Luke Chapter 1:46-80
for this week: John 3:18 He that
believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the
only begotten Son of God..
We continue our study of
the book of Luke as we cover the last third of the long first
chapter. There was so much information that we could not have
effectively covered so many verses in just two lessons. Last
week’s lesson was in regards to the angel coming to tell Mary about
how she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus Christ. She was
very surprised and could not comprehend how this was to be since she
was a virgin and had never knew a man. This was all explained, and
her soon to be husband, Joseph, was a good man and protected and
took care of her during her pregnancy. We closed last week with
Mary coming to Elizabeth to tell her the great news of Christ’s
upcoming birth. At the announcement, the baby she was carrying,
(John the Baptist), leaped in her womb due to joy.
I. Mary Magnifies the Lord
Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth
magnify the Lord,
Luke 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in
God my Saviour.
Luke 1:48 For he hath regarded the low
estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all
generations shall call me blessed.
After Elisabeth finished speaking, Mary opened her mouth to
praise the Lord in a beautiful psalm which compares favorably with
those written by divine inspiration by David, the Psalmist and King
of Israel. Since all words recorded in the word of God are
inspired of God, that means the things she spoke were inspired.
These words are of great value to us not only due to their poetic
beauty, but they prove that Mary’s hope of salvation rested upon God
himself. Some groups from Rome had said that she was born without
the inbred sin nature and had no need of a redeemer, but Mary
herself says “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath
rejoiced in God my Savior.” Mary was a good woman, but as we
mentioned last week, that is all that she was. A good woman chosen
by God to be the mother of Jesus Christ. She has no special power
with God as some teach, and we are never commanded to pray to Mary
for any purpose. Jesus, to the best of my knowledge, never in the
scriptures addressed Mary as ‘mother’, but treated her with love and
respect. As he was dying, he did tell John to behold her, and to
take her in as a mother.
John 19:26 When
Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom
he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
John 19:27 Then
saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that
disciple took her unto his own home.
Mary, as good a person as she was, one with a great moral
character, still realized that she had need of a Savior. All of us
must come to God as a sinner and turn to Christ by faith to be
saved. Mary was wise in not giving herself credit for any extra
ordinary righteousness that lifted her above other people. In
verse 48, Mary recognizes that she will be remembered by all
generations as blessed. She saw herself as a humble handmaiden of
the Lord. She truly was blessed above all other women due to being
selected of God to be the physical mother of His only Begotten Son,
Luke 1:49 For he that is mighty hath done
to me great things; and holy is his name.
Mary was wise to seeing all that had come upon her as the
goodness of the Lord. She didn’t perceive herself too highly, but
rather recognized the Mighty God of Israel and recognized his great
Prov 16:18 Pride
goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Prov 16:19 Better
it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the
spoil with the proud.
Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that
fear him from generation to generation.
Luke 1:51 He hath showed strength with his
arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Luke 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from
their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
Luke 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with
good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
We can tell by these verses that Mary had been taught the
word of God. These words show how she must have meditated of the
condition of her people and the oppression that they endured. And
she knew in her unborn child the promised Messiah was about to
deliver Israel from their affliction. He would bring judgment to
their Gentile oppressors. God’s mercy truly is on those that fear
him from generation to generation. We all need the mercy of God.
God honors those who pray and seek him with a humble heart.
Luke 18:13 And the
publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes
unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to
me a sinner.
Luke 18:14 I tell
you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the
other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he
that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
God has done great things for us. In verse 51 he has showed
us strength with his arm and scattered the proud. In Verse 52 he
hath put down the mighty and exalted those of low degree. He has
also filled the hungry with good thing, but has sent the rich away
Mary sings, “He hath shewed strength with his arm.” In Isaiah
53:1 the prophet Isaiah said, “… to whom is the arm of the
Lord revealed?” Then
Isaiah begins immediately to reveal the Lamb of God that takes away
the sin of the world. God has shown the strength of His arm and
revealed His power and love in the salvation He has given to
Luke 1:54 He hath holpen his servant
Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
Luke 1:55 As he spake to our fathers, to
Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
God has truly been with the nation of Israel and loved and
protected it through the generations. Today they are still seeking
the Messiah, but one day they will see Jesus as the true Son of God
that He is. And the bible says that the nation will be reborn as in
a day. God spake many promises to the forefathers like Abraham,
and these promises will be kept. God never goes back on His Word.
