Luke begins his book with dramatic announcements: angelic messages, songs of praise, and miracles. This is only the beginning, for Luke has equally dramatic events to report for the birth of Jesus. First, he sets the scene by telling us why Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem.
References to: Michael Morrison
Mary and Elizabeth. Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, from Das Buch der Buecher in Bilden. Used by permission of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Luke begins his book about Jesus with a preface that describes his research methods. His introduction (all one sentence in Greek) is similar to the beginning of Greek historical works:
Women were prominent in Luke's portrayal of Jesus' life.
Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist:
Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist, whose work paved the way for Jesus (Luke 1:5-7).
After Elizabeth conceived (verse 25), her unborn baby jumped when Mary visited (verses 41-44).
Elizabeth said that her son's name was John (verses 57-60).
Luke tells us that his book is an "orderly" account of the story of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:3, NIV). What is the nature of Luke's order?
The Greek word is kathexes, which is also used in Luke 8:1 (where it is translated "afterwards"), Acts 3:24 ("on"), Acts 11:4 ("precisely") and Acts 18:23 ("from place to place"). The word refers to sequence — chronological, geographical or logical. Let's look first at the context of Acts 11:4.
Each week is a week of tragedy. There are wars, there is ethnic violence, there is state-sponsored persecution or a natural disaster. There is hatred and jealousy, murders and war — pain and sorrow — every week.
But some weeks it strikes closer to home. A war seems more real to us when people in our own nation are involved, when we see pictures of people who are killed or homeless. An earthquake in one nation, a tsunami in another, a hurricane in a third.
Part 1: Our Lives Are Not Our Own
The New Testament, although emphasizing grace, has hundreds of commands. These are not requirements for salvation, but rather describe the results of salvation—results of God’s grace and his Spirit working within us. The new covenant makes comprehensive demands on us—not just outward conduct, but our hearts and minds.
Prayer is an essential part of our relationship with God. It has been called one of the tools of Christian growth and one of the spiritual disciplines. Prayer is part of each Christian's life, and it is part of the spiritual health of the church.
Various verses remind members to pray for the leaders of the church. In this article, I will focus on the need for leaders to pray for the people. Although most of this article is based on the prayers of Paul, a good foundation is laid in the Old Testament:
Christians are occasionally challenged to study afresh some subjects we thought we already understood. And when we think we understand a subject, there is no way to learn something new about it without also admitting that we didn't understand it as well as we thought we did.
Sometimes this is easy to do, and sometimes it is very difficult. It usually takes some time for the truth to sink in, and often we learn these new things not all at once, but a step at a time. There is a story in the Gospel of Mark that illustrates this.
Christians live in grace and by grace, not by works. We cannot boast about our own works, no matter how good they are. God gets all the glory, for he is the one who motivates us to do anything good. Even the faith we have is a gift of God.