You can watch the video for Luke Part 1 here!
Session Overview: Luke Part 1
The first video of the Luke series focuses on chapters 1-2 of the gospel of Luke. We are introduced to a Jewish priest named Zechariah, his barren wife Elizabeth, the young virgin and cousin of Elizabeth, Mary, and her soon-to-be husband Joseph. The angel Gabriel appears to each of these couples with a special announcement. Although Zechariah and Elizabeth are quite old, and she is barren, they are going to give birth to a son who is to be named John. Likewise, Mary, although she is a virgin, will conceive and give birth to a son who is to be named Jesus. For Mary, God will cause her to become pregnant by the same power with which he spoke the entire universe into existence.
John will grow up to become a very great teacher who will prepare people for the arrival of the promised Jewish Messiah. Jesus himself is the Messiah, and he will grow up to save his people from their sins, and ultimately offer salvation to all nations. When Elizabeth is 6 months pregnant, and Mary has only just discovered that she will soon conceive, Mary travels to visit Elizabeth for a while. Upon her arrival she greets Elizabeth at the door, and immediately the baby inside Elizabeth’s womb leaps. The passage then goes on to explain that this happened because John was full of the Holy Spirit, even in the womb, so that at the sound of the voice of the mother of Jesus, he leaps for joy! This is an accurate depiction of the relationship between John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus. John understands his lowly state when compared to God in the flesh. John’s role is to point people to Jesus, and Jesus has come to bring good news of great joy for all people. The good news is that there is a way for them to be made right before God and have true life.
As the time for Jesus birth draws closer, the angel Gabriel makes another appearance, this time to a group of shepherds in the field at night. This story (Luke 2:8-21) might be familiar to many as it is typically read during the Christmas season. The angel tells the shepherds that a Savior is about to be born in Bethlehem, the city of King David, and that they can go and see him for themselves. In order for them to find him, the angel informs them that the baby will be in a stable wrapped in cloth in a manger. Then a multitude of angels in blinding light appear alongside Gabriel, singing praises to God for what is about to happen, which was prophesied long ago.
Luke’s gospel will go on to tell of various events in the life and ministry of Jesus, and particularly it will focus on how he did not come to overthrow the Roman Empire, but to exalt the poor and the humble and bring peace and joy to all who turn to him in repentance. Over the next few weeks, we will go deeper into this gospel and search for all the reasons God has given us to rejoice in him.
Next time we’ll look at Jesus’ dedication at the temple and a story from his childhood!
- Read through Luke 1:1-2:52
- Imagine and describe the feelings that a Jewish person in bible times might have experienced if they heard these things? Would they be confused, excited, afraid?
- What examples of good news do we see in these first two chapters?
- Considering that Jesus is the Son of God, how is his birth counter-cultural (rejecting or opposing the dominant values and behavior of society)?
- What do Mary’s song (Luke 1:46-55) and Zechariah’s prophecy (Luke 1:67-79) teach us about worship?