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Lesson # Luke 1:57-66
Study Material - Luke 1:57-66
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her. 59 And it came about that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father. 60 And his mother answered and said, 'No indeed; but he shall be called John.' 61 And they said to her, 'There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.' 62 And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a tablet, and wrote as follows, 'His name is John.' And they were all astonished. 64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. 65 And fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all who heard them kept them in mind, saying, 'What then will this child turn out to be?' For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
The time for the birth of John the Baptist has arrived. Elizabeth was at full term in her pregnancy. Though the pregnancy was by a miracle, the course of the pregnancy was of normal occurrence. God at times will bring a miracle into the picture, but just to get everyone's attention. The rest of life is of normal occurrences and repetitions we experience day to day. Zacharias and Elizabeth were living in Hebron, a Levite city. Their neighbors were Levites too. Many no doubt worked in the temple in Jerusalem, on their respective rotations. So in the middle of this Levite community, which has had so much Biblical history since Abraham, God has brought about a miracle, and an event right before their eyes.
Her friends and neighbors were well aware of the pregnancy and the blessing that Elizabeth has received. They also know about the silence that has been imposed on Zacharias. These events did not escape the attention of the people. And they all gave credit to God.
Shortly Zacharias will surprise everyone with his decision to name the child not after himself, but John, as the angel instructed. Furthermore, Zacharias will make a statement, vs. 67-79, that will totally blow away the people in shock and deep curiosity.
On the eighth day, the time came to circumcise the child, just as Isaac was circumcised after a miracle birth, just as Abraham was circumcised, so they were all named. Abram was renamed Abraham, the name God gave, and each of the children were named in accordance with God's instructions as well. Both Elizabeth and Zacharias had communicated by means of the writing tablet, and Elizabeth knew and understood the significance of this pregnancy. Zacharias who had been silenced for over nine months, confirmed the name of John and his silence was removed to everyone's astonishment.
Zacharias began this event in disbelief, but through the course of his silence, he obviously studied and came to the realization of the truth. He realized his error, and he confirms his change of heart by means of his statement which will follow in the next lesson. This is a dramatic change too.
The friends opposed the name that Elizabeth an Zacharias had decided upon. Never give in to public opinion. It is often times wrong. Though public pinion and peer pressure are powerful, and they tend to sway people in their decisions, from politicians, to social club members, to fellow workers, to school mates, and so forth. In doctrine you need to stand on principle, the principle of Gods Word. There is a time to be flexible and a time to be inflexible in life. With respect to the application of Bible doctrine in your own life you should be inflexible. You should study daily, confess your sins to God the Father regularly to stay in fellowship, live your life properly. With respect to people you need to be flexible. You cannot control others, but only lead by example. You need to be tolerant and practice impersonal love toward others.
Elizabeth and Zacharias had their instructions direct from God and they were inflexible in the naming of the child, despite the wishes of their friends. Zacharias regained his speech as a result of his compliance to God's instructions. When we comply with doctrine in our life, then things go well for us. When we reject God's Word, then things do not go so well.
Fear came on the people. We have an occasion of great happiness. The miracle child is born, and named, and the dad has his voice back. Everyone should have rejoiced at all of these good events, but instead they wondered at the possible dangers to themselves because of all of these events. This made all the gossip mills of Judea, except in Herod's court. Or if he heard of it, he thought nothing of it. Only when the Magi came looking for the newly born King, did Herod's attention get interested.
So God protects even in the midst of gossip among the people. People generally look for the bad, rather than enjoying the good side of events. No doubt many thought of it as just another birth of a baby, and life goes on day after day, with no new changes. For the next 30 years, not much would change. But there are mature believers in every generation, and there were certainly those who pondered these events and observed as the child, John, grew up. Most of the temple and religious crowd rejected God, and a savior. They looked for a deliverer to come riding in on a white war horse and overthrow the Romans, and then give them high position in a new government. They were of course totally off track.
But for those who believed in the Word, and understood its purpose, the daily life continued. Their study of doctrine continued. They functioned in the lives that God had planned out for their lives. They did not stop their lives and go sit in front of Zacharias' house, waiting for some brilliant light to come down out of heaven. So also you and I have our responsibilities in life. The first of course is to set aside some time to study our Bible, to remain in fellowship as best we can, to learn and grow up spiritually. But we also have a responsibility to work, pay bills, care for our family, help others in charity, support your church if you have one, and otherwise live a normal life. In spiritual growth, God will guide you through your normal daily affairs and you will make your own decisions. As your spiritual growth increases your decisions will be good ones. When you screw up and stumble, you will just name your sins to God, get back into fellowship and keep moving forward in life, never looking back. The past cannot help you except through its instruction.
Zacharias has a great deal to say, but we will save that for the next lesson.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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