How many times have we celebrated Christmas? How many times have we heard the Christmas story and the events leading up to it?
We remember the Birth of John the Baptist being announced to his Father Zechariah. There he was in the temple serving the LORD, when the angel Gabriel, appeared to Zechariah gripping him with fear. Even though he and his wife were very old, and she could not conceive, they would have a son. The child would “make ready a people prepared for the LORD.”
The six months later, the same angel Gabriel is sent to “a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.” After he greets Mary, she is troubled wondering “what kind of greeting this might be.” But the angel announced the wonderful news that she would be the human mother of Jesus, “the Son of the Most High God.” We remember how Mary believed the news and accepted her role in the salvation of mankind.
Then, part of the proof that she, a virgin would be pregnant, the angel told her about her relative, Elizabeth, how she was pregnant also in her old age. So Mary took off to see her cousin Elizabeth. Then a wonderful thing happened. Even though Elizabeth did not know about Mary's situation, when Mary greeted her, her baby, John leaped for joy in her womb and the Holy Spirit explained to her what was happening.
In Mary's Song we see her rejoicing in her Savior who would be born through her. Then, John the Baptist is born, just as God promised. And his Father prophecied about his work as the forerunner of the Savior.
This is all mostly familiar to most of us. We have heard it year after year. But my point today, is that we can be sure that all this is true, which Luke tells us. He talked to those who were eyewitnesses, and those who followed the LORD during his ministry. Did he interview Mary, I think so! And the Gospel of Luke is his report. But more than that, we are sure that these accounts are real and truthful because Luke was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write these exact words of accounts from those whom he had interviewed. His Gospel is God's Word.
So when we listen again to these accounts. They fill us in awe as we think about what this means to us, that at God's right time, he sent the forerunner for his Son, and then sent His Son into the world “that whoever believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Luke tells us: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled 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 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:1–4 (NIV84)