" And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Luke 1:12-17 AV)
Luke's Thought Progression:
Luke's Main Focus:
The birth and impact of John: a forerunner of the Lord to prepare a people for the Lord.
The Big Picture:
Theophilus needed to understand the coming of Messiah in light of the preparatory activities that took place.
- 1. Zacharias' reaction: mentally confused and fearful.
- a. No matter how well a man lives (John was righteous before the Lord and walked blamelessly in all the commandments and precepts), he is ill-prepared for heavenly glory.
- b. Even though the offering of incense signified that God would hear and answer, it had been going on without result(s) for long enough so as to dull the expectation.
- 2. The angel's exhortation: do not fear.
- 3. The angel's explanation: your petition has been heard.
- a. Your wife will bear you a son.
- b. You are to call him John (Yahweh exercises pity/acts on feelings of compassion: a name that is significant in the light of the outer [Herod] and inner [barren] circumstances).
- 1) You shall be joyful and glad and many will rejoice upon his birth
- 2) He shall be great before the Lord
- 3) He shall not drink wine or strong drink
- 4) He shall be filled by the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb
- 5) Many of the sons of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God
- 6) And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah
- a) to turn the hearts of the fathers to children
- b) and the unbelieving in the understanding of the righteous
- c) to prepare for the Lord a people having been equipped