Luke Reading (#4)
Take a few minutes to catch up and pray that God would bless you through the reading of His word.
Read Luke 1:57-66
[1:57] Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.  And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.  And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father,  but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”  And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.”  And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called.  And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered.  And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.  And 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.
- How did Elizabeth’s neighbors interpret the birth of John (v. 57-58)? How did they respond?
- What name were the family and neighbors expecting Elizabeth to give the child?
- What happened when Zechariah indicated that the child should be named “John” (v. 64)?
- How did people respond (v. 65-66)?
- The Lord could have given Elizabeth and Zechariah a child in a much less interesting way. How does the impact of these events on Elizabeth’s family and neighbors help us to understand God’s purpose in accomplishing his plan in this way?
- Luke has told us that he is giving us an orderly account of eyewitness testimony (1:2-3). Do you notice any details in this passage that seem like eyewitness testimony?
Read Luke 1:67-80
 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
 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,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
- What happened to Zechariah before he began to prophesy? (v. 67)
- What promises did God make to Israel through the prophets? (v. 70-71)
- What oath did God swear to Abraham? (v. 72-75)
- What was the purpose of God keeping his oath? (v. 74-75)
- What will John do? What will he be called? (v. 76-77)
- What is going to visit them? What will it bring? What is the cause of its coming? (v. 78-79)
- What is a “horn of salvation”?
- Who is the Lord that John will go before (v. 76)?
- What (who?) is the “sunrise” Zechariah mentions in v. 78?
- Why is it significant to Zechariah that these events are not random, but were prophesied long ago?
- Part of the purpose of God’s keeping his promise was that his people might serve him in holiness. Do you think of that as something to rejoice in? How is your personal righteousness a beautiful result of the “sunrise” dawning in your life?
- If God had not intervened, you would be in darkness and the shadow of death. Now, in Christ, your feet can walk the path of peace. What difference does that make in the way you live your day today?
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