Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

John is Born

Luke 1

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Is Born (Luke 2:1-20)

Opening Prayer

Luke - The Historical Gospel (Luke 1:1-4)
    Who was Luke?
      Colossians 4:14 = A doctor, and friend of Paul's (Gentile - from v10-17)
    How qualified was Luke to write the gospel (good news) of Jesus?
      Acts 16:8-10 = Traveled & worked with Paul on his 2nd & 3rd journeys

    Did Luke write his gospel because no one else had tried to record what had happened?
      Luke 1:1-2 = No, many had already tried to record the story from eyewitnesses
    Why did Luke go to this trouble if others had already done so? = may know the certainty
      Luke 1:3-4 = carefully investigated everything, hired by Theophilus (one who loves God)
    What was the scope of his gospel? = Written third of 4 gospels, around 70-80 AD
      Acts 1:1-2 = From when Jesus began to do & teach until He ascended

Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5)
    When, specifically, does Luke's gospel begin and who were Zechariah and Elizabeth?
      Luke 1:5 = During Herod's reign (37-4 BC), Both were Levite descendants of Aaron
      Priests must marry Jews, better to marry Levites, even better to marry from Aaron's line
    What does it mean that Zechariah belonged to the priestly division of Abijah? = weekly rot
      1 Chronicles 24:1, 3, 10, 19 = Aaron's descendants divided into 24 by David
      Priests served two weeks per year, plus Passover, Pentecost & Feast of Tabernacles

The Perfect Family (Luke 1:6)
    What else does Luke tell us about Zechariah and Elizabeth?
      Luke 1:6 = Both righteous in God's sight
    Were other people called blameless and righteous in the Bible?
      Genesis 6:8-9 = Noah; Also Simeon, Joseph (Jesus' dad), Job, others
    Does this mean they were perfect and sinless?
      Ecclesiastes 7:20 = No one is perfect
    Then why does the Bible call them righteous?
      Galatians 3:11 = Made righteous by faith

Zechariah Is Visited (Luke 1:7-13)
    Since Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, did God bless them in every way?
      Luke 1:7 = He had not blessed them with children, a sign of God's disapproval
    What special honor did Zechariah receive once when he went on duty? = ~20K priests
      Luke 1:8-10 = Chosen by lot to burn incense in temple (am & pm priests), 1/life
    Did things go smoothly for Zechariah during his special service? = God was on right side
      Luke 1:11-12 = An angel of the Lord appeared to him next to the altar
    What comforting message was Zechariah given? = Johanan - Jehovah's gracious gift
      Luke 1:13 = Don't be afraid, your prayer has been heard, Will have a son, John

This Special Son (Luke 1:14-16)
    How would John be different than other kids? = Many will rejoice
      Luke 1:14-15 = Great in God's sight, never drink alcohol, filled with HS
    How would Zechariah understand the point that John should never drink alcohol?
      Numbers 6:1-3 = Would be a Nazirite, life dedicated to God (Samson & Samuel)

    What would John accomplish in life?
      Luke 1:16 = Return many of the Jews to faith & devotion to God
    Why was this important to God's plan?
      Mark 1:1-3 = To fulfill Isaiah's prophesy of one to prepare the way for the Lord
    How effective would John be in his ministry?
      Mark 1:4-5 = Whole Judean countryside & all the people of Jerusalem confessed

Elijah Jr. (Luke 1:17)
    What other special thing did the angel foretell about John?
      Luke 1:17 = He will go on before the Lord ... in the spirit and power of Elijah
    What Old Testament prophesy would this fulfill?
      Malachi 4:5-6 = I will send Elijah before the day of the Lord (400 yrs earlier)

    What hint besides his ministry did John give that he was the promised return of Elijah?
      Mark 1:6 = Wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist
    How might this remind the people of Elijah?
      2 Kings 1:7-8 = Elijah dressed the same
    Wouldn't John's unclean diet of locusts conflict with a prophet's calling by God?
      Leviticus 11:21-22 = Locusts were clean and okay to eat

