Books of the Bible function like bridges. Individual books support a larger story line. Luke 1 serves as a bridge for skeptics and doubters invited to investigate the claims of Jesus. If you are on your a faith journey, then Luke’s gospel is for you. For the believer, Luke’s gospel will confirm Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. Today’s text provides three bridges that lead to Jesus.
The gospel of Luke delivers confidence to God’s people who waver – Luke 1: 1-4
Luke delivers a bridge from uncertainty to certainty, from skepticism to confidence. Luke records this history because of a friend, named Theophilus. Theophilus is hesitant to believe. Many Bible scholars think that because Luke uses the description, Most excellent, that maybe Theophilus was a man of rank or stature. We are not sure exactly why Theophilus is doubtful of Christian teaching, but Luke is confident that what he records will help his friend have certainty. Luke says, Theophilus, this Jesus and His teachings you can rely on. Let me tell you why
The gospel of Luke documents God’s preparation for salvation – Luke 1: 5-17
Luke provides a bridge from the Old Testament era to the New Testament era. Preparation is an important word. From the final page of your Old Testament to the first page of Luke there are 400 years where God is silent. No visions, no miracles, no prophets. In order to give context to the teaching of Jesus, Luke introduces Theophilus to an older Jewish couple, humble, righteous, and childless. It is clear that Zechariah, a priest, and Elizabeth, a priest’s daughter, are part of a faithful remnant waiting for God to send His Rescuer. Zechariah’s name means Yahweh has remembered again. This signals that God is intending to do something, not just for this childless couple, but also for His people.
The gospel of Luke demands a response to God’s promises – Luke 1: 18-25
Luke’s third bridge demands a response to God’s revelation. Two responses are recorded: unbelieving and believing. In Luke 1:18-25, we learn the faithful priest Zechariah responds with doubt and his elderly wife Elizabeth responds with joyful faith. It doesn’t take long for a priest to offer a prayer which is why the Jews are questioning the delay. In Luke 1:62, when Zechariah appears he is speechless, it also appears that he was deaf. Thankfully, his handicap and unbelief are temporary because the next time we hear Zechariah, his voice is singing a song of thanksgiving for the Lord’s provision.
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