Luke 3 Part 2–John Starts the Ball Rolling

So How does one start a ministry that changes the world? In Jesus case, He was baptized by John the Baptist.  John started his ministry by telling people of how to repent and follow God. No one was preaching repentance from sin.  So, people followed Him As his crowds grew, so did the controversy Herod’s behavior with his family.  John baptized Jesus and in that, Jesus completed the preparation of his ministry.  In this passage, we see an actual demonstration of the trinity.  As Jesus was baptized The Holy Spirit descended like a dove and from Heaven the father said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” 

Sadly, after Jesus was baptized, Herod arrested John and put him in prison.  John had condemned Herod’s relationship with his brother’s wife.  in addition, other Gospels say that as Jesus ministry began to grow, John’s ministry diminished.  It was important to note that John never expected his ministry to last. He came to announce Jesus ‘s ministry and then he would be done.  John was, in his own right, was a a charismatic and popular preacher.  He was an important part to Jesus ministry.  John was the final prophet to announce Jesus coming. Now that Jesus had arrived the new covenant would begin, and people would see the love of God in the face of a man.  Jesus would change the world.

In our day, we still cling to the hope of glory.  We still are excited to know that Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.  John’s announcement to the people then was the same promise to us today.  God came to save us from our sin. As Jesus exited the water that day, he would start the journey to make that promise real.  Luke wanted to make sure the credit for Jesus start included Joh’s ministry.  That prophecy was kept in spades.

God Bless You


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,[a]
    make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
    and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
    and the rough places shall become level ways,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[b] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation and be content with your wages.”

15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[c] with you I am well pleased.”[d]

Luke 3 Part 1–Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

As with any great event, Jesus ministry started with John the Baptist preparing the way.  John, Jesus’ cousin, was sent by the Lord to start the transformation to welcoming the Messiah.  John was a wonder.  He traveled through and told people to repent and get ready for the coming Messiah.  He preached a life of selflessness.  He told those that could exploit to be content and do what was right.  He told soldiers to be content with their pay. He told tax collectors to be content with a reasonable tax.

Mostly, John was charged with the duty of preparing people for the coming of Jesus.  The people had been waiting for hundreds of years, so a little prep would be useful.  So God called John to be that person to make the announcement.  He had forewarned the people in Isaiah that John would come on the scene to set the stage.  Now the time had come.  John had a special role and, in his time,, he became quite well known and many followed Him.  But John knew his time was limited, so He simply made the most of it.  He would tell anyone that was willing to listen of the Lord’s coming and the need to prepare their hearts.

We need to live our lives prepared as well.  Jesus will return.  In the meantime, we need to live as one content with all that God has provided.  We need to live as new creations.  Our daily lives should be filled with faith, hope and love.  If we will walk in that way, we will model the life John called those in his day to lead.  We will live a life honoring to God and modeling the life of Jesus!

God Bless You


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[b] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

Luke 2 Part 4–Another Big Day at the Temple

Amazingly, Jesus knew from early on that his mission was greater than most.  In this last story written in Luke 2–the Jesus recap, Luke tells the story of Jesus, still as a boy attending a festival in Jerusalem.  After the festival, as all were headed back, Mary realizes Jesus was not there.  Panic ensues and the search was on.  After a time, they found Jesus meeting with the Rabbi’s and having quite the conversation with them.  Mary was not pleased.  She called Jesus on his wandering off, but, Jesus was not upset, he said, I just figured you would know I was at my Father’s House and being about my Father’s business! 

The verses that followed are awesome.  Jesus went home and obeyed…and Mary hid these things in her heart as treasures.  Jesus never intended disrespect and was a model son–but His was a mission to change the world.  His mom knew that, God picked her to help in His preparation, after all! So, while worried, she was pleased to see her son becoming the Man He had to be.  She knew what was ahead and she knew Jesus had to be ready.  God chose well.

In our day, God is still choosing well.  We are each called and prepared for a mission. We are His people and live lives to honor Him.  We need to seek Him with all our hearts and realize that each trial and event in our lives makes us a little more ready to face what lies ahead.  We have to trust Him, as Mary did.  We must follow humbly and graciously and allow the Lord to execute His plan for our lives. We too must be about our Father’s business.

God Bless you


Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Luke 2 Part 3–Jesus 1st Day at the Temple

Luke takes Jesus from the manger to the temple.  In Luke’s Gospel, we learn of God’s confirmation of Jesus at His purification.  Jesus is first greeted By Simeon a devout worshipper of God.  God told Simeon He would not die until he met the Messiah.  Simeon was very old–so, when the Lord revealed Jesus to Him, Simeon was overjoyed. God kept His word and revealed the Savior to this man of faith.  Simeon blessed the Lord and blessed the Lord’s Mom! What a sight to behold.

