This year we are covering the four Gospel Accounts together in chronological order.
This week, we have covered the first fifteen verses of Matthew 1. Here was the conclusion:
Matthew 1-15 covered Christ's lineage from Abraham through Jacob...which was the end of the Old Testament.
Today, we will begin covering the events that took place about a year before Jesus' conception...
"1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us,
2 even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning wer eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,
3 it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus;
4 that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the things wherein thou wast instructed."
(Luke was not one of the twelve Disciples. Luke's perspective came about thirty years after Christ's resurrection. He was a physician and used his scientific mind to compile as much of the critical information as possible. His Gospel Account was the most comprehensive and logical presentation of the events during Jesus' time on earth. To that end, Luke doesn't even begin with Jesus...)
"5 There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth."
(Luke began with some history from what we refer to as "the silent period of the Bible"...the roughly 400 years between the Old Testament and New Testament. The Big Picture view of the silent period is: Alexander the Great conquered the known world and allowed the Jews to rule themselves in 331 BC. As Daniel predicted, Alexander's kingdom broke into four parts after his death and the portion that was over Israel was conquered by the Romans in 168 BC. In 47 BC Julius Caesar gave Hyrcanus the rights to the high priesthood and Israelites were able to maintain their own culture. In 37 BC Herod the Great became sovereign over Israel and had a Temple built. In 4 BC, Herod the Great died and his son Herod was made ruler over Judea, Samaria, and Edom. during this time a priest named Zacharias was married to Elisabeth...)
(Both of John the Baptist's parents were of the priesthood. Zacharias was of Abijah...which was mentioned as descendents of Aaron in I Chronicles 24:10 "10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,"
and Nehemiah 12:17 "17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai;".)
(Elisabeth was of the Levites. In fact, Exodus 6:23 stated Aaron's wife was named Elisheba which was the same as Elisabeth.
"23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.")
"6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."
(BOTH were righteous before God.)
"7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years."
(They didn't have any children and it looked as if they never would.)
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.