Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 1 Message Outlines
Luke 1:56-80 (8)
by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 5 Study # 8 September 5, 2004 Lincolnton, N.C.
(091)Thesis:The "message" of the Holy Spirit is the explanation of how men may experience salvation.
Introduction:In our study last week, we noted that Luke wrote of Zacharias being "filled" with the Holy Spirit so that he both prophesied and laid out a certain doctrinal foundation. In a prior study, we looked into Luke's record of Zacharias' outburst of praise to Yahweh, God of Israel. This morning we are going to continue our look into Luke's words so that we may see with clarity what the "prophetic doctrinal foundation" is.
I. The General Theme: Divine Revelation Regarding Man's Walk Upon the Road of Peace.
A. The issue of divine revelation.
1. Is underscored by the filling of Zacharias unto prophecy and doctrinal content.
2. Is underscored by the persistent theme of prophetic utterances in 1:70, 71-72, and 76.
3. Is also underscored by the last phrase in the material: a light given so that our feet may be guided onto the Highway of Peace.
B. The issue of the divine objective.
1. God never speaks to no end.
2. The divine objective is stated twice...
a. In 1:74-75 we are told that the divine intent is that we should serve Him in holiness and righteousness.
b. In 1:79 we are told that the light arises so that our feet may be guided onto the Highway of Peace.
C. The nature of the Highway of Peace.
1. It is a very high level objective.
a. Everything that God has ever said has been designed to influence our behavior.
1) There are many who think that because salvation is not "out of works" there is little significance to our works.
a) The result of this is a very casual attitude toward both our objectives and the ways we chase them in respect to the will of God.
i. We are not casual about our objectives and the ways we chase them (we will work very hard and be very deliberate and, often, very aggressive toward any who get in our way).
ii. But we are often very casual about whether those objectives and methods have any connection to the Highway of Peace.
b) This also results in a pretty laid back attitude toward the issue of whether divine revelation is all that big of a deal.
i. We are not laid back about finding out how to accomplish our ends (we spend incredible amounts of time, effort, and money in the pursuit of our dreams).
ii. But we often are very laid back about the amount of time, effort, and money we spend trying to find out what God has said and what He means.
2) Those who misunderstand the purpose of God's speech about the fruitlessness of our "works" in respect to salvation do not realize that all that has been said by God has been said because He created us to "act" and is intensely interested in how we act.
a) Without exception, everything God has said about salvation and life has been said to get us "on the Highway" and to get us "moving down the Highway".
b) That much is said about the futility of our behavior has been said so that we may actually "get on the Highway" so that we may "move down the Highway".
b. There is only one thing that is more important to God than our behavior: what our behavior produces.
1) God is "life" focused.
2) Behavior is so high on the scale of things that impact "life" that there are few things more important because of that impact.
2. It is consumed by two issues...
a. How we treat God (holiness).
b. How we treat other human beings (righteousness).
II. The Specific Doctrine.
A. First, Yahweh must be highly exalted as the Executor of Power for those who seek to be blessed.
1. "Blessed be" is nothing more or less than a declaration of how important it is for Yahweh to be highly regarded and spoken of.
2. The Name plus the Characterization identifies the core theology.
B. Second, Yahweh must be seen as a "Visitor".
1. The entire content of Zacharias' inspired prophecy is arranged under the statement "...because He has visited."
a. That this is the issue is seen by the total inclusio that shows up in the "...because He has visited" of 1:68 and the "...He shall visit us..." of 1:78.
b. That this is the issue means that we need to understand what it means.
2. There are no contexts in which the term "visit" is used that do not have a very clear indication that "visiting" doesn't mean "talking to someone"; rather, it means "acting on someone's behalf to shore up their neediness with practical help".
3. This means that Yahweh never "visits" without addressing a need with a solution.
C. Third, Yahweh must be seen as a "Wise" Visitor.
1. This issue of "wisdom" is not addressed in specific vocabulary, but it is a fundamental requirement of "visiting" ... one must be able to both identify the problem as well as give a solution that will actually work [unlike the welfare state that only looks at the superficial need and offers a Band-Aid while trumpeting the activity as highly necessary -- i.e. "School tools" -- or the political ad that decries the loss of "hundreds of millions of dollars" for the jobless].
2. The text tells us that Yahweh sees our need for "life" and addresses it with a real solution.
a. The need is for "legitimate behaviors" in a "cause and effect universe"...life is a consequence of actions.
b. Thus, the need is for "legitimate foundations" for the production of those legitimate behaviors.
c. Thus, we see Yahweh addressing foundations...
1) He first addresses the estrangement of His people...the root of the quality of experience that He sees as "death". He does this by "producing redemption".
a) The words do not indicate that the redemption has been produced at the time of Zacharias' words.
b) Rather, they indicate that Yahweh has "visited" by "creating in Mary's womb the "ransom payment" that will, at the proper time, purchase the redemption.
2) Secondly, He addresses the behaviors of those who refuse the reconciliation so that they maintain their estrangement.
a) Remember, behavior affects the experience of life.
b) In order to produce the full-orbed experience of life, Yahweh must do something about those who refuse to get into the process that will make their behaviors "contributory to life".
c) Yahweh's approach is to "raise up a horn of salvation in the house of David".
i. The "horn of salvation" is the "horn" which attacks the enemies and destroys them.
ii. The "horn" thesis is introduced in Deuteronomy 33:17; Numbers 23:22; and 24:8 and invariably has to do with the destruction of the adversaries as Zacharias points out in 1:71 and 74.
iii. There are two tasks of the "Visitor from on High"...to qualify a people for the Kingdom and to exclude all enemies from the Kingdom (a task that was anciently illustrated by the constellation Taurus which Balaam saw as he prophesied).
iv. However, there is this twist: the horn is in the house of David, not the house of Joseph -- because He is one horn (ben Judah).