Summary: Two surprising announcements. How would you react?
Falling in love with Jesus
Based on the book by the same name by: Rubel Shelly
The nature of the Gospels is summed up best by John;
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”(NIV John 20:30-31)
This question is asked: Could Jesus really have done all this for me?
From the roof tops the answer is shouted----YES!!!!!
From the mountain tops------YES!!!!!
And from the very gates of Heaven------YES!!!!
And we shall see this in our study of this wonderful book of Luke.
Lets us look at the first 4 verses again today!!
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (NIV)
Tested and scrutinized:
The opening verses of the Gospel of Luke affirm the confident historical base on which Christian faith rest.
We do not embrace myths and fables hoping against hope there is some value to these tales.
WE EMBRACE ONLY THOSE DOCUMENTED FACTS OF HISTORY that students such as Luke have “carefully investigated” and preserved in writing for us. Eyewitnesses who had contact with Jesus and he was guided by the Holy Spirit.
We see Luke calling Theophilus Most Excellent; have you ever what that meant?
Most Excellent means = person of Influence
But it is rather to be understood of some particular person, probably a magistrate; because Luke gives him here the same title of respect which St. Paul gave to Festus the governor, kratiste (Acts 26:25), which we there translate most noble Festus, and here most excellent Theophilus.
We also must look at what Theophilus means,
It means = God lover or lover of God.
Wow what a name to have, to be called a lover of God.
Names that showed up recently on police blotters: Sentenced for assault in St. Joseph, MO, Jesse James; cited for speeding in Parma, Ohio, Maelia A. Earhart; and jailed in Des Moines, Iowa, was Shannon Cooper, who police said went out bar-hopping, temporarily abandoning her children, Champaigne, 2, Chardonay, 1, and Chablea, 3 months.
Notable announcements in the news recently included the hiring by a medical clinic in Koloa, Hawaii, of Dr. Michael Cholera; and the appointment as county coroner in Spokane, Wash., of Pat Mummey.
-- Forbes Magazine, February 12, 1996, p. 28.
The Bible is full of names that have a greater meaning then we realize.
Lets look at two Luke is now brining in to his story of the message of Jesus the Christ, first lets look at the two great announcements.
Two surprising announcements 1:5-2:52
Through out the Gospel of Luke, there are scenes of unexpected events that bring great delight to the participants. The first two are particularly surprising and joyous. One has to do with the possibility of an aged but childless couple having a baby in there “sunset years”.
The other announces the Impending birth of a child to a woman who is a virgin. Both are by divine intervention and focus on the coming of the long awaited redeemer of humanity.
A. To Zachariah and Elizabeth 1:5-25
This evangelist, designing to give a more particular account, determines to do so of John Baptist, who in both was His (JESUS) harbinger and forerunner, the morning-star to the Sun of righteousness... In these verses our inspired historian begins as early as the conception of John Baptist. Let’s read Luke 1:5-25
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”