1. Genealogy of Jesus- Matt. 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38
-Notes: We have in Scripture two records of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Matthew’s record indicates 14 generations beginning with Abraham (the father of the Jewish people) to David, 14 generations from David to the deportation into Babylon, and 14 generations from the deportation to Messiah. Matthew lists five women in the genealogy: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary, who was the mother of Christ Jesus.
-Luke goes in reverse order of Matthew in starting with the Messiah at the age of 30 at the beginning of His public ministry and working backward to His father Joseph and so on. Luke goes all the way back to Adam, the son of God in his list.
-*Application* We will note some discrepancies in the genealogy of Jesus by these two gospel writers, which will need some clarification. Matthew is focused on the generations matching up into segments of 14 and lists those important to the lineage of the Christ Child in his writings. Luke on the other hand is more thorough in the preciseness of his list (Luke 1:4). Names in antiquity are sometimes spelled differently from source to source and people are known by other names, sort of like a first and last name identification like we are familiar with. Other scholars have said that the deviation of the list is due to the tracing on the mother’s side (Mary) versus the father’s side (Joseph) of the lineage. Whatever the case, we can be assured that both are correct in their research and inspired writing concerning the genealogy of the Savior.
-Verses to Memorize: Matthew 1:17, Luke 3:23
2. John the Baptist’s birth to Zechariah Foretold- Luke 1:5-25
-Notes: These things happened in the days of Herod Antipas, king of Judea. The priest named Zacharias of the division of Abijah (Abia) with a wife from the daughters of Aaron (Exodus 29:9) named Elizabeth (Luke 1:5). She was barren (no children) and both were advanced in years beyond the age of regular child bearing (Luke 1:7).
-Zacharias is chosen by lot to go into the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to burn incense with a multitude of people outside in prayer at the hour of the incense offering (Luke 1:9-10). As he went in an angel of the Lord appeared to him to the right of the alter of incense, which caused him great fear (Luke 1:11-12). He was told not to be afraid and that his wife would bear him a son named John who would be great in the sight of the Lord drinking no wine or liquor and filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in the womb of his mother (Luke 1:13-15). It was foretold that this John would turn the hearts of the people of Israel back to the Lord their God, and he would go as a forerunner of the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:16-17).
-Zacharias doubted the vision and became mute as a result (Luke 1:20-22). The angel (messenger) identifies itself as Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and it brings good news (Luke 1:19).
-Zacharias goes back home with Elizabeth and she becomes pregnant (Luke 1:23-24). She acknowledges the Lord’s favor on her in taking away her disgrace of being barren (Luke 1:25).
-*Application* We must accept the things and words of the Lord no matter how strange and unusual they may seem and appear. Doubt does us no good. Trust is what the Lord is always looking for in us just like He was with Zacharias. His ways are higher than our ways and His plan greater than anything we can wish or imagine (Isaiah 55:9). Follow His lead and you will never be disappointed in the end.
-Verse to Memorize: Luke 1:15