Introduction to Luke and Chapter 1

Posted by Dion Todd April 27th, 2015 6,060 Views 0 Comments

Bible Study on the Gospel of Luke


 The Gospel According to Luke


This week we will be discussing Luke chapter 1. Here are some thoughts and questions for this weeks segment to think over while you are listening / reading. We will get feedback as we move forward and try and improve each week as we learn together. Feel free to post your comment below!


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Take the Quiz on Luke chapter 1 when done!


An Introduction to Luke:

— Luke was a physician and a close companion of the Apostle Paul. Paul wrote that “Luke alone is with me” (2 Timothy 4:11) when everyone else had abandoned him. He brought Paul food while he was in prison. Luke was a plain, humble man that was a servant and a trusted assistant (Col 4:14, Philemon 24).


— The Gospel According to Luke was written about 62 A.D. and Acts around 63 A.D. There were many eye witnesses still around at that date and he researched and compiled his information, then told the entire story through Luke and Acts. Early on it was called “Luke-Acts.”


— Early church accounts say that he was a convert and that he never married. Luke was a gentile and did not grow up in the temple or under the law. He stayed with Paul until the end, when Paul was martyred. Luke himself lived to be 84 and died “full of the Holy Spirit.”

— Luke and Acts together account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution by a single author, so Luke actually wrote more of the Bible than Paul. Both Luke and Acts were written by Luke in a refined Koine Greek.

— Luke mostly uses verbatim quotes from the Lord Jesus and not that much about the law. He was a gentile convert.

— “Theophilus" means "Lover of God.” He was probably wealthy and in the roman government because of the title “Most Excellent.” The largest portion of the new testament was written, to him. 


Luke Chapter 1

Luke 1 Outline:
1:1-4  The purpose of Luke’s gospel.
1:5-25  Gabriel gives the promise of a son to Zechariah.
1:5-7  Some background of Zechariah and Elizabeth
1:8-10  Zechariah is selected by lot to burn incense.
1:11-20  Gabriel speaks to Zechariah in the temple fulfilling Malachi’s prophecy (Mal 4:5).
1:21-23  Zechariah appears to the Jews waiting outside the temple.
1:24-25  Elizabeth conceives as the angel Gabriel promised.
1:26-38  Gabriel gives the promise of a son to Mary fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 7:14).
1:39-56  Mary visits her relative Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah.
1:39-45  Elizabeth’s shares a song of love.
1:46-55  Mary’s shares a song of faith.
1:56  Mary stays with Elizabeth for 3 months then returns home.
1:57-79  The birth of John the Baptist.
1:57-66  Zechariah and Elizabeth call his name “John.”
1:67-79  Zechariah gives a prophecy of hope.
1:67-75  Zechariah gives a prophecy about Jesus.
1:76-79  Zechariah gives a prophecy about John the Baptist.
1:80  John the Baptist grows up in the wilderness.

Study Notes:
— With 80 verses, Luke chapter 1 is the longest chapter in the book of Luke. 

— The prophet Malachi wrote “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.” (Malachi 4:5) and then there were 400 years of complete silence from the Lord. Then Gabriel appeared to Zechariah in the temple. 

— “Gabriel” means “God is my strength.“

— “Zechariah” means “Memory of the Lord.”

— “Elizabeth” means “The oath, or fullness, of God.”

— “John” means “The grace or mercy of the Lord.” John the baptist was about 6 months older than Jesus (Luke 1:26).

— “Mary” means “Rebellion.” ( I know, but google it for yourself or check “Hitchcock’s Bible Names”…)

— “Joseph” means “Increase; addition.”

There were around 700,000 priests in the land of Israel divided into 24 groups or divisions. Zechariah was of the “division of Abijah” and eight in rotation (1 Chr 24:10). Two weeks a year their order got to serve at the temple in Jerusalem. As they were serving, they cast lots to decide who would go in and burn incense before the Lord. This was such a high honor, and there were so many priests that you only got to do this once in your lifetime, then you were off the list. Zechariah is now old when he finally gets to go inside and after 400 years of complete silence, the angel Gabriel is standing there and gives him a word from the Lord. The 400 year old prophecy of Malachi is now beginning to be fulfilled. 

After this the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and a 700 year old prophecy by Isaiah is fulfilled: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 ESV)

Mary was probably about 13 years old and living in Nazareth. It is such a small town that it is not even mentioned in the old testament. It is more like a community. A place to stop while on your way somewhere else. She was probably uneducated (most women were then) and from a very humble family. Becoming pregnant could have meant a death sentence by stoning, but she stood in faith on what God had told her and it came to pass.

Discussion Questions:

1) Why do you think Zechariah was silenced when questioning Gabriel about the birth of John? Why was Mary not also rebuked when questioning about the birth of Jesus? In Genesis 17:17 Abraham laughed when God said he and Sarah would have a son. How was this different from Zechariah?

2) Gabriel said that John would go forth in the "spirit and power of Elijah”. In what way did John inherit this spirit? What was John’s purpose?

3) Why do you think it was said that John would not be able to drink wine or strong drink?

4) What are your thoughts on the connection of Mary and Elizabeth, both very different women, but both bearing children ordained by God.

5) Zechariah’s silence was lifted at the birth of John. Why do you think that was allowed?

Feel free to reply here with your thoughts about the chapter, the discussion questions or your own questions! Lord willing, we will all grow together here :).

Take the Quiz on Luke chapter 1

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