Listen up, it’s Luke!


I like Luke.

He’s a doctor – always a plus.

He’s a details guy – and isn’t ashamed of his knack for keeping facts straight.

He’s confident – not ashamed to share his gifts.

In a letter to Theophilus, he makes a bold statement:

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very frist, to write to you an orderly account…that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. {Luke 1:3-4}

I don’t know about Theophilus, but I’m paying attention!

With that type of introduction, you better believe I’m going to note every detail Luke records.

Luke1-3-4Luke doesn’t begin his Gospel account with Jesus, but with the birth narrative of John the Baptist. I picture John’s soon-to-be parents, Zacharias and Elizabeth, as the older couple at church who immediately give you grandparent vibes.  Their faith was time tested and earnest, their hearts full of a genuine love for God.

But, they didn’t have kids.  Children seemed like a dream of the past since they were both pretty old.  God performs a miracle in Elizabeth’s barren womb and she gives birth to the man who would “go before [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elijah…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

In just a few paragraphs, Luke shares these happenings and I’m struck by the details he deems important enough to include. Luke pays attention to the circumstances surrounding Gabriel, an angel of the the Lord, appearing to Zacharias to tell him the news of Elizabeth’s pregnancy- therefore, so do I.

  • “So it was, that while he was serving…” (1:8) – Zacharias was fulfilling his priestly duties.  He was actively doing what God had called him to do – serve in the temple.  I may not be a priest, but I am certainly called to serve God, serve the body of Christ, and serve my family. Am I doing that actively, regardless of my current circumstances?
  • “And the whole multitude of people was praying outside…” (1:10) – Last time I checked, a multitude was a whole ton of people.  This large group of people weren’t chatting or sitting idly, they were praying.  God is visible through prayer.  I need to pray.  We need to pray.  Do I live a lifestyle of prayer?  Am I encouraging my community to pray?

Luke used 15 percent of this story to communicate these actions.  He could have focused on Elizabeth’s feelings or the town’s reaction.  Instead, he devotes space in his narrative to emphasize the power of service and prayer.