    Did the people recognize John to be the promised return of Elijah?
      Matthew 17:10-13 = Elijah has already come, and they didn't recognize him
    Were the people told that Elijah had returned?
      Matthew 11:7, 10-11, 14 = Jesus told crowd - John is the Elijah who was to come

Who Says Hindsight is 20/20 (Luke 1:18)
    After hearing the message from the angel what story would Zechariah have remembered?
      Genesis 18:1, 10-11 = The gift of Isaac to old Abraham & Sarah
    How easily did faithful Abraham and Sarah believe God's promise?
      Genesis 17:17; 18:12-14 = Both A & S laughed at this impossible promise
    How were Abraham and Sarah reminded of their disbelief in God's power over the impossible?
      Genesis 17:19 = Son was named Isaac; means he laughs
    Did Zechariah show any stronger faith when given a similar message? = Asked for sign
      Luke 1:18 = Questioned the impossible promise, just like Abraham & Sarah

Doubting Zechariah (Luke 1:19-25)
    How did the angel remind Zechariah who the promise was from?
      Luke 1:19 = Introduced self as Gabriel sent by God with this message
    Would this angel's name mean anything to Zechariah? = Gabriel - Man of God
      Daniel 8:15-16 = Sent by God to explain visions to Daniel, Known as archangel
    What sign would Zechariah be given because of his lack of faith?
      Luke 1:20 = Would be unable to speak until John is born

    Did the worshippers outside realize what had happened?
      Luke 1:21-22 = They wondered what took so long, realized he saw a vision
    What other sign was Zechariah given that the promise would happen?
      Luke 1:23-25 = Elizabeth got pregnant after he returned home, worshipped 5 months

A More Special Son (Luke 1:26-56)
    Was Gabriel's work done or did he have more to do? = Galilee was inferior, unrighteous
      Luke 1:26-33 = In Elizabeth's sixth month, God sent Gabriel to tell Mary of Jesus
    Though Mary was young, how was this birth even more miraculous than John's & Isaac's?
      Luke 1:34-35 = Was conceived by the Holy Spirit & born of a virgin - Son of God
    What proof did Gabriel give that this impossible promise would be fulfilled?
      Luke 1:36-37 = Elizabeth's pregnancy shows nothing is impossible with God

    How faithfully did Mary accept this promise? = Mary's presence likely broke Elizabeth's seclusion
      Luke 1:38-40 = Accepted her job as the Lord's servant, left to stay with Elizabeth
    How was the promise to Mary confirmed by Elizabeth even before they saw each other?
      Luke 1:41-45 = John leapt in womb, E praised Mary for choice as mother of Lord
    How does Mary respond to Elizabeth's greeting?
      Luke 1:46-48 (46-55) = She sang a song of praise to God (Magnificat)
    How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?
      Luke 1:56 = Until end of her pregnancy, then returned to Nazareth

John Is Born and Named (Luke 1:57-66)
    What was the natural name for John to have been given?
      Luke 1:57-61 = Zechariah, after his father - No one in family had name John
    Why were the neighbors getting involved with naming the child?
      Ruth 4:16-17 = Common practice for neighbors & relatives to help name a child
    How were the neighbors able to get Zechariah's decision since he couldn't speak?
      Luke 1:62-63 = He wrote on a tablet, His name is John - tablet was wax on a board

    What happened after Zechariah had officially given his son the name John?
      Luke 1:64 = Immediately his mouth was opened, he praised God
    How did the neighbors respond to Zechariah's sudden ability to speak?
      Luke 1:65 = They were filled with awe, talked about it to everyone around
    How did others respond when they heard what had happened?
      Luke 1:66 = Wondered what great plans God had in store for this boy

Zechariah's Song - Benedictus (Luke 1:67-79)
    Besides the ability to speak, how else was Zechariah blessed after John was named?
      Luke 1:67 = He was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied
    How did Zechariah begin this last Messianic prophesy before Jesus' birth?
      Luke 1:68-75 = By praising God for keeping His promise to Abraham
    How well did Zechariah understand his son's role in God's plan?
      Luke 1:76-77 (76-79) = You will go before the Lord to prepare the way for Him
    How was John raised in preparation for his ministry?
      Luke 1:80 = Grew strong in spirit, lived in desert

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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