Luke 1


I have just read Luke chapter 1 in three translations (linked above, though I read mine from paper editions), and I encourage you to read at least one version of it rather than just my quick summary, which follows:

So Luke starts by saying that many people have written accounts of Jesus’ life, and since Luke has investigated “everything from the beginning”, he thought he should put together his account of it for … uhhh… some guy named “Theophilus” whom historians don’t really seem to be able to agree was really a specific person and not “one who loves God” as is the meaning of that name.

Then he says there’s this older couple, living in the hill country of Judea, named Zecharaiah and Elizabeth. They are upright people, but they don’t have any children, so they’re looked down upon by their community. One day, when Zechariah’s name got pulled out of a hat (or however they chose lots back then), and he was changing the incense at the altar by the “Most Holy Place” in the temple, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that he would have a son. Zechariah didn’t believe him, so Gabriel made him mute (unable to speak) until after the baby was born and named. Gabriel told Zechariah that his son would never drink alcohol and would be filled with the Holy Spirit before he was even born, and that he would bring many people back to the Lord. Since he was mute, Zechariah couldn’t tell anyone what he’d seen, but he tried to communicate with hand gestures. Elizabeth became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months, and was totally happy that she would no longer be disgraced as childless.

Then in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Gabriel went to Mary to tell her she would give birth to a son. And not just any son; her son would be named Jesus, would take the throne of David, rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom would never end. She was a virgin and was pledged to be married to Joseph, and she didn’t understand how that was possible at first. Then Gabriel told her she would be “come upon” by the Holy Spirit and overshadowed by the Most High. He also told her of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, as if to impress her. Mary was not phased at all, and had no more questions.

Mary went straight over to Elizabeth’s place, where she stayed until Elizabeth gave birth three months later. As soon as Elizabeth saw Mary, the baby in her womb jumped and filled her with the Holy Spirit, and Elizabeth knew that Mary was pregnant with the Lord and that Mary had believed Gabriel immediately and without question. Mary sang a song praising the lord.

When Elizabeth gave birth, everyone wanted to name the boy after his father, but Elizabeth said he would be named “John”. Apparently this was a ridiculous thing to say, but when they asked Zechariah, who still couldn’t speak, he wrote on a tablet that the boy should be named “John”. This was apparently even more ridiculous, because the entire region of Judea gossipped about it. Luckily, Zechariah was once more again able to speak, and he sang a song praising God and prophesizing about his new son.

Then, apparently Elizabeth and Zechariah died and John lived in the desert until he was about 30.


Yep. Luke chapter 1. How about that?

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