Dear Student of the Word,
It's been one month since my last update to these Bible studies and it's time to get back on track. Today we will begin our study of Luke's gospel, one of my favorite books in the Bible. Luke was the only Gentile writer in the Bible and he brought his own special perspective to Jesus' words and deeds. So let's get started with a sample of the seven-day study that you can download at the bottom of this entry. Here is what I wrote on day two:
Part One, Day Two
5 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. 6 Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
1:5 – Zechariah and Elizabeth were “bluebloods” (an American term for someone who is born into a prominent family) who could trace their ancestry to Aaron, Moses’ brother. They were “well-connected” in the natural, but they were needy in the sense that they had no children. No matter how privileged we may be in the natural, we are all needy before God. There is a verse in Proverbs that states: :Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). The Lord is your Maker and you need Him. Do you acknowledge your need for God? Do you realize that it is not your education, your salary, your wealth or you citizenship that provides for you? God is your source, and you would be lost and destitute without Him and His help.
1:6 – Not only was this couple born into a significant family, they were also holy and devout. They were blameless in carrying out the Old Testament Law and God endorsed and described their lives as upright. Yet they were still needy. Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “They don’t have any problems. They have money, or a good job or a great ministry”? Don’t be fooled; they don’t have it all together. We all share this one problem; we are human, and to be human is to share in this frailty called sin and this weakness called humanity.
Think of your frailty. You can only survive a few minutes without air, a few days without water, a few weeks without food. You need sunshine, relationships, activity and sleep to survive. And without God’s intervention through Christ, your spiritual condition would be hopeless for eternity.
1:7 – Not having children was a serious stigma for anyone in the days of Zechariah and Elizabeth as it was throughout the Old Testament. Sarah, Rebekah, Hannah and others agonized over their barrenness. The Bible doesn’t tell us that this couple were crying out to God, but it is safe to assume that they were or at least that they mindful of their lack.
Are you waiting for something and has the wait been long? Does it seem like there is no longer any chance that you can receive what you have been waiting for? Then the story of this couple should be of particular interest to you! They were advanced in years in their service to God and God was about to move on their behalf. It is never too late! Renew your faith in God today. Trust Him to do what He promised, no matter how impossible it may seem.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled What Would Jesus Ask You Today? Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Luke's gospel from God's word.