Discover His heart: Filled with unexplainable love for us, He sent His Son to us
Details, details, details! Women especially love details, and the Book of Luke is loaded with them. Because most of the women in Luke’s day were uneducated, I’m fairly certain he wasn’t writing to accommodate the female reader. His detailed accounts of the life of Christ more than likely resulted from his profession as a doctor. Luke’s life had been filled with accuracy, details and careful observations, and we are blessed by what he has added to our understanding of scripture because of this. He talked with eyewitnesses, many believe he interviewed Mary, and “carefully investigated everything from the beginning.” (1:3) As a Greek, Luke was the only known Gentile author of the New Testament, but his love and devotion to the Lord were evident in both of his books – Luke and Acts.
@ Luke 1
“Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.” (6-7) Gabriel, an angel of the Lord, appeared saying, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.”(13)
I’ve tried to imagine a visit from the angel Gabriel, and I would like to think that after I picked myself up off the floor, I would believe all that he had to say. Zechariah, however, doubted the angel’s message because of the sheer impossibility of it all. This apparently offended Gabriel, and he made Zechariah mute, temporarily. Physical limitations clashed with the power of the living God. I’ve often wondered if it offends the Lord when we pray for something to come to pass, and when it does, we are completely shocked. Thankfully, He forgives our faltering belief and does the extraordinary anyway.
On the other hand, Mary’s reaction to Gabriel and his news that she would bear God’s son was different. News that she would be an unwed pregnant teenager was not met with resistance. As a virgin, Mary must have been confused by Gabriel’s message, but she responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” (38) The miracle pregnancy of her relative, Elizabeth, did more than providing the forerunner to Jesus, but also added credibility to the miracle that Mary was experiencing and must have encouraged her in the weeks ahead. “For nothing is impossible with God,” declared Gabriel. (37) Nothing is impossible with God!
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the meeting between Elizabeth and Mary. Two miraculously pregnant women – emotional, joyful, wondering, and awestruck – bring out the tissues! Two observations have always blessed me in this meeting. “When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.” Now, how could a soul-less, unborn, useless fetus be filled with the Holy Spirit (15) and respond with such emotion? David explained it so beautifully, “You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:15-16) As a society, how can we be so bold to tamper with God’s plan?
Then came Mary’s beautiful Song of Praise. Knowing she would face ridicule, disbelief and disdain for her explanation of this pregnancy, Mary submitted herself to God with a song of praise on her lips. “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” (46-47) Jesus left heaven’s splendor and came to this world for us. I can’t help but rejoice with Mary at His goodness.
When Zechariah was finally able to speak, he eloquently expressed, “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (78-79) And I sing with Mary, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
Moving Forward: How can I do anything today without praises in my heart for His amazing love and grace? He came, He conquered, He reigns in my heart.
Tomorrow @ 2 Corinthians 9-10