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This is Good News

12/18 – Preach It, Brother (Luke 1:-57-80)

 

Introduction — Here Luke tells the story of John’s birth. At just the right time Elizabeth gave birth to a son. Now, the neighbors and relatives rejoiced in the Lord’s great mercy toward her. On the eighth day after his birth, they came to circumcise the child, and they wanted to call him Zacharias, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No indeed. He shall be called John.” The relatives still couldn’t understand why, and they made signs to the Father, asking for his input. That’s when Zacharias asked for a small tablet. And to the utter surprise of those folks, he wrote, “John is his name!” Immediately, Zacharias could speak, and he began to speak in praise of God. Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he prophesied of God’s redemption. He told of God’s mercy. He spoke of God’s covenant. He announced God’s forgiveness. He proclaimed the birth of Messiah. Zacharias shared good news. Zacharias preached God’s word. What about us? Do we talk about God’s work among us? Do we talk about God’s word? Do we speak in praise of God? Do we tell of God’s mercy? Do we announce God’s forgiveness? Do we proclaim Jesus’? Do we share good news? Do we live God’s word? Do we breathe God’s word? Do we cherish God’s word? Do we preach God’s word?

 

In the grace of God by the word of God, the messenger of God joyfully declares the great things God has done.

 

The word of God brings rescue to those in need. (68-75)

 

Comments: As Zacharias gives his praise to God, he relies heavily upon the word of God. He quotes or paraphrases passages from Kings, Samuel, Psalms, Genesis, Micah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. God’s rescue is a major theme of his praise to God. Words such as redemption, salvation, mercy, and covenant point to God’s beautiful purpose in rescuing those in need. God is faithful to His word. God is faithful to fulfill His promise. His promises never fail. God is faithful to rescue. God’s word is mighty. God’s word is active. God’s word is certain. God’s word is truth. God’s word is consistent. And God’s word brings rescue. Through prophets God spoke of rescue. To kings God spoke of rescue. The word of God brings rescue to those in need. Gospel Connection: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. ~ Galatians 1:3-5 Application: Let’s tell folks about God’s rescue. Let’s preach Jesus.

 

The word of God brings forgiveness to those who sin. (76-77)

 

Comments: Zacharias also considers the future ministry of his son. John, will be the prophet of the Most High. John will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways.  John will prepare the way by speaking God’s message of repentance. John will prepare the way by preaching God’s word of forgiveness. Indeed, the word of God brings forgiveness to those who sin. The picture of forgiveness is the cancelling of a debt. Everyone is in debt to God because everyone has rebelled against Him and failed to honor Him by living according to His word. Furthermore, no person is able to pay the debt. But Jesus paid that debt. He canceled that debt. Gospel Connection: When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. ~ Colossians 2:13-14 Application: Let’s tell folks about God’s forgiveness. Let’s preach Jesus.

 

The word of God brings light to those in darkness. (79)

 

Comments: Zacharias speaks God’s word (Psalm 106:10; Isaiah 9:2; 42:7; 49:9: Malachi 4:2) to praise God for the new day dawning, the arrival of Messiah. Because of God’s tender mercy, the “Sunrise from on high” will visit His people in order to shine upon those who sit in darkness. Those who sit in darkness are prisoners of misery, bound by the chains of sin. Those who sit in darkness are blind to their own sin. Without the light of God, they will remain apart from God. But by the grace of God, the word of God brings light to those in darkness. Those who previously had no inkling of God’s glory, now see His splendor through the eyes of faith. Gospel Connection: For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:6 Application: Let’s tell folks about God’s marvelous light. Let’s preach Jesus.

 

The word of God brings life to those who are dead. (79)

 

Comments: Again, Zacharias speaks the word of God in praise to God. Zacharias tells how God shines upon those who sit in the shadow of death. People who sit in death’s shadow are like prisoners without hope of release. People who sit in death’s shadow are like sick people without hope of healing. Their days are numbered. All our days are numbered. Every person earns death by rebelling against God. Most certainly the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. God brings the dead to life. The word of God brings life to those who are dead. Gospel Connection: But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). ~ Ephesians 2:4-5

Application: Let’s tell about how God brings life to those who are dead. Let’s preach Jesus.

 

The word of God brings peace to those in turmoil. (79)

 

Comments: Zacharias concludes his praise with a note of peace. God is sending Messiah to guide our feet into the path of peace. On our own, we will wander from God like sheep. We will stray. We will go our way. We will flee from God. We will follow our path. And the path we tread will lead to ruin (Psalm 1:6; Proverbs 14:12) and death.  The word of God, however, brings comfort to our chaos. God’s word brings direction to our wandering. God’s word brings hope to our despair. God’s word makes the broken whole. God’s word brings peace to those in turmoil. Gospel Connection: The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)— you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. ~ Acts 10:36-37

Application: Let’s tell how God brings peace to those who are broken. Let’s preach Jesus.

Word Study for Luke 1:57-80

63 tablet (pinakidion—small writing tablet)

63 amazed (thaumazo—be astonished; wonder; marvel; surprised)

64 at once (parachrema—immediately; on the spot; instantly)

64 praise (eulogeo—bless; praise; speak well of; act kindly toward)

65 fear (phobos—terror; awe; reverence; dread)

67 filled (pimplemi—fill full; completely; make happen; satiate)

67 prophesied (propheteuo—speak inspired utterances; to foretell; to tell forth; to expound scripture)

68 redemption (lytrosis—liberation; set free; ransom; deliver)

69 salvation (soteria—saving; preservation; safety; deliverance)

74 rescued (rhyomai—rescue; save; preserve; to deliver from danger)

77 forgiveness (aphesis—let go; dismissal; liberty; pardon; remission; sending away; release)

79 shine (epiphaino—show forth; display; illuminate; appear; light up)

79 guide (kateuthyno—make straight; lead; to set right; to straighten fully)

 

Application for Luke 1:57-80

Let’s marvel at the certainty of God’s word.

Let’s marvel at the promise of God’s word.

Let’s speak in praise of God.

Let’s be in awe of God.

Let’s speak the word of God.

Let’s announce His salvation.

Let’s declare His rescue.
Let’s tell His mercy.

Let’s announce good news.

Let’s preach Jesus.

 

Gospel Connections for Luke 1:57-80

Jesus is the word made flesh. Jesus is with us. Jesus is our Savior. Jesus rescues those in need. Jesus makes holy those who were not holy. Jesus makes right those who were not right. Jesus forgives sins. Jesus shows mercy. Jesus is light. Jesus brings life to those who are dead. Jesus is peace. Jesus is hope.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for Luke 1:57-80

You can exaggerate your authority in handling the Scriptures, but you cannot exaggerate the Scriptures' authority to handle you. You can use the word of God to come to wrong conclusions, but you cannot find any wrong conclusions in the word of God. ~ Kevin DeYoung, Taking God at His Word

 

The fact that God is infinite makes the study of His Word a lifetime occupation. ~ Billy Graham

 

We entertain God's truth not as a guest but as master of the house. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

 

Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Jesus. ~ Jerome

 

The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home. ~ Augustine

 

Put your ear to the ground of God’s word and listen to the rumble of His faithfulness coming. ~ John Piper

 

The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation. ~ D.L. Moody

 

We are dealing with God's thoughts: we are obligated to take the greatest pains to understand them truly and to explain them clearly. ~ D.A. Carson