The Gospel of Luke: Bible Study Guide
A simple verse by verse guide to the Gospel of Luke for individual or group use. Every chapter has thought provoking discussion questions to aid study and sample answers are provided.
Faithbuilders studies provide verse-by-verse examination of the books of the New Testament. The series was developed over a long period as a useful resource for today’s students of God’s Word. This study on the Gospel of Luke has been field tested and improved over and over again in real-life church situations.
Challenging and relevant, whilst avoiding academic language, hundreds of pastors, home group leaders and Christians from a wide range of church backgrounds have already benefitted from using Faithbuilders studies.
1:67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied.
Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied concerning his son’s God-given mission to prepare the way for the long-awaited Messiah; beginning by praising God for the coming Messianic kingdom.
1:68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because he has come to help and has redeemed his people.
Zechariah first praised God for visiting his people. The birth of John announced that God was about to come near to his people in the person of the Messiah. Zechariah further revealed the purpose of this coming; he (God, through the Messiah) had come to redeem his people. Zechariah’s son would grow to announce this coming to Israel.
1:69–71 For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us.
A ‘horn’ is a figure for a mighty deliverer; a king from the lineage of David (Ps 18:2). In Zechariah’s eyes, he would save the people of Israel from their enemies, just as God had made known through his prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21–24). Perhaps Zechariah had in mind the first prophecy in the Bible (verse 70 can read ‘since the world began’), where the enemy who brought sin, death, and estrangement from God into the world is defeated by the Messiah, so that the effects of his destructive work are undone (Gen 3:15; 1 John 3:8).
1:72 He has done this to show mercy to our ancestors, and to remember his holy covenant.
God was fulfilling the promise of mercy which he made to Israel’s forefathers, especially Abraham. He had remembered the covenant which he had made with them; a covenant which Saint Paul later explained was to be made with all people through one of Abraham’s descendants—the Messiah (Gal 3:15–17).
1:73–75 The oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham. This oath grants that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, may serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him for as long as we live.
Indeed, Zechariah elaborates that the covenant which God made with Abraham after he offered up his son Isaac (Gen 22:16–17), granted Israel deliverance from sin so that they could serve him in holiness, consecration, and righteousness (Eph 4:24) without any fear (Isa 45:17).
1:76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High. For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.
Zechariah’s prophesy now turns to John, who would be called the prophet of the Most High for he will go before the Lord Jesus Christ preparing the way for him (Mal 3:1; 4:5).
1:77 To give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
John was to make known the way of salvation to the people, firstly through preaching that they should repent of their sins in order to be ready for the Messiah, and then by pointing him out to them the one who would forgive their sins (Luke 3:3).
1:78 Because of our God’s tender mercy the dawn will break upon us from on high.
Thus, the mission of John and that of Christ would be accomplished by God’s tender love, mercy, and grace. What is more, the time was imminent for Messiah’s appearing; the sun was about to rise for a new day of grace.
1:79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Through the coming of Jesus, God would cause his light to shine into the hearts of those who were lost in the darkness of sin and held captive by the fear of death (Eph 5:8; Heb 2:15); leading sinners into the way of peace (Eph 2:14).
1:80 And the child kept growing and becoming strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he was revealed to Israel.
John grew up and become spiritually strong; that is, mature his knowledge, understanding and reliance on the strength of the Lord. He lived in isolation in the desert until the time came for him make himself known to Israel.