This year we are covering the four Gospel Accounts together in chronological order.
During January we covered the events from the Gospel Accounts that occurred prior to Jesus' conception. This involved John 1:1-5, Matthew 1:1-15, and Luke 1:1-79. Here were the summaries for each:
John's enigmatic first five verses of his Gospel Account mirrored the first five verses of the Old Testament to show Jesus was present when the heaven and all the physical matter that would ever exist ("earth") was created.
The first eleven verses of Matthew's Gospel Account covered the events from Abraham up to the captivity...twenty-eight generations from Abraham to Jechoniah: Fourteen generations from Abraham to David...and fourteen from David to the captivity. The next four verses covered the time between the captivity and the years before Jesus' conception.
Around 4 BC, a priest and his wife (Zacharias and Elizabeth) were both righteous before God, childless, and well beyond the years when they could expect to have children.
An angel (Gabriel) told Zacharias their supplications had been heard: Elisabeth would bear a son and Zacharias should name him John. The angel told Zacharias his son would be great before God because John would essentially be fulfilling the vows of a Nazirite (Numbers 6:1-8). John would not drink wine or strong drink and he would be filled with the Holy Spirit before birth.
John's mission involved:
-being the spiritual Elijah that prepared the way of the Lord
-introducing the kingdom of heaven which included fathers being focused on the children and disobedient prideful people making progress towards good by grace.
Zacharias did not believe Gabriel. Consequently, Zacharias would not be able to speak until after his son was named John. A multitude was aware that Zacharias had seen a vision while burning incense and was unable to speak. Elisabeth conceived once Zacharias returned from his responsibilities. However, Elisabeth hid herself for five months.
Gabriel visited Mary in Nazareth six months after John the Baptist was conceived. Gabriel essentially gave Mary the same news as he gave Zacharias concerning Elisabeth: Mary would conceive a son...and then told Mary what to name Him: JESUS. However, Gabriel told Mary JESUS would be the Son of God...the Messiah. JESUS would reign over an eternal kingdom. Gabriel responded to Mary's question by stating God would impregnate her through the Holy Spirit. Mary's response was to have faith in what Gabriel stated and accept it. Mary confirmed her faith in what was stated to her by the Holy Spirit and Elisabeth concerning JESUS.
Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when she heard Mary's voice because John the Baptist leaped for joy in her womb. Elisabeth spoke prophecy and blessings by the Holy Spirit to confirm what Mary had believed by the Holy Spirit.
Mary left Elisabeth shortly before John the Baptist was born. Those who performed the circumcision wanted to name him Zacharias, but Elisabeth said to name him John. They didn't want to listen to her, so they turned to Zacharias to find out the name of his son. Zacharias confirmed what Elisabeth had stated: their son's name was John. Zacharias was immediately able to speak and the people began to wonder what John would grow up to accomplish.
Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit. He began by speaking of God's everlasting covenant with Israel, God's messianic covenant with David, and eternity in paradise. Zacharias stated prophecy by the Holy Spirit concerning his son John. John would be called the prophet of the Most High and make ready the people by giving them knowledge of salvation through the remission of sins.
John 1:1-5, Matthew 1:1-15, and Luke 1:1-79 covered the events prior to Jesus' conception.
Next month, we will cover the events from Jesus' conception through childhood.