Luke 1:1-38


1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us,
2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.
6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,
9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.
17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.
22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home.
24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God.
36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.
37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Images for Luke 1:1-38

Luke 1:1-38 Meaning and Commentary


The writer of this Gospel, Luke, has been, by some, thought, as Origen {a} relates, to be the same with Lucius, mentioned in Ro 16:21, but he seems rather to be, and without doubt is, Luke the beloved physician, who was a companion of the Apostle Paul in great part of his travels in the Gentile world: he came with him to Jerusalem, and from thence accompanied him to Rome, and continued with him when in prison, and was with him to the last; see Ac 16:10,11 \Col 4:14 2Ti 4:11 Phm 1:24\. Jerom {b}, and others, say, he was a physician of Antioch in Syria; where it may be the Apostle Paul met with him, and might be the happy instrument of his conversion; so that he seems to be, by nation, a Syrian, as Jerom {c} calls him. Grotius thinks his name is Roman, and that it is the contraction of Lucilius. It is not an Hebrew name, but might be in common use in Syria; for though the Jews reckon owqwl, "Lukus", among foreign names, yet say {d} a it was a very illustrious one, and well known to them, as it may well be thought to be if Syriac, the language being spoke by them: and many Jews lived in Syria, and particularly in Antioch. Some say that this Gospel was written by the advice, and assistance, and under the direction of the Apostle Paul, as the Gospel according to Mark was by that of Peter; though the following preface does not seem so well to accord with this. Eusebius says {e} that it was the sense of the ancients, that whenever the Apostle Paul makes mention of his Gospel, he intends this according to Luke. The time of the writing of it is not certain; some say it was written in the fifteenth year after the ascension of our Lord; others in the twenty second; and others in the twenty seventh. It is commonly thought to have been written after the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, according to the order in which it stands; but this is rejected by some learned men, who rather think that Luke wrote first of all: and indeed, there are some things in his preface which look as if there had not, as yet, been any authentic account published, at least which was come to the knowledge of this evangelist. The place where he wrote it is also uncertain. Jerom says {f}, he wrote it in the parts of Achaia, perhaps at Corinth: according to the titles prefixed to the Syriac and Persic versions, he wrote it in Alexandria: the former of these runs thus;

``the Gospel of Luke, the Evangelist, which he spake and published in Greek in Alexandria the great.''

And the latter thus;

``the Gospel of Luke, which he wrote in the Greek tongue in Alexandria of Egypt.''

However, it is agreed on all hands, that it is genuine, and of divine inspiration. Eusebius {g} relates, that it was affirmed by some, that this Gospel, together with those of Matthew and Mark, were brought to the Apostle John, who approved of them, and bore witness to the truth in them.

{a} In Rom. xvi. 21. {b} Catalog. Script. Eccles. sect. 17. fol. 91. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 4. {c} Praefat in Luc. {d} T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 11. 2. & Gloss. in ib. {e} Ubi supra. (Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 39.) {f} Praefat in Luc. {g} Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 24.

Cross References 49

  • 1. Mark 1:1; John 15:27; Acts 1:21,22
  • 2. Hebrews 2:3; 1 Peter 5:1; 2 Peter 1:16; 1 John 1:1
  • 3. S Mark 4:14
  • 4. Acts 11:4
  • 5. Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25
  • 6. Acts 1:1
  • 7. John 20:31; Acts 2:42
  • 8. Matthew 2:1
  • 9. 1 Chronicles 24:10
  • 10. Genesis 6:9; Genesis 7:1; Deuteronomy 5:33; 1 Kings 9:4; Luke 2:25
  • 11. 1 Chronicles 24:19; 2 Chronicles 8:14
  • 12. Acts 1:26
  • 13. Exodus 30:7,8; 1 Chronicles 23:13; 2 Chronicles 29:11; Psalms 141:2
  • 14. Leviticus 16:17
  • 15. S Acts 5:19
  • 16. Exodus 30:1-10
  • 17. Judges 6:22,23; Judges 13:22
  • 18. ver 30; S Matthew 14:27
  • 19. ver 60,63; S Matthew 3:1
  • 20. ver 58
  • 21. Numbers 6:3; Leviticus 10:9; Judges 13:4; Luke 7:33
  • 22. ver 41,67; Acts 2:4; Acts 4:8,31; Acts 6:3,5; Acts 9:17; Acts 11:24; Ephesians 5:18; S Acts 10:44
  • 23. Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15
  • 24. ver 76
  • 25. S Matthew 11:14
  • 26. Malachi 4:5,6
  • 27. S Matthew 3:3
  • 28. Genesis 15:8
  • 29. ver 34; Genesis 17:17
  • 30. ver 26; Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21; Matthew 18:10
  • 31. Exodus 4:11; Ezekiel 3:26
  • 32. ver 62
  • 33. Genesis 30:23; Isaiah 4:1
  • 34. S ver 19
  • 35. S Matthew 2:23
  • 36. Mt 1:16,18,20; Luke 2:4
  • 37. ver 13; S Matthew 14:27
  • 38. Genesis 6:8
  • 39. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21,25; Luke 2:21
  • 40. ver 35,76; S Mark 5:7
  • 41. S Matthew 1:1
  • 42. Matthew 28:18
  • 43. 2 Samuel 7:16; Psalms 89:3,4; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 33:17; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14,27; Micah 4:7; Hebrews 1:8
  • 44. Matthew 1:18
  • 45. ver 32,76; S Mark 5:7
  • 46. S Mark 1:24
  • 47. S Matthew 4:3
  • 48. ver 24
  • 49. S Matthew 19:26

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "been surely believed"
  • [b]. Or "So the child to be born will be called holy,"
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