Thursday, August 23, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

5. Mary’s praise of joy- Luke 1:46-56


-Mary gives the Lord exaltation and praise for considering her worthy of carrying the Christ Child. She rejoices in the fact that God had regard for her in her humble state and that every generation from that time on would called her blessed. Clearly the Almighty had done great things for her and she was thankful in all contriteness of heart. *Application* Mary was a special woman, favored of the Lord, but she never claimed deity or equally with God as some denominations have promoted. This is simply a tradition of man, a veneration based not on Scripture and its clear teachings. Jesus warned us not to follow the traditions of man, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; 15:7, Mark 7:5-9, Colossians 2:8). It is perfectly fine to respect Mary, the mother of Jesus, but to worship her is never what was intended in the Scriptures or the heart of God. Mary in fact humbly called Jesus her Lord and Savior, not herself (Luke 1:46-49).

-Mary speaks of the mercy of the Lord to forgive throughout all the generations to those who fear Him (Luke 1:50). *Application* The fear of the Lord is a constant, reoccurring theme in His Word. We should not seek the mercy of the our God based on what we have accomplished, but out of reference and awe of what He has done in His gracious gift to us through Jesus Christ His Son. Through Him alone we can receive forgiveness and mercy when we call upon His Name in faith realizing His sole authority to save and deliver. He has done the mighty deeds (Luke 1:51).

-Mary also denounces those who are proud in heart and the self exalted wealthy ones, which is another reoccurring theme in Scripture (Luke 1:51-53). *Application* God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).

-The nation that comes from the man Israel is remembered in its fullness by the earthly mother of God. God has helped to His servant in remembrance of His mercy (Luke 1:54-55).

-Verse to Memorize: Luke 1:50

6. Birth of John the Baptist- 1:57-80


-John’s birth was unique in the fact that he was given a name that was not based on family lineage or ancestry. When his name was announced by Zacharias, his father, his tongue was loosed and he could speak again (Luke 1:20-22). As he began to speak, words of praise and prophecy poured out, which caused fear and the spreading of the words he spoke throughout the region (Luke 1:64-65, 67).

-Zacharias’ prophecy included God’s redemption for His people as He was raising up the descendent of David as the forever King of kings (Luke 1:68-70). This King would eventually give salvation from their enemies and show mercy toward their fathers in remembrance of His holy covenant made to Abraham (Genesis 22:16-18, Luke 1:71-73). This would eventually allow them to worship the Messiah without fear from their enemies (Luke 1:74). *Application* This is a beautifully put stanza of praise and truth concerning our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of all the law and prophets (Luke 24:27). In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). He is the One we look to for salvation! Praise His Name!

-Zacharias also foretells his son’s role in this salvation plan. John will go as a forerunner going before the Lord to prepare the way providing knowledge of the truth of salvation by the forgiveness of sins through a message of repentance (Matthew 3:1-2, Luke 1:76-77). *Application* John’s life was significant in the preparation for the King of kings to come and be effective in His message and ministry of salvation. John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).” His heart was for his Savior and throughout his life he lived in that surrendered manner, filled with the Holy Spirit, and obedient to the Lord’s commands (Luke 1:80). He lived a separated life that was not consumed by the worldly pleasures around him. Tradition states that he may have even communed with the Essenes of the Qumran Community (from whence we got the Dead Sea scrolls).

-Verses to Memorize: Luke 1:78-79

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