Text: Luke 1: 1-80.
In this passage, the Gospel story begins by recounting visits of the angel Gabriel to announce the births of John the Baptist (1: 5-25) and Jesus, the promised Messiah (1: 26-38). These two key players in God’s plan of salvation are placed side by side to show how they were the fulfillment of the final promise of the Old Testament. Furthermore, the text reveals to us the representative attributes that are displayed by Elizabeth and Mary as the two child bearers meet (1: 39- 56). Additionally, we see the two major characters of the account meeting symbolically through the interaction of the two mothers (vv. 41-44) and John the Baptist “pointing to” Jesus even from the womb, just as 1:15-17 had predicted. Like Mary’s song in verses 46-56, the song of Zechariah closes this section of the Gospel story with a focus on the person for whom John was to prepare the way (vv. 76-77) –the Promised One who comes from heaven (v.78) and shines on those in darkness and death, guiding them in the way of peace. Therefore, the Gospel story in this chapter makes it clear that the only pathway to righteousness and peace, even for a godly man like Zachariah (v.6), is to be prepared to see the light and follow it. What precisely that pathway involves is the rest of this Gospel’s story, for which this song serves as a guiding introduction.

What does 1: 31-33, 77 say about who Jesus will be and what He will do?
What is the main thing you have learnt from this chapter? How will this change your understanding of God and what He is doing in your life and lives of other people?
God, grant me Your grace that I may be able to trust Your promises in my service to You and to Your people. Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

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