|Luke 1 |
1 Since many have undertaken to set in order a narration of the facts that have been fulfilled in us, [Notice, Luke does not name this writing a gospel; instead he calls it a narration. In the original Greek of this verse the Greek word is dihghsin, which means a narration. From the Word of the Lord within: "The gospel is not a book to be read; it is to be revealed in your heart."]
2 Even as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good that I also, having followed and traced its course, write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 That you might know the certainty of those things in which you have been instructed.
5 In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there was a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abia; and his wife was also a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well along in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his division,
9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, "Fear not, Zacharias, for your prayer was heard, and your wife Elisabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
17 And he will go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
18 Then Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well along in years."
19 And the angel answering him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you, and to show you these glad tidings.
20 And behold, you will be dumb and not able to speak until the day that these things happen because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season."
21 The people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he stayed so long in the temple.
22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple for he made signs to them but remained speechless.
23 And it came to pass, that as soon as the days of his ministration were finished, he returned to his own house.
24 And his wife Elisabeth conceived, and for five months she stayed in seclusion, saying,
25 "The Lord has done this for me in these days when he has looked on me with favor, to take away my disgrace among men."
26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel came to her and said, "Hail, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women!"
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his words, and wondered what manner of salutation this was.
30 And the angel said to her, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his forefather David.
33 And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have not known a man?"
35 And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore that holy thing that will be born of you will be called the Son of God.
36 And behold, your cousin Elisabeth has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing is impossible."
38 And Mary said, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
39 Then Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah,
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and greeted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 And she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For lo, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45 Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of those things that were told her from the Lord."
46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For he has regarded the lowly state of his handmaiden; for behold, from this time forward all generations will call me blessed.
49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.1
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.2
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 As he spoke to our forefathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."
56 And Mary stayed with her for about three months and then returned to her own home.
57 Now Elisabeth's full time came for her to be be delivered, and she gave birth to a son.
58 And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they would have called him Zacharias, after his father,
60 But his mother said, "Not so. For he shall be called John."
61 And they said to her, "None of your relatives are called by this name."
62 Then they gestured to his father as to how he wished to him to be named.
63 And he asked for a writing table and wrote, saying, "His name is John." And they all marveled.
64 Then his mouth was immediately opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, and praised God.
65 And fear came on all who dwelled around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea.
66 All those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, "What manner of child will this be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him."
67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began;
71 That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers and to remember his holy covenant,
73 The oath that he swore to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant to us, that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear, [Our enemies are lust, pride, envy, anger, hatred, sexual immorality, dishonesty, profanity, foolishness, partying, evil thoughts, etc. Christianity incorrectly would have you believe that Jesus came to free you from the guilt of your sins, which makes Jesus a promoter of sins. Your feelings of guilt over sin come from the Spirit of God within every man and should be the motivator to change, not to continue sinning, which is the broad way to destruction. The only way you could stand in God's presence without fear is to be totally changed to be pure and holy, which only occurs by God destroying all sin within you through your bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then you are walking the same way as Jesus walked and in the world as Jesus was with perfection, purity, and holiness.]
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.3 [You cannot be holy or righteous while still sinning; those who sin are slaves to sin, and we must become slaves to righteousness before we are righteous. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness, we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. See the definition of righteousness for more detail. ]
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the most High; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give the knowledge of salvation to his people by the release from the bondage of their sins,4
78 Through the tender mercy of our God, by which the Dayspring [the morning star, Jesus Christ] from on high will break upon us, [From the Word of the Lord within: "First the light arises, then the kingdom. The arising of the light will be unmistakable; it is an ego-shattering experience. Light comes from faith in the voice."]
79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.5" [All men sit in darkness and walk in darkness until their hearts have been purged from the evil that defiles them. From the Word of the Lord within: "All sin is darkness. The whole world lies in wickedness; the wickedness knows no shame. Darkness mocks the earth; darkness covers the earth. I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. I will come again to the elect; I will be their crown to lead and guide them."]
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the deserts until the day of his appearing to Israel.
1 he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. When you use your selfish, carnal mind to make your life's decisions, you are walking after the imagination of your own hearts. This is being your own god, deciding what is good and bad for yourself. God considers those walking after the imagination of their own hearts to be worse than those who worship other gods, Jer 16:11-12.
2He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. The hungry referenced is the spiritually hungry. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Mat 5:6. But if you think you are already righteous, if you think you are already "saved," while still sinning; then you are sent away empty because you think you are full; but woe to you who are full! For you shall hunger, Luke 6:25; the spiritual hunger then occurs in the next life.
