November 8, 2020
Luke starts his gospel with these wonderful words, “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught”. (Luke 1:4 ESV). Certainty is a funny thing, if we are certain about something, we tend to be more confident in its value and in its surety. Yet there is a reality when we talk about the Gospel and our faith for some of us we are not as certain, especially when our faith is tested or questioned by the world. As we explore the Gospel of Luke in the coming weeks, we are reminded that we do have certainty in the things we have been taught. They’re not made up stories but true historical accounts of real people, real places, and real incidents, and more importantly a real God. Unlike the gods of this world our God has a wonderful plan to save us, and we know this with certainty because He sent his Son the Lord Jesus Christ to redeem us. Luke’s gospel helps us discover these truths -the gospel is good news that provides a living hope.
Please read Luke 1:1-4
1. Who was Luke? (Acts 16:11 – 17, 22-40; Col 4:7-14) When does Luke first meet Paul? Was he Jew or Gentile? How does Luke firm up his credentials to write a gospel account? What was Luke purpose in writing to Theophilus? What do you think the orderly account refers to? (is it chronological, geographical or historical?)
2. Luke chapters 1 and 2 has been described as an ‘overture’ to the whole Gospel of Luke, which means that it introduces some of the key themes in the story of Jesus’ life and ministry. What are some of the key ideas about the gospel message that we see in the first 38 verses of Luke’s Gospel? Read Luke 1:5-25
3. It has been suggested that Luke is deliberately presenting the announcements of John’s and Jesus’ births to childless couples in the same way as occurs in various stories in the Old Testament – see Genesis 16:10-11; 17:15-18:15; 25:21-26; 29:31 and 30:22-24; Judges 13:3-21 – why might Luke be doing this?
4. In this section of Scripture we have the first pronouncement by the angel Gabriel (the angel of the Lord). What is so significant about this announcement? (Mal. 4:5-6) What can be concluded about Zechariah and Elizabeth’s character from this text? Why do you think Zachariah was muted?
5. There was a stigma attached to being childless amongst the Jews in both OT and NT times, because it was seen as a lack of God’s blessing. It was a source of great disappointment and grief. Childlessness is not necessarily seen in the same way today but are there other stigmas or disappointments which we have to face today? What can we learn from Zechariah and Elizbeth about what to do with them? Read Luke 1:26-38
6. The same angel visits Mary, what is Mary’s response to this visit? What was Gabriel announcing to Mary and how are these verses related to the promise given to David in 2 Sam 7:12-17?
7. In what ways are the two birth announcements similar? Different? What role does the Holy Spirit have in the birth announcements?
8. A key truth in this section is found in Luke 1:37. How to you relate to this saying? What things do you need to yield to God acknowledging that nothing is impossible for Him?