Summary: This is my introductory message to a series I am currently preaching on the Gospel of Luke. This message was preached on Sunday, December 25, 2011 and covers the birth of Christ
The final portion of this sermon is copied from a message that I found here on Sermon Central. I do not remember the author of the sermon.
The Gospel of Luke
Chapters 1 & 2
Today we are starting a new series on the Gospel of Luke
My goal is to start today with the birth of Jesus and end on Easter with His resurrection
I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to pull it off though
Why? Simply because there is so much in the Gospel of Luke that I could easily spend the next 2 to 3 years going through it in detail!
The Gospel of Luke is the longest book in the New Testament and was written by Luke
Luke was a physician and also a Gentile – this makes Luke the only non-Jewish author in the entire Bible
In addition to writing the Gospel of Luke, Luke also wrote the book of Acts (which is what we will be studying this summer!)
When you combine the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts you get 28% of the New Testament, which makes Luke the most prolific writer in the New Testament – Paul wrote more books, but Luke wrote longer books
The Gospel of Luke was written primarily to a Gentile audience and Luke states his purpose right in the beginning:
Luke 1:1-4 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 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, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
We first of all see that Luke is addressing this book to someone specific – a man by the name of Theophilus – the fact that he is called “most excellent” tells us that he was either a noble or in some high level position within the government
Luke also states that “many” have written about the life of Jesus, but apparently there were confusing and conflicting reports because Luke felt the need to do an in depth investigation and write about what he had discovered
We need to realize that Luke was not an eyewitness to these events, but rather gathered information from those who were
Luke was a traveling companion to the Apostle Paul and was therefore in touch with many of the original Apostle’s and eye witnesses to the events that he writes about
In the Gospel Luke goes through the life and family of Jesus chronologically
After his introduction he talks about the birth of John the Baptist and then goes right into the account of Jesus’ birth
That’s where we are going to pick up today –
Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
There are a couple of things to note here –
Luke specifically mentions that Mary was “pledged to be married” – or engaged – to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of David
This is important for 2 reasons – first is the fact that Joseph was a descendant of King David
Although this was a pretty cool thing we must also remember that David had LOTS of wives and concubines who gave him LOTS of children
Add to this the fact that several hundred years had passed between David and Joseph and there could easily be literally thousands of descendant of David at this time
SO even though being a descendant of David was cool, it was not all that special – what makes it special however is the fact that Old Testament prophecy specifically states that the Messiah would be a descendant of David
So Luke is establishing Jesus’ Davidic lineage and therefore His right to claim to be the Messiah
The other thing that is specifically mentioned is that Mary was engaged to Joseph, not married to Joseph, and that she was a virgin
Why is this important?
Explain “genetic moral depravity” (as humans our sinful nature is genetic. Since Jesus was only half human – e.g. human ova & Holy Spirit fertilization – He was able to escape the genetic sinful nature)
There’s something else to note in this passage – Mary and Joseph were from the town of Nazareth
During the first century Nazareth was a little hole in the wall town with a population estimate of about 500 people