3 This is one of the most beautiful pair of verses in the Bible: that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, we might serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life (on earth and forever). The enemies that we are delivered from are our lusts, passions, appetites, and desires; these are the same enemies that the Lord will put under our feet, if we sit at his right hand, to listen, hear, and obey. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, (sin), in us; to preach to those poor in spirit, to release the captives of sin, and to set at liberty those bruised by the consequences of sin. For any of this to happen, we must fear God to turn from evil, and in faith to seek his powerful grace of change. But after we receive the gift of His perfect love in our hearts, (making us perfect), to replace the sins that He destroys in our hearts, then we have no fear. Then we can serve God in holiness (Mark! Holiness) and righteousness (Mark! then, righteousness) for the rest of our lives.
4 To give the knowledge of salvation to his people by the release from the bondage of their sins. In the original Greek for release from bondage of sin could be translated as release from bondage, forgiveness, or remission, of sin. Release from bondage of sin is far more accurate, and perfectly describes the purification necessary to avoid being banned from heaven. The cleansing of the Word, the cleansing in the Light, both attained by waiting on the Lord, listening, hearing, watching, and obeying — such cleansing is a release from the bondage of sin. But the poor souls, who were trying to translate the Bible, had not experienced release from bondage of sin within themselves, and so obviously chose to emphasize forgiveness instead, (NIV and NASTB); the King James translators chose remission; the Amplified translators chose forgiveness and remission. Remission is also a release from or cure of sins, (as in the remission of cancer to be cured). Yet release from captivity, from the prison house, from the oppression, is what Christ said he came to do:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach release to the captives [of sin], and recovery of sight to the blind, to deliver [free] those who are oppressed [in slavery to sin], Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound [in slavery to sin]; Isa 61:1-2
and for what Paul said Jesus sent him to the Gentiles to accomplish:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified and purified by faith in me. Acts 26:18
Clearly forgiveness is not deliverance, recovery, healing, opening the prison, release, turned from power of Satan, — while release from the bondage of sin accurately describes all. Until He cleanses you, your heart is defiled with sin.
If you have a hard time believing that your sinning is a bondage or a slavery, then consider what the Lord and Paul had to say about it:
Then Jesus answered them, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34
Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Rom 6:16
5 Through the tender mercy of our God, by which the Dayspring [the morning star, Jesus Christ] from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Notice! We all start sitting in spiritual darkness, without peace. We are all dead to the life of God, children of Adam who fell and lost it for all mankind. If we wait on God, which is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him; then we progress until at last the light shines in our hearts, until the morning star rises in our hearts: we see our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the morning star that breaks upon us. We then walk in the light, as children of the light; and we have fellowship in the light with other saints and with the Father and the Son; and the peace of God rules our heart; Col 3:15; the light guides our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:79
From the Word of the Lord within:
I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life. John 8:12. The promise for following Jesus is to come out of darkness, to walk in the light, to have the light of life; this is to be restored to the life of God, exactly the life that Adam and Eve lost in the garden; as God had told them they would surely die, and die they did to the life of God, as they then lived in the life of Satan. But here is the glorious promise fulfilled, that God would restore man again to the life of God — and here is our opportunity, by belief in the Light, which enlightens all men, by obedience to that light, we can become children of the Light, restored to the light of life, the life of God, restored to the spiritual image of God. We follow Jesus by obeying his commands that we hear him speak to us as we expose ourselves to hearing those commands by waiting on God. When we obey what commands we hear him speak to us, then we are following his orders, we are following Jesus as he leads us to kill our sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial.
Fallen man is in spiritual darkness. He cannot see through the eyes of God, which is to see by the light of God. In darkness, we stumble, we grope, we guess what is good and what is bad (evil). The best we can do is choose the least evil alternative, and each of us sees and chooses differently, based on our conditioned experiences. When we are restored to the light of life by Jesus, we see by His light, we walk by His spirit, we are prompted by His thoughts, His words, His deeds. In all situations we see perfectly the exact virtuous deed to be done, we hear the perfectly virtuous word to be said — we are united with God's spirit, and He supplies the direction and energy to do his will. The kingdom of God within us is entered in our consciousness; we are in his presence continually, beholding his glory in the face of Jesus Christ. His promptings are received with obedient joy; His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven. We walk in glorious service to God enjoying holiness, while on earth. Jesus Christ is then, and only then, our true Lord, whom we continuously serve, whom we continuously obey, whom we continuously praise, whom we continuously worship; this is to have the light of life. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; so that you may show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Pet 2:9