LUKE: PART I
Read: Luke 1:1-56
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. (NIV Luke 1: 46-56)
Study: Luke was a medical doctor, a friend and ministry companion of the apostle Paul, and a careful historian. In addition to his Gospel, he also wrote the Book of Acts, a record of the early church. Both works are dedicated to Theophilus, probably a fellow believer and wealthy patron who sponsored the writing. Luke’s main theme, as in all the Gospels, is the good news that Christ came to redeem us, and that this has been God’s loving plan throughout history. The angel Gabriel actually proclaimed two miraculous births in Luke’s first chapter. First, he announced that the Messiah’s forerunner, John the Baptist, would be born to an older, barren couple (reminiscent of Abraham and Sarah). He made this announcement to the prospective father, Zechariah, as he was fulfilling his priestly duties at the temple in Jerusalem. The baby would bring joy, would be a prophet full of the Holy Spirit, and would preach a message of repentance to the people. Second, Gabriel announced that the Messiah Himself, the Son of God, would be born to a younger, engaged–but–not–yet–married couple (as prophesied in Isa. 7:14). He made this announcement to the prospective mother, Mary, at her home in Nazareth. The baby would be a king in the line of David and the Son of the Most High God.
Pray: For today’s prayer, I want you to look at Mary’s prayer in the scripture. Despite a life of obedience in priestly ministry, Zechariah responded to the angel’s announcement of John’s birth with fear and doubt. By contrast, Mary, an inexperienced and untested young woman, responded to the even more incredible announcement of her virgin conception with humble trust. The quality of her humility and faith is seen in verses 46 through 55, a passage known as the Magnificent. Pray these words of adoration to God in your own prayer time today.