As we studied last week, one day, and I don’t think it will be
many weeks from now, Jesus will return and take us out of this
world. Things will be in place then for the beginning of the seven
years of tribulation. After that, Christ will then sit on that
physical throne of David there in Jerusalem and will rule this world
during the Millennial Reign of Christ.
Luke 1:56 And Mary abode with her about
three months, and returned to her own house.
From verse 56, we can see that Mary stayed with Elisabeth for
about 3 months and then returned home. We know from last week’s
lesson that Elisabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy when she
came to visit. It was now time for Elisabeth to bring forth her
son, and as promised of the Lord, the boy is born.
II. The Birth of
John the Baptist
Luke 1:57 Now Elisabeth's full time came
that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son
Luke 1:58 And her neighbours and her
cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; and they
rejoiced with her.
As always, things come to pass as God promises. John the
Baptist is born just as the angel had told Zacharias and Elisabeth
nine months earlier. The neighbors and relatives rejoice at the
boy’s birth. Even they had heard about how God had showed great
mercy upon Elisabeth and they rejoice with her. She was well past
the age of bearing a child, but God can do what seems impossible to
Luke 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the
eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him
Zacharias, after the name of his father.
Luke 1:60 And his mother answered and
said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
Luke 1:61 And they said unto her, There is
none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
As commanded in the law, the parents
bring John to be circumcised on the eighth day at the temple. This
commandment was given to Abraham many years prior to John the
Genesis 17:12 And he that is eight days old
shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations,
he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger,
which is not of thy seed.
The family was already calling the new son Zacharias after
his father. They did not know that God had already given this child
a name when the angel appeared to Zacharias in the temple.
Elisabeth told them “NOT SO; but he shall be called John.” They
argued that no one in the family had ever been so named.
Luke 1:62 And they made signs to his
father, how he would have him called.
Luke 1:63 And he asked for a writing
table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
Luke 1:64 And his mouth was opened
immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
Zacharias did not hesitate about letting them know what the
child’s name would be. He tells them to bring a writing table, and
he wrote down the name John. There was no question about what his
name was to be, since he had received instructions from God.
Apparently, years before this it had been in God’s plan that a man
named John the Baptist would come in the spirit of Elijah and
prepare a people for the Lord. Unbelief had closed Zacharias’
mouth, and now, by faith, his tongue is loosed. Unbelief had made
him dumb, and now faith enabled him to speak and to praise God.
J. Vernon McGee said this about the naming of John.
Since he could not speak, he wrote for them, “His name is John.” He
had already been named by God. Those present marveled at the name.
After this, Zacharias was able to speak again, and he
immediately began to sing praises to God. Although he did not have
much faith, when the baby was born he could rejoice in God. Again,
the lack of faith displayed by Zacharias is a quality many of us
have. When God hears and answers prayer, we really get up and
rejoice. I sometimes think that the reason God answers prayer for
some of us weaker saints is so that we will have something to
rejoice about. As a rule, weaker saints do not do much rejoicing.
The stronger saints, with more faith, rejoice in all circumstances.
Luke 1:65 And fear came on all that dwelt
round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad
throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
Luke 1:66 And all they that heard them
laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall
this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
Due to Zacharias being able to speak again and rejoice to the
Lord, it says the people were afraid and fear come on all that dwelt
round about them. People knew that something very strange and
mysterious was involved with the birth of John the Baptist. They
wondered what manner of child this would be since they could clearly
see the hand of the Lord in his birth and his name.
