Luke’s Infancy Narrative – Luke 1, pt.1

This Tuesday we will begin our Advent study of Luke’s infancy narrative by reading through Luke 1.  These first two chapters in Luke provide a bridge between the Old Testament and the life of Jesus. Luke writes his Gospel so that “you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.” Luke 1:4. Therefore, as Luke organizes his materials, these first two chapters are written in the style and motif of various stories in the Old Testament creating this continuity. Luke especially draws upon those areas of the Old Testament concerning barren women such as Sarah (Gen. 18), Rebekah (Gen. 25), Rachel (Gen. 30), Samson’s mother (Judges 13), and Hannah (1 Sam. 1-2), the centrality of the Aaronite priesthood and the Temple, and the role of Elijah in Malachi 4.  If you have the time and inclination, I have attached a fairly short but dense verse-by-verse commentary detailing the Old Testament antecedents to Luke’s narrative from the Commentary on the New Testament’s Use of the Old Testament edited by C.K. Beale and D.A. Carson.

Before reading through Luke, read the narratives of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac in Genesis 18:1-5, of Manoah, his wife, and Samson in Judges 13, and especially read the story of Elkanah, Hannah, and Samuel in 1 Samuel 1.  In these selections, look at where the announcement was made that the barren woman would bear a son, the reaction of the parents to the announcement, and what the respective angel prophesies about the child. Also, compare Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 with the Songs of Mary and Zachariah in Luke.  I have attached brief and easy-to-read commentaries from N.T. Wright’s Luke for Everyone and Liz Curtis Higgs’ s The Women of Christmas for your review.  Finally, if you have time, search Google for different meditations or commentaries on the Magnificat (Song of Mary) or the Benedictus (Song of Zechariah), and like Mary, ponder these things in your heart over the holiday.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is garlic oven-fried chicken.  If you haven’t joined us in a while, please come back for Advent. No prior reading is required, only suggested.  Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you hear.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
     his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the Lord;
     the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me;
      and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he heard me,
     and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened:
     and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him,
     and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him,
     and delivereth them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good:
     blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 34:1-8

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