messiah but there are many surrounding His life, and following those is something we can always put more energy into.
Luke 1:5 tells us that Zacharias, father of John (Messiah’s cousin) was a priest of the course of Abia.
What is Abia?
We read in 1 Chronicles 24:10 that this is a family of priests and they have been given shifts to serve in the temple. At the time, temple work was divided evenly among all the priestly families with each one serving for one week at a time, twice a year. There were 24 families total and the family of Abia or Abijah had the eighth week appointed to them to serve. So on each cycle, they would serve the eighth week.
Now, lets read:
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:21-28
•Luke 1:23 tells us clearly that this was part of his cycle of service in the temple.
•Luke 1:24 tells us that his wife conceived shortly after he returned home, fulfilling what the angel said in Luke 1:13.
•Luke 1:26 tells us that she was six months pregnant with John when the angel visited Mary in Luke 1:28.
This makes John six months older than Messiah (physically, of course), putting Messiah as being born either in the spring (near Passover) or in the fall (near Sukkot) to coincide with one of those eight week cycles. We also see that when He was born the shepherds were in the field watching their flocks, which occurred during lambing season, in the spring and in the fall.
So now, if we were piecing together the puzzle pieces, we have several puzzle pieces that support either a fall or a spring birth. I’ve talked about this briefly before and it truly is a fascinating trail to explore if you’ve a mind to. Each time I search it out I end up learning things I never expected and becoming even more enamored with the word of YHWH and his feasts.
Luke 1:25 shows us Elizabeth speaking of YHWH taking away her reproach among the people with this pregnancy. Luke 1:36 reminds us that she was an old woman at this time. Being barren was something that was looked upon as shameful in this culture. Recall that these are the descendants of the Israelites who had multiplied so rapidly that it once scared the Egyptians when they were living under the rule of Pharaoh.
Mary’s song of praise Luke 1:46-55 : It is important to note that Mary glorifies YHWH, calls His name Holy, and rejoices in Him as her salvation, acknowledging that she needed a savior (there is some doctrine which states she was sinless, thereby having no need of a savior). She directs all praise to Him, and rightly so.
Not to us, Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1
To her credit, Mary acknowledged that this glory was not hers, but the Father’s.
This prophecy is charged with excitement and the fulfillment of so many prophetic promises, past, present, and future. It is one we should linger over, read multiple times, speak out loud, and take to soul. After having read the foundational Scriptures, it will no doubt strike a renewed and deeper chord within your heart. Luke 1:67-80
May we grow and become stronger in the spirit, just as John did in Luke 1:80.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!