Scripture: Luke 1:5-25
Luke 1:5-25Notes: The last prophetic voice to Israel fell silent over 400 years before this incident. This is the first time God speaks in the NT era. With regard to the longings of the levitical family of Zecharias and Elisabeth, and with regard to the long silence endured by the covenant nation of God, this incident is unspeakably dramatic.
Notice that Luke introduces this incident as happening "in the days of Herod." Bring what you know about that man to your reading of this incident.
Notice that both Zecharias and Elisabeth were levitical - part of that tribe which was to serve in the temple and eat the tithes of the Lord's people. This reality made the barrenness of Elisabeth even more distressing.
Aged Zecharias had been chosen by lot to burn incense in the Holy Place at the hour of morning prayer. Do some research on this particular priestly assignment, and the incident that occurs in the midst of the duty will be the more meaningful.
Zecharias is told that the child to be born is to "drink no wine or liquor" - i.e., to take nothing from the vine. This is usually taken to mean he was to be a lifetime Nazirite (Numbers 6:1-7). Can you name two other men in Scripture who were lifetime Nazirites? What was the three-fold restriction placed upon a Nazirite?
Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).
Previous: The Prologue
Next: The Angelic Announcement of Jesus Christ