Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part V: Christianity's Divine Validity In View Of Christ's Early Unconventional Roots
(Luke 1:57-80)
  1. Introduction
    1. One of the big objections the Hebrew people had with accepting Jesus as their Messiah was His identity with Nazareth in Galilee. When Nicodemus tried to get the Pharisees to give Jesus a fair hearing, these rulers responded that even Scripture did not certify that a prophet would rise out of Galilee, John 7:50-52. Even godly Nathaniel marveled that Jesus could be the Messiah since He was from Nazareth, Jn. 1:44-47!
    2. Sometimes, people have a hard time accepting the spiritual credibility of one of God's servants because of some human background with which he is identified. Like Jesus, his roots are an objectionable obstacle!
    3. Luke's Gospel was written to give credibility to the Christian faith, Lk. 1:4. As such, Luke provides invaluable evidence that Messiah was to be identified with Galilee! This lesson works to expose the need to evaluate the credibility of God's messengers based on the Word of God, not on man's extrabiblical ideas.
  2. Christianity's Divine Validity In View Of Christ's Early Unconventional Roots, Luke 1:57-80.
    1. When John the Baptist was born, an event occurred that indicated he was God's Messianic Forerunner:
      1. Elizabeth, John's mother wanted to name her newborn son "John" that was uncharacteristically not a name already used in the family, like "Zacharias," his father's name, Lk. 1:57-60.
      2. When they made signs to John's father who was unable to speak, he wrote on a tablet that the boy's name would be "John," and was thus immediately released from his speech impediment, Lk. 1:62-64.
      3. The timing of this healing miracle indicated that Zacharias' speech restoration came directly from God:
        1. Everyone had witnessed that Zacharias' speech problem had begun when he ministered in the Holy Place in a once-in-a-lifetime ministry in Lk. 1:21-22.
        2. That speech problem had arisen out of Zacharias' failure to trust the angel Gabriel's message about the arrival of a son, John as the Messianic Forerunner, Lk. 1:11-17, 18-20.
        3. The angel announced that Zacharias would be unable to speak because of his unbelief until the day that John was born and the things about John predicted by the angel, Gabriel were fulfilled, Lk. 1:20.
        4. Well, only as John was named by Zacharias could he begin to speak, indicating that the infant's name was of God, and that Zacharias' speech impediment and restoration were caused by God.
      4. As soon as Zacharias was able to speak, he praised God in the Holy Spirit's power, Lk. 1:64.
      5. That praise undoubtedly is recorded in Zacharias' prophecy in Lk. 1:67-79 as it is recorded that he was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to praise the Lord.
      6. That praise identifies John as the Forerunner of Messiah to prepare the way of the Lord, 1:76-78a.
    2. In that praise expression, John as the Messianic Forerunner would also be the Forerunner of Messiah who would be uniquely identified with Galilee of the nations, Luke 1:78-79:
      1. Zacharias described the Messiah whom John would announce as the sunrising, or dayspring, 1:78a.
      2. This one would be a light to those who sat in darkness in the shadow of death, 1:79.
      3. The passage in the Old Testament to which this phrasing refers is Isaiah 9:1-2. There, the people of Galilee who sat in spiritual darkness would see a great light!
      4. That light is identified in Isaiah 9:6 as the God-incarnate Messiah who would be born unto Israel as the Supernatural Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace!
    3. Thus, as certified from the God of the Jerusalem Temple complex itself through the experiences of Zacharias regarding the birth of John the Baptizer, Messiah would be identified with Galilee!
Lesson: Luke's record reveals that, right from the temple complex itself through the agency of the priest, Zacharias by proof of his speaking impediment, speech restoration and resulting praise expression at John's birth, Israel's God indicated tha t Jesus was the God-incarnate Messiah Who would be identified with downcast, spiritually darkened Galilee, cf. Isaiah 9:1-6.

Application: (1) In spite of Christ's spiritually dark background in Galilee, the Founder of Christianity is fully, Biblically certified. (2) We must not evaluate the credibility of God's servants based on their backgrounds. Credibility is based on divine approval regardless of background.