Study 1 – Luke 1:1-25

Study 1 – Luke 1:1-25

1. What was the mission assigned to John the Baptist? What was to be the nature of his greatness (verse 15)? Compare verses 76, 77.
2. What was the cause of Zechariah’s punishment (verse 20)? What made him hesitate to believe the angel’s message? What similar temptations to unbelief do you face? Why ought Zechariah to have believed and why ought we to believe?
3. Verses1-4. What do these verses tell us of: (a) the sources of Luke’s information, (b) the importance that he attached to giving a truthful record, and (c) his purpose in writing the Gospel?

Note: Verse 3. The title ‘most excellent’ suggests that Theophilus was a high official, probably not a Christian, but with some knowledge of and interest in Christianity.

1.
John the Baptist was to be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth to enable him to teach the people about the “salvation through the forgiveness of their sins” (vrs 77) to prepare the way for the Lord.

2. Gabriel made Zechariah unable to speak until John was born because he doubted what the angel told him. His wife, Elizabeth was old (too old to have children) and she was barren which is why he hesitated. I think there is a tendancy to hesitate when we are told God will do something that is against science, or seemingly impossible. We doubt ourselves and what we saw, or dismiss it as “just me” or a silly dream. I think there is even more tendancy to doubt when we are told things by someone else as many people have “visions, dreams and words of God” too readily. On top of these, experience also tends to teach us to be wary, cynical and not to trust easily so I think when the “word from God/vision etc” IS real, we are less likely to believe it or we’ll keep it in the back of our minds as something that MIGHT be true. Zechariah and we ought to believe because God can do the impossible and has no limitations. However, I also feel that it’s good to be a bit wary and we are human, so we do doubt. Realistically, I also think we should be wary when hearing from other people.

God obviously had something very important to tell Zechariah and so communicated it in a way that couldn’t be misconstrued – by angel!! I believe that if God has something important to tell us, then we will KNOW when it’s from God/when it’s for us.

3. Firstly, these four verses tell us one very important piece of information. That although the information has been passed down by “eyewitnesses and servants of the word”, that the key point is that it’s been PASSED DOWN. Information changes as it is passed along and it’s almost certain that at least some of the stories before Luke was involved would have been passed down by word of mouth as most people wouldn’t have been educated and able to write. This is one reason why the bible can’t be taken literally. If the bible was the LITERAL word of God then why are the four Gospels different…? Because every person experiences God differently because of how they relate to God, their past experiences of God, their experiences in life etc etc etc… These things will make each of us relate to God in a different way. Me and you could have EXACTLY the same spiritual experience and both of us would relate to it in different ways, take different things from it and some details would be more important than others in both. I believe that it is actually EXTREMELY important that all four Gospels are different as it puts a bit of the persons experience into the text and there are some stories that are in all four Gospels and yet there is one version that I prefer over the others because of how it’s written or the details it includes.

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