The Gospel, according to Luke, chapter 2

To: God’s family, His church (12/1/18) Kislev 22nd day, 5779, until sunset.

 

Knowing God is to believe IN as He reveals His loving, characteristics. He chooses who He’ll reveal Himself to and work through. If we had no other prophecy than Gabriel’s as spoken to Mary, we’d be Believers IN and know. (a) Gabriel spoke God’s Words. (b) Zachariah, Elizabeth, John and Mary were chosen. (c) Jesus was miraculously fathered by God the Father “Spiritually Begotten” as planned to fulfill all that was written about Him. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit at conception. (d) Jesus’ linage is from David and heir to the throne of David. (e) Jesus is to reign over the house of Jacob “Israel” forever. (See Galatians 3:29.) It’s gifted knowledge to Believe IN Jesus, be fathered by God the Father and adding to His family.

 

God hides His face from the unbelieving world at large, even leaving His people to themselves when they turn to gods of their imagination. We’re like sheep when our Shepherd isn’t guiding. When left to ourselves we turn to ways, practices and tradition that seems right to our inherited fleshly nature. “When people act as gods to themselves they dishonor God’s truths.” The denomination minded are on the broad way that leads to destruction. (After telling Moses that he would not be allowed to cross the Jordan river, because of his not giving God the glory when giving Israelites water from a rock, God told Moses the Israelites’ future.) (See Deuteronomy 31:18-23; (They will reject Me and break their covenant I made with them. He would be angry, abandon them and hide His face until they were devoured. That disasters and distresses will overcome them so that they will say at that time, ‘disasters overcome us because our God is not among us. “But I will certainly hide Myself at that time because of all the wickedness they will have done by turning to other gods.”)

 

 (God’s face is hid “except from those He chooses to reveal Himself to.) (Since Adam and particularly in this age, in which professing Christians are choosing this world’s traditions over obedience, God is allowing each, go the way that seems right .) Satan becomes the god of all who rely on their intellect. (Except for the few mentioned, like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus’ followers, this world’s populations have turned to gods of their imaginations.) God has preserved a clear history of the result of people going the way that seems right. History is clear, “God calls whom He chooses.” He chose Noah, Seth and their descendents, up the line to Abraham, through David and Jesus. “The gospel of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant hinges on His promises to Abraham.”

 

Except for the chosen, such as Moses, prophets, Samuel, David and those led to turn Israel away form worshiping at the pagan high places, images and seers: “God hid His face until sending Gabriel to Zachariah.” Revealing John’s birth and that “John” would be as Elijah announcing the Son of God.

John would be given the holy spirit, “fathered by God” before his birth. When Mary visited Elizabeth, she too was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. After John’s birth and Zachariah writing, “his name is John” Zachariah too was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Remember the word, “Israel” means “God fights” Israel replaces the name Jacob; Israel has the meaning; “a promise and a call for faith.” Thus followers of Jesus are indeed spiritual Israelites. (In essence, the Lord is saying that Jacob would have victory, receive the promises because God would fight for him.)

 

(Luke 1:67-71; “Then John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He has come to help and has redeemed His people. For He has raised up a horn of salvation “Jesus” for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke through the mouth of His holy prophets from long ago, that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us. (Israel was scattered when Zachariah prophesied, another deliverance is what’s spoken of here. (“Being saved from enemies” is like the release Jesus preached in Luke 4:18-19. (Luke’s narrative shows that one of the enemies in view is Satan, cohort false teachers and the grip they have on humanity.) Zachariah’s prophecy continues.

 

(72-74; God has done this to show mercy to our ancestors, and to remember His holy covenant – the oath that He swore to our ancestor Abraham. (Genesis 12:1-3) This oath grants that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, may serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him for as long as we live.”) Zachariah is repeating prophesy the Lord promise  Abraham. (76-80; And you, child, “John” will be called the prophet of the Most High. For you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s tender mercy the dawn will break upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”) In the power of Elijah, John the Baptist was a prophet, he revealed knowledge of salvation through Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. John grew, became strong in spirit, and was in the wilderness until the day he was revealed to Israel.”) God did the revealing to His chosen, “the Israelites” and those He would make spiritual Israelites, “those He would fights for.” Not everyone was given to understand that John was the prophesied forerunner. (The Pharisees and Sadducees did not come to his defense when Herod had him jailed.) Now we understand, God foreknew “the Baptist has obtained a better city.” As Satan attempted to destroy Moses through an evil ruler, he attempted to destroy Jesus.

 

(Luke 2:1-7; “Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to his own town to be registered. (4) So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. “Joseph went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”) It’s demonstrated again here, “what people think weak, God turns to strength.”

 

(Luke 2:8-14; “Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. (10) But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people:. “Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased!” ) This prophesied peace on earth is with whom? Who is God pleased with?

 

(Luke 2:15-20; “When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem, “the city of David” and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw Him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.”) These shepherds were close by, arriving when Jesus was still in the manger. Telling their experience of angels revealing Jesus’ birth, made them Jesus’ first witnesses.

 

(Luke 2:21-24; “At the end of eight days, when Jesus was circumcised, He was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”) It’s good for followers of Jesus to be circumcised. Even Jesus’ circumcision looked forward to our being circumcised of heart. That is, “to have our fleshly nature cut back.” (see Deut 10:16) That glorious day is coming when Jesus returns to bring peace to His chosen. See Jesus’ prophecy through Moses regarding Israel’s millennial deliverance to the borders promised Abraham.

 

(Deut 30:5-8; “Then He “Jesus” will bring you to the land your ancestors possessed and you also will possess it; He will do better for you and multiply you more than He did your ancestors. The Lord your God will also cleanse “circumcise” your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love Him with all your mind and being and so that you may live. Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all His commandments I am giving you today.”) “That you may love Him? Until our hearts are miraculously cleansed by God, we aren’t able to love Him. At 1John 4:19; We’re taught “we love His because He first loved us.”

 

(Luke 2:22-24; “Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (Just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be set apart to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”) Though spirit begotten, “fathered by God” Jesus experienced a fleshly life, born under the law that He Himself authored. Jesus always had a submissive attitude toward His Father and the laws of His own making. (See John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-20 & Heb 1:) Jesus inspired Jeremiah’s prophecies.

 

(Jer 4:4; “Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment, you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to Me, people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not, My anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to extinguish. That will happen because of the evil you have done.”) Fleshly people in general, have never understood the real meaning of circumcision. Jesus’ gospel and New Covenant is about our being fathered by God and inheriting a nature like Jesus‘. Paul understood and reveals how we should be yielded to Jesus. How we should reflect a cleansing “a circumcision” of the heart. We’ll start there next study if God be willing.

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