III. The Prophecy
Luke 1:67 And his father Zacharias was
filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of
Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
Luke 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of
salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
The Holy Ghost comes upon Zacharias and filled him and he
began to prophesy. Because of Zacharias’ faith, both enables him to
speak of the things which are not, as though they are. “God has
visited and redeemed his people.” At this time, Israel had not yet
been redeemed, but Zacharias is certain that since his promise had
been fulfilled in regard to the birth of this child, that God would
certainly provide redemption though the coming Savior. Zacharias
points out that the horn of salvation will come from the house of
Luke 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his
holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
Luke 1:71 That we should be saved from our
enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
Luke 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to
our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
Luke 1:73 The oath which he sware to our
Luke 1:74 That he would grant unto us,
that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve
him without fear,
Luke 1:75 In holiness and righteousness
before him, all the days of our life.
Zacharias realized that these great promises had been
declared by the prophets down through the years. From the garden of
Eden, God has promised that a Savior would come. And now he was
about to appear. God told Abraham that “In thy seed shall all
nations of the earth be blessed.” He was now confident that in
his day, Zacharias and the nation of Israel would see this
fulfillment. Over 1900 years have passed, and the people of Israel
today suffer perhaps more from their enemies that ever before in
earlier ages. If you just take a quick look, you might think God’s
promise has failed. But just as all other promises, this one will
come to pass. Jesus will soon come back the second time, and then
the remainder of things will be fulfilled. Nothing is wrong with
the Word of God, and no one has to ‘interpret it’ to their private
interpretation for us. It is clear what God said and he meant what
2 Pet 1:19 We have
also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take
heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day
dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2 Pet 1:20 Knowing
this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private
2 Pet 1:21 For the
prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of
God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Luke 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called
the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the
Lord to prepare his ways;
Luke 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation
unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our
God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
Luke 1:79 To give light to them that sit
in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the
way of peace.
Luke 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed
strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing
Zacharias now prophesies of what John the Baptist will do
when he comes on the scene. He will be called a prophet of the
Highest. He will give them the knowledge of salvation and
remission of their sins. Over in Malachi, we are told about the
ministry of John.
Mal 3:1 Behold, I
will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and
the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the
messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall
come, saith the LORD of hosts.
John was a chosen vessel of the Lord, and he grew and waxed
strong in spirit. And the day would soon come to proclaim the
Gospel there in the desert and wilderness.
Mat 3:1 In those
days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2 And
saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 3:3 For this
is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of
one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make
his paths straight.
Mat 3:4 And the
same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle
about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then went
out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about
Mat 3:6 And were
baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Matthew Henry said this about John the Baptist:
1. Of his eminence as
to the inward man: The child grew in the capacities of his mind,
much more than other children; so that he waxed strong in the
spirit; had a strong judgment and strong resolution. Reason and
conscience (both which are the candle of the Lord) were so strong in
him that he had the inferior faculties of appetite and passion in
complete subjection betimes. By this it appeared that he was betimes
filled with the Holy Ghost; for those that are strong in the Lord
are strong in spirit.
2. Of his obscurity as to
the outward man: He was in the deserts; not that he lived a hermit;
cut off from the society of men. No, we have reason to think that he
went up to Jerusalem at the feasts, and frequented the synagogues on
the sabbath day, but his constant residence was in some of those
scattered houses that were in the wilderness of Zuph or Maon, which
we read of in the story of David. There he spent most of his time,
in contemplation and devotion, and had not his education in the
schools, or at the feet of the rabbin. Note, Many a one is qualified
for great usefulness, who yet is buried alive; and many are so long
buried who are designed, and are thereby in the fitting, for so much
greater usefulness at last; as John Baptist, who was in the desert
only till the day of his showing to Israel, when he was in the
thirtieth year of his age. Note, There is a time fixed for the
showing of those favours to Israel which are reserved; the vision of
them is for an appointed time, and at the end it shall speak, and
shall not lie.
Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.
The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions
or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding
Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham
4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: email@example.com
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
[i]J. Vernon McGee,
Thru the Bible commentary
[computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System,
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.
(Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[iii]J. Vernon McGee,
Thru the Bible commentary
[computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System,
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary
on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.