Next, they met Anna the prophetess.  She had been a widow for many years and worshipped God in the temple every day.  The spirit revealed to her the identity of Jesus and Anna began to tell anyone who would listen that the Messiah had come.  What a great sense of conformation that had to have been for Joseph and Mary. This young couple were raising God’s Son–by faith and with little support.  But truth be told, they would learn that God was always there and would prepare, provide, and protect them and their Son the Savior.

As amazing as it was for Joseph and Mary, we receive the same personal attention from our Heavenly Father.  He knows us and our journey.  He is with us and prepares, protects, and provides for us just as He did for Jesus.  We too are His children, and He loves us and cherishes the relationship we have with Him.  We are not the Messiah, but we are part of His family.  We need to cling to the wonder of each of our own journeys and trust Him to lead us through them with peace and power!

God Bless You


And rwhen the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem sto present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in tthe Law of the Lord, u“Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in tthe Law of the Lord, v“a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was wrighteous and xdevout, ywaiting for zthe consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not asee death before he had seen bthe Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when cthe parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and dblessed God and said,

 29  “Lord, now you are letting your servant5 depart ein peace,

faccording to your word;

 30  for gmy eyes have seen your hsalvation

 31  ithat you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

 32  ja light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and kfor glory to lyour people Israel.”

33 And mhis father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed nfor the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign othat is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36 And there was pa prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.6 She did not depart from the temple, qworshiping with rfasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were swaiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2 Part 2–Partying With the Shepherds

It really makes sense, when you consider that the party started with the shepherds. Jesus came in a simple way in a simple town. David reminds us that the Lord is our shepherd—why wouldn’t He start the party with His homeboys. Moses, David— fellow shepherds led Israel into greatness. Now Jesus would become the ultimate Shepherd leading us back to the Father and into a personal relationship with the Lord. 

God loves His role as Shepherd. His sheep hear His voice and trust His leadership and protection. So, on that night, angels sang to fellow shepherds celebrating the coming of salvation and protection for all. We also enjoy the opportunity to celebrate our Lord’s birthday as did the shepherds. So, let the party begin. 

God Bless You 


There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed. Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Luke 2 Part 1–The First Christmas

The very story of Jesus birth is itself a miracle.  In a time when dogma and religious rule were critical, God brought His Son into the world in a most unorthodox way.  Born of a virgin, from a small town in Israel.  Born in the town of Bethlehem because of Roman rule. Welcomed by angels and visited by shepherds. Jesus’ story is itself an Amazing Journey.  Jesus’s earthly dad, Joseph had a great heart–he was ready to walk away from Mary–his fiancé, to hide her shame–but like Zacheriah and Mary, He was visited by the Angel and given the job of raising God’s son.  He must have been a great man because He raised a great son.

The Christmas story is a wonder.  God was proud to bring his son into the world, but as such, God knew the journey ahead would be difficult.  From birth to resurrection the battle would be spiritual.  Jesus would face every trial a man faced, He would send a new message that Adonai was a personal God, not simply a national symbol.  That he offered men the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Him and would give eternal life to all that believed.   In addition, He would demonstrate ministry in a way never shown to God’s people.  He would embrace the disenfranchised. He would feed the hungry, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, love the unlovable and call out the self-righteous religious leaders for their complete disregard of God’s calling to be a nation of priests.

This birth was more than a minor miracle–it was the beginning of restoration that would restore God’s plan and people top the place of love and honor they were promised.  As His chosen, we are the benefactors of that first Christmas.  We see the result of the baby born to a virgin and laid in a manger.  We are gifted with abundant life on earth and eternal life in God’s presence. No wonder angels sang, shepherds celebrated, and magi traveled from distant lands.  This was the birth of the Savior of all mankind.

God Bless You


In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.[[[MATT 1

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. ]]]

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 1 Part 5–The Birth of John the Baptist

As the age of miracles began, it was important that God–establish the players in HIS way.  John would come as a miracle, live as a prophet, andwelcome the Messiah into the ministry that was first mentioned in Genesis, prophesied throughout the Torah, and planned by God.  The mission was specific; to seek and to save that which was lost.  John’s Father heeded the message from Gabreil. When asked, He named the boy John as he had been told.  Immediately he could speak again.  And what was the first thing out of Zacheriah’s mouth–praise for the Lord and prophecy for His son and the mission. 

Interestingly, Zacheriah understood the import of the mission.  He knew that He and Elizabeth would have to raise the child in the way of the Lord and prepare John for a ministry that heralded the coming of the Messiah.  Time would tell they took that mission to heart and raised a hero. 

This story is a great reminder that nothing is done by chance with the Lord.  From creation, He has executed His plan with flawless perfection. Christ’s coming to the world was the loudest announcement of God’s love for us.  He would make sure the evidence would be there to show it was no coincidence or elaborate fraud.  The journey was foretold and now it would be executed step by step.  We can trace the prophecies and see that only one man could fill the role of Messiah.  Jesus.  As such, we need to accept the truth and follow Him on this Amazing Journey. 

God Bless You


57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn[c] of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit[d]; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Luke 1 Part 4–Mary’s Confirmation and Celebration

What would you do? Mary, a young teenager and promised bride to be, was visited by an Arch angel. She does not question the Angel’s veracity or even the message.  Still, Mary does what many in her spot would do– she ran to her Aunt Elizabeth to simply ask, “What now?”  There is little doubt that her head was spinning with the overwhelming thoughts of being pregnant, a virgin, betrothed, and carrying the Messiah. 

Then, as she enters the house of Her aunt–wife of one of the Levitical temple servants, ancestor of Aaron. Immediately the future Herald of Christ (John) jumps in his mother’s womb.  Elizabeth was then filled with God’s Spirit and affirms what Mary was already told by Gabriel. One can only imagine the boost that gave the heart of this amazing young woman. 

 Mary responds, according to Luke, with a heart of praise and conviction to carry and raise this Child. She would do so to honor God, fulfill the Abrahamic covenant, and change the world.  Luke’s is the only Gospel that took the time to look at the precursors to the birth of our Lord.  It was an incredible part of the story.  In a time and culture that would have thrown a single mother to the trash heap, God prepared the people who needed to protect and prepare Jesus’s mom for the raising the Son of God.  God would not allow this to happen in any other way. 

Why is it significant?  This back story was reported by the only Gospel writer that was completely independent. He gathered information from many sources to give account for the average seeker that was clear and complete.  Luke thought it was critical for the all to know how widely the world was affected by the life of Christ. As such He looked at family, shepherds, kings, and mystics as they were touched by the Savior.

This story shows believers the absolute passion Mary had for her call.  It adds a clear legitimacy to the life and story of this young woman.  It was not a sweet excuse for a young girl’s mistake, nor was it a fairy tale to authenticate the claims for a misguided rabbi.  It is the clarity for the reality of a very complex event that would change the world.  Jesus is God. He became flesh, and He lived to show the world the heart of God; culminated by His ultimate sacrifice at the cross.

Mary was a singularly critical figure to history because she raised this child. What’s more, she did it with a humble heart and grateful spirit.  We should serve God with a humble heart and grateful spirit as well.  We should model the sacrifice and commitment we have and will see in Luke’s account. The common denominator  is that all involved completed their journey out of their Love of God.  I simply pray that I can have as deep a love for my Lord!

God Bless You 


39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Luke 1 Part 3–God’s Mom, Wow!

Execution is everything.  Gabriel had already spoken to Zachariah about the Herald that was his son.  Now several months later Gabriel made his second announcement to a young virgin in Nazareth, named Mary.  His announcement would divide time.  He told this young girl she would carry the Son of God and be the mother of God on earth.  How amazingly overwhelming the thought of being a mom, much less the mom of the Son of God? Unlike Zachariah, Mary said she would be the servant of the Most-High God, Adonai. 

Mary would take on a task that would be unparalleled in history.  Those of us who have raised our families know that moms are tireless and sacrificial from beginning to the end.  They are bear-like in their protection, nurse-like in their nurture, and “Christ-like” in their sacrifice.  We can never overstate the critical nature of God’s choice of a mom for His Son.  History shows us God chose well! The Lord Jesus is the most definitive figure ever to stalk the panorama of Human History! (Kierkegaard) His Mom, Mary watched His growth, His life , His ministry, and His death. She saw His legacy and the building of the early church. It would have been a gut-wrenching and life giving. I can only imagine Luke’s discussions with Mary, they would have been amazing.


God Bless You


In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[b] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[c] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[d]

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[e] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1 Part 2–The Calling of God’s Herald

It seems simple enough, live a good life, serve the Lord as you were called, and things would be simple.  Well that was what Zachariah must have been thinking when he entered the Holy of Holies that day.  Not so much.  There stood Gabriel, God’s messenger waiting for him.  The message was a great message–You guys are going to have a baby.  Not just any baby–the Hearld for the coming of the Lord.  Oh, and by the way, name Him John!  Zachariah was in shock.  He asked a question that seemed fair enough, “How can I be sure?”  Gabriel responded–“I am Gabriel, I stand in God’s presence He sent me to give you a message and you want me to give you some proof?”  Gabriel shut Zachariah’s mouth until John was born.

  
What a great start to a great account.  God had this planned from the beginning.  He knew the players and the pieces.  Nothing in what was to come was left to chance.  The cool thing is that same God knows us as well.  He is never surprised by our lives.  He is not always pleased with the choices we make, but he is never caught off guard.  That is why we can be confident to seek him and ask him for life, guidance, and protection each day.  He is God.  He commands angels and He loves us.  We need to trust and follow Him each day knowing He has a plan for our lives–Just like John the Baptist.


God Bless You


In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,[a] of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and 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 the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.