Saturday, December 25, 2021

2021.12.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 1:57–80

Read Luke 1:57–80

Questions from the Scripture text: What time came in Luke 1:57? How did her neighbors and family respond (Luke 1:58)? What day does Luke 1:59 describe, and what was happening? What were they going to call him? What did Elizabeth call him instead (Luke 1:60)? Why was this strange to the guests (Luke 1:61)? Whom did they expect to overrule (Luke 1:62)? What name did he choose (Luke 1:63)? What happened to him at that point (Luke 1:64)? What was the response of not just the guests but the surrounding region (Luke 1:65-66)? What happens to Zacharias to shape his words for his first speech since having his voice restored (Luke 1:67)? For what event is Zacharias praising God (Luke 1:68-71)? What does he say that God is fulfilling (Luke 1:72-73)? What is God’s purpose in this salvation (Luke 1:74-75)? What part will Zacharias’s child have (Luke 1:76)? What would the Lord do, for Whom John would prepare the way, for His people (Luke 1:77-79)? What did God do for child John—and where (Luke 1:80)?

We tend to be amazed by unusual things. It’s the spectacular that impresses us. So, baby John’s family and neighbors were abuzz with the news of his strange name (Luke 1:61) and his dad’s muteness and prophecy (Luke 1:64).

That actual prophecy, though, focuses upon Someone Else altogether. Baby John’s significance is as a go-before (Luke 1:76b). It’s a great honor to be His herald, to give knowledge of what He does (verse 76a, Luke 1:77). But it is not John who does it. Jesus is the great One, and someone who responds to John rightly will be impressed rather little with John and rather much with the One whom John proclaims.

John is still teaching this some 30 years later, when his disciples wish people would be more impressed with him, and he is teaching all of us, “[Christ] must increase, and [we] must decrease” (John 3:22-36). 

But it is Jesus who saves us from those great enemies who keep us from “serving Him boldly in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life” (Luke 1:74-75). Jesus atones for our sin, negates death’s and Hell’s claims upon us, and turns all the attacks of the devil upon themselves.

It is Jesus who visits us, in the tender mercy of God, and drives away our darkness and death by His light and life (Luke 1:78-79). 

Like John, we too must desire that it would be Jesus who gets all the glory of our life. And, especially when we desire for others to be guided into the way of peace, it must be Jesus Whom we present and Jesus Whom we praise. Yes, what He has done for us or how He has used us are interesting and notable mercies. But the good news is not news about us. It’s news about Jesus!

What spiritual people/circumstances most easily catch your attention? How can you redirect this attention back to Jesus Himself and what He has done? Whom have you been telling about Christianity? How much has that telling focused upon Jesus? 

Sample prayer:  O Lord, we thank You for giving us the privilege and honor of bringing glory to Christ. Truly, His salvation is marvelous. So forgive us when the change in us is small, or when we fail to give Him all the praise for it. Glorify Christ by continuing to conform us to His perfect light, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH438 “I Love to Tell the Story” 

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