Investigation & petition

Investigation

1. “Luke devotes no little space to the countryside in his two-volume work. This is especially apparent in the Gospel . . . (Oakman, Douglas E. “The Countryside in Luke-Acts.” In The Social World of Luke-Acts, ed. Jerome H. Neyrey, 151-179 {Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1991}. Primary work cited hereafter as Neyrey)

2. “The greeting (aspasmos) was no mere ‘hello’ (cf. 1:28f) but a ceremonial act whose significance lay in the content of the message. cf. Mark 15:18 (Ellis, 76)

3. “Even the unborn John knows the difference and leaps in the womb when Mary enters. Luke is here offering a historical reminiscence and making a theological point. The historical allusion is to Rebekah in whose womb Esau and Jacob struggled, the message being in both cases, ‘The elder shall serve the younger’ (Gen.25:21-23). (Craddock, 29)

4. “To cry with a loud voice . . . may be a formal mark of inspired utterance (Mk. 9:24; Jn. 1:15; 7:28,37 . . .) or of joyful praise (1 Ch.16:4f; Ps.66:1; Isa.40:9) or simply of public proclamation. Here the first two senses are present.” (Marshall-Luke, 81)

5. “Mary may be consciously set in the tradition of Jael . . . (Judges 5:24) as a weak woman through whom God brings deliverance.” (Nolland 1:67)

6. “To Mary was granted the blessedness of being the mother of the Son of God. Well might her heart be filled with a wondering, tremulous joy at so great a privilege. Yet that very blessedness was to be a sword to pierce her heart. It meant that some day she would see her son hanging on a cross. To be chosen by God so often means at one and the same time a crown of joy and cross of sorrow. The piercing truth is that God does not choose a person for ease and comfort and selfish joy but for a task that will take all that head and heart and hand can bring to it. God chooses a person in order to use them.” (Barclay-Luke 14)

7. “Neither in the preaching of the early church recorded in Acts, nor in the theology set forth in Paul’s letters, is anything whatsoever made of the virgin birth. The church had a complete saving gospel, which Paul called ‘the power of God for salvation’ (Rom.1:16), without the slightest mention of the virgin birth. The bedrock foundation of the faith is the resurrection of Jesus, not the manner of his birth.” (Barclay, William, The Gospel of Luke {Westminster, 1975 revised}, 14. Cited hereafter as Barclay-Luke)

8. “John the Baptist did not recognize Jesus as Messiah until the baptism (Jn.1:32f). Apparently Elizabeth’s recognition that He is Lord was an inspired but personal affair. John had to find out for himself. (Morris, 75)

Petition

Heavenly Father, you are love and you have surrounded me with people who love you. For this, I thank you.

You have not left me alone, but have placed people in my family and in my circle of friends with whom I share faith. Thank you.

You have set faith in front of my eyes – walking, talking faith in the form of friends and family who live by and who live out, faith. All honor be yours.

You have made sure that there are people of faith, young and old, who encourage me in faith. All praise be to you.

You have given me joy and set people around me who rejoice with me when I rejoice. I rejoice in you.

You have blessed me in ways I simply cannot comprehend, again and again. Blessed is your name.

And so I thank you in the name of my Lord. Amen.

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