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Destination Bethlehem: A Field

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“In the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’

“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” [1]

“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” Humble shepherds deserted their flocks and rushed to Bethlehem in order to verify what their senses told them could not have happened. Though the Son of God was born in humble circumstances, we must also know that He was heralded by Heaven’s choir. Have angels announced the birth of any other child other? Did ever such an august choir perform in more strange surroundings than did this choir?

With the bleating of sheep providing accompaniment, the messengers of heaven spoke to shepherds—the most humble representatives of mankind—to announce the birth of the Son of God. A field beyond Bethlehem became the site of the most famous announcement in all the history of mankind—the announcement that God would provide a redeemer for His fallen creature.

THE PLACE OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT — I phoned my dad, and then I phoned my grandmother. I phoned my brother and I phoned my mother-in-law. I even phoned my mother. I phoned my professors at school. I even phoned the local paper to place a birth announcement. I wanted everyone to know that Lynda and I had a baby girl to grace our home. The birth of one’s first child is momentous, and fathers especially want everyone to share their joy. The same note of infectious joy is noted in the account before us.

“There were shepherds out in the field.” Shepherds, in this particular area, lived in the fields throughout the period of March through November. There is nothing in this account to give us the particular timing of these events, but we are reasonably certain that they did not occur in late December. These particular shepherds were quite possibly caring for sheep destined for the Temple sacrifices. [2] Whether the sheep were their own, or whether they were indeed caring for sheep destined for the Temple offerings, it would be the responsibility of the shepherds to protect the flocks. Thus, they would remain in the fields with the sheep both day and night to protect the flock from robbers and from wild animals.

Some scholars have opined that these shepherds were the owners of the particular cave in which the child had been born, since they appear to have had no difficulty in finding the child after they were notified, but I think it fair to state that this is at best speculation. [3]

Why should this third announcement, the announcement of the birth of God’s Son, be to shepherds? Can we assign a particular significance to this announcement? Previously, there have been two other announcements in the brief account provided. The birth of John the Baptist was announced by Gabriel to his father, Zechariah [LUKE 1:5-25]; Gabriel also announced the birth of the Messiah to Mary [LUKE 1:26-38]. Now, we witness this third announcement, following the birth of the child. Whether it is Gabriel who makes this announcement or another of the heavenly messengers is not divulged by the text. What is related is that an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds.

Certainly, we can understand an angel announcing the birth of the Messiah to Mary. She would need to be prepared for the events which would follow. We don’t even struggle to account for the announcement of the birth of John to Zechariah. After all, God wished to prepare the old man and his wife for what was coming. However, why should God announce the birth of His Son to shepherds? Wouldn’t you think that God would wish the powerful to know of this event? Why should the announcement be to shepherds and not to those residing in Caesar’s palace? Why shouldn’t Herod be the first to hear of the birth of this child? The rich and powerful receive such deference in this world that we would imagine that they would be notified first of the birth of Messiah.

Robert Stein, citing literature from rabbinic Judaism, states that shepherds were considered dishonest and unclean. [4] Should Stein be correct in this assertion, it would be an indication that God was reaching out to outcasts and sinners in bringing His Son into the world. Such an outreach would have a powerful impact on lost mankind, and it would assuredly be in keeping with the words of this child after He was grown to manhood. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” [LUKE 5:31-32].

I am cautious in accepting such assertion, however. The rabbinic literature cited is relatively late, coming from the fifth century. Also, the New Testament consistently portrays shepherds in a favourable light, even describing church leaders as shepherds [LUKE 15:4; JOHN 10; 1 PETER 2:25; HEBREWS 13:20; EPHESIANS 4:11].

Instead of considering the shepherds as representative of sinners, it seems preferable to view the shepherds as representative of the humble among mankind. It is the lowly and the humble who respond to God’s message. Mary’s hymn of exaltation which sprang forth upon being greeted by Elizabeth exults in the knowledge that God has “exalted those of humble estate” [LUKE 1:52]. God has a message of joy for those with hearts sufficiently humble to receive that message. Jesus’ birth is followed immediately at an announcement to an everyday group—shepherds.

How fascinating is this information in light of the apostolic revelation of God’s choice. “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’” [1 CORINTHIANS 1:20-31]

If you are a Christian, it was necessary to receive Christ as Master of your life. You were compelled to come to the point that you no longer thought of yourself as meriting salvation, but rather you discovered that God reached out to you in grace. Likewise, if you will become a Christian and receive the gift of life which is in Christ the Lord, you will need to humble yourself and receive the Son of God as your sacrifice.

How silently, how silently

The wondrous Gift is giv’n!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of His Heav’n.

No ear may hear His coming;

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive Him still,

The dear Christ enters in.

THE PURPOSE OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT — When the angel appeared, he first addressed the obvious fear of these trembling shepherds. “Fear not!” Make no mistake, the august presence of an angel is cause for fear and when the angels are dispatched to announce God’s gift or to serve the saints of the Most High, they must first address the fear of man. The fear of the shepherds could be set aside because the mission of the angel was to bring good news of great joy. Neither was this news confined to the shepherds alone, but it was for all mankind, ourselves included. What is this Good News?

Shepherds hear the announcement which is only the beginning of Good News that shall spread until all mankind has heard. Infectious joy shall touch all the nations. From every nation, tribe, people and language shall come forth a people who shall ever after be known as children of God. What can be of such magnificent joy that God is constrained to dispatch an angel to bring the announcement? The Law was delivered with great fanfare and trumpet blasts, but there were no angels to announce the giving of the Law. Solomon dedicated the Temple of God with great ceremony, but no angels attended that dedicatory service. God speaks of the advent of His Son. “When [God] brings the Firstborn into the world, He says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him’” [HEBREWS 1:6].

The Good News which the angel brought is the same Good News that is preached throughout the entire world to this day; this Gospel is proclaimed throughout all the earth [MATTHEW 24:14]. Even in the midst of judgement during the awful days of the Great Tribulation, God shall be proclaiming this eternal Gospel [REVELATION 14:6]. This is the message of grace and mercy that the angel first announced to the shepherds, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” [LUKE 2:11]. We translate this way for the sake of euphony. [5]

What is not apparent from our English text is the terseness, the abruptness, the power of that announcement. The words “Saviour,” “Christ” and “Lord” appear abruptly, without articles. The announcement would have sounded to our ears something like this. “There was born to you today… Saviour… Christ… Lord… in David’s city.”

Contained within these three titles is the essence of the Good News which the angel announced—Good News which needs to be shouted throughout all the towns and villages of our province and throughout all the cities of our nation until the whole of our nation rings with the joyous note of life.

“Saviour!” This One will confront all the sin of the world with regal authority, based upon His redeeming power. “Christ!” This One will confront all the chaos of the world as the Messiah of God. He alone will be able to realise true hegemony as He creates the Kingdom of God. “Lord!” This One will confront all eternity and all ages. This One—Saviour, Christ, Lord—is born today.

This is what we need. We need a Saviour, and this One was born to take away the sin of all mankind. When He entered into His ministry, the forerunner announced that He was the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world [JOHN 1:29]. He was given the name Jesus, meaning “The Lord Saves,” because He would save His people from their sin [MATTHEW 1:21]. His disciples would carry a message of freedom from sin, for “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” [ACTS 4:12]. Those same disciples were assured that “God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” [ACTS 5:31]. They would assert that they were witnesses of this truth [ACTS 5:32], and we also, who have been saved by Him, testify that this is so.

We require the presence of the Messiah, He who was promised throughout long ages to fulfil