Study # 3
September 14, 2003
Lincolnton, N.C.

Thesis: Before there can be a great number of specific answers to prayer, the issue of loyalty must be answered: to Whom will I be loyal and from Whom do I expect loyalty? Introduction: In our study last week we considered the text's focus on the daily routine as the chief mechanism for the accomplishment of the will of God. We saw that there are times of divine intervention in which God acts contrary to the norm, but these unnatural occasions are neither the norm, nor the way the will of God typically gets done. There are two kingdoms functioning in this creation. The one that carries the weight of sensual perception is one of incremental chaos and the gradual destruction of the quality of experience. The one that depends entirely upon revealed Truth, as opposed to sensually based perceptions of what is true, is one of incremental development of character and a sometimes imperceptible movement to ecstasy. Luke, being aware of the presence of these two kingdoms and of the desire of Theophilus to participate in the latter of the two, deliberately set the stage for his presentation of Christ in the context of prayer [note the fact that the coming of Gabriel to Mary did not have this focus] and the question before us is, Why? What is it about prayer that Luke wanted Theophilus to grasp? What should we learn from the fact that the record of John's coming was surrounded by the connotations of prayer, while the coming of Jesus was not?