Sermon Recap: LUKE 1

Good Afternoon and Happy Monday, Church Family! It's time for another sermon recap. We're glad you're here. By a show of hands, how many of you attended or tuned in to yesterday's message? Awesome. Now, by a show of hands, how many of you actually raised your hand? You're my favorite!


Pastor Steve began by showing the Bible Project video, highlighting Luke 1-9. If you're new to the Bible Project, I would highly encourage you to watch their videos. They somehow, magically blend the visual to the Scripture and help make it come to life. As someone who often needs the visual, I appreciate their ministry greatly.

Here's what you should know about the book of Luke:
1. The book of Luke is sectioned into three parts.
2. Luke details much of the infancy of Jesus, whereas other books do not.
3. You may not have known, nor did I until Pastor Steve mentioned it, that Luke and Acts are companion books, which combined makes up 27.5% of the entire New Testament.
4. Luke and Acts also compile the first Christian history.

In thinking about why Luke details the birth of Jesus, I wondered why it mattered to him so much to write about it. In doing some research, what I found was that Luke was likely a Gentile. At that time in history, a Gentile was one known for someone who did not believe in God. They were not of Jewish decent. Luke came into the world as an outcast. Sound familiar? Now consider the birth of Jesus and his infancy. Someone born to a virgin, in a stable, seemingly swept to the side with his family, while also being hated by Herod. And yet, through the birth of Jesus, we know there is now hope for all people. Is that not the greatest news of all time? The word, aphesis, is the Greek word for freedom. It's no wonder that in diving into the "why's" of Luke, I now know better. He was desperate for this kind of hope. The fulfillment of freedom was upon him.

It is the angel, Gabriel, who comes to Mary saying, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!". Would anyone else like to be greeted like this? We really need to up our game. Gabriel goes on to tell her that she will conceive a child and he will be called, Son of the Most High. It's a miracle. She is a virgin. Rather than doubting the angel's words, she simply asks how and then replies, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1: 38). This is my new favorite Bible verse. Let it be me. Let it be me that finds favor in the Lord. Let it be me that He uses to call others to His name. Let it be me who calls myself a servant of the Lord. Let it be me. And then we read Mary's song of praise in Luke 1: 46-55, beginning with these words: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant". How sweet and precious are the words of this virgin mother who will birth the hope of this world. It truly is no wonder that she is found favorable in the eyes of the Lord.

Luke 1 describes not only the birth of Jesus, but also the birth of John, who we later see as John the Baptist. When the angel, Gabriel, first appears, he speaks to Zechariah and announces that his wife, Elizabeth, will have a son and name him John, which goes against the genealogy pattern. They are already well in age and Zechariah's response is classic. He says this, "How shall I know this?". Without a blink (or at least that's how I imagine it), Gabriel replies, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of the God". The trump cards of all trump cards gets played, and Zechariah is now silenced until John is born. In the silence, I'd imagine the curiosity of his community building. How was his silence perceived? How did this shape his character? And then, out of the silence, God speaks. After John was born, Elizabeth and Zechariah gave him his name and at that moment, Zechariah's tongue loosened and he was able to speak. Scripture tells us that, "fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, 'What then will this child be?' For the hand of the Lord was with him" (Luke 1: 65-66).

Further down in Luke 1, Zechariah's prophesy is this:

"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God" (Luke 1: 76-78).

Luke ends this first chapter saying that John grew to be strong in spirit.

Is this first chapter of Luke reminding you of our call to live obediently for Christ? Or is it just me? Raise of hands. Oh church! I hope that you will continue with us in the gospel of Luke. We're in for a wild ride. If you'd like to read ahead, we'll be working through Luke 2 this coming Sunday, and it's only 52 verses compared to the 80 we just went through. Yep. You're welcome.

And as always, if you need prayer or would like to continue the conversation with one of our pastors, please call the church office at 209-532-1381. See you next week!






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