Grace Emerges

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chapter 1: Revolutionary Adventures in the Gospel of Luke

Revolutionary Adventures in the Gospel of Luke

Luke Chapter 1 (Luke 1:1-80)
by Brad Duncan

Join me on this adventure through the Gospel of Luke as I explore the revolution of God's grace poured out to us, and how it can lead to our fulfilling God's greatest plan to build his kingdom on Earth.

Key points from Luke 1:1-80:

  • The angel's words to Zechariah
    • John will bring many Israelites back to the Lord their God, turn thoughts of fathers back to their children, turn disobedient back to righteous patterns of thinking
    • Will go forth before the Lord, and will make ready a people prepared for the Lord
  • Zechariah's prophecy
    • God has raised up a mighty savior in David's house as promised by prophets long ago, to save us from our enemies and to show us mercy as he promised he would.
    • He rescues us, so that we can serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness in God's eyes as long as we live.
    • Because of God's compassion, the light of heaven will be revealed to us who sit in darkness, in the shadow of death.  God's light will guide us on the path of peace.
    • John, my son, will be called a prophet of the Most High, and will go to prepare the way for the Lord.  You will tell the people how to be saved through the forgiveness of their sins.  
  • The angel's words to Mary
    • Her son will be the Son of the Most High God, holy, God's son, holy.  
    • He will be born to you as a virgin, for with God nothing is impossible.
    • The Lord God will give him  the throne of David his father, and he will reign over Jacob's house forever.  There will be no end to his kingdom.
  • Mary's song
    • In the depths of who I am, I rejoice in God my savior.  He has favored me and done great things for me.
    • God shows mercy to everyone from one generation to the next, who honors him as God, filling the hungry with good things, aiding those that need his mercy.
    • In his strength he scatters and pulls down those that elevate their own power with arrogant thoughts and actions.
Luke Chapter 1 begins with huge declarations of the plan God has to pour down grace to his people.  The declarations are made by an angel who spoke to Zechariah and an angel who spoke to Mary.  Luke 1 also records a prophecy made by Zechariah when his son John was born as the angel declared, and a song (prophecy) of Mary which she made before the birth of Christ.  These passages set the stage for the events recorded in the Gospel of Luke by foreshadowing two of its main characters: John the Baptist and Jesus himself.

In the angel's words to Zechariah, he described the effect that John would have on those that listened to him.  They would change at the heart level, becoming caring to others and righteous before God.  This would prepare them to meet the savior!

Zechariah's response was to declare the good works which God intended to do in the lives of those that followed him.  God would send a mighty savior who would liberate his people, bringing God's compassion and guidance.  As a result of God's work to mend man's relationship with him, people would be able to  live in intimate relationship with God without fear, receive God's positive regard and love for them, be able to see truth and God's light in spite of their human condition, and be completely rescued (saved) from their sins through God's ultimate forgiveness.  After generations of conflict we would live at PEACE with God, completely through God's work to make it possible.

In the angel's words to Mary, he declares that her child would be both the predicted savior AND the Son of the Most High God, God's son, holy like God is holy.  He further predicts the formation of a new and eternal kingdom governed by God's son as an extension of the kingship of David, which means that it is a kingdom of living people who follow him in this life, starting with Israel and extending to all nations.  

In Mary's song, she declares Gods mercy and describes God's active role in providing for those that honor him as well as resisting those that elevating themselves against him in their own arrogance.

Overall these passages describe the collision between God and man's history in an event which we call the "incarnation."  This collision would leave the world completely changed, with a new kingdom in place which would consist of people who honor God in their deepest hearts and thoughts, people who could live lives of peace and liberation, and could receive the provision of God.  The kingdom would be a new revelation of God's light for those that honor him, and a revolution against all those that would raise up their own kingdoms against him.  God's message and plans are powerful, life/heart/mind changing, kingdom building, and in a word, Revolutionary.  The world would never be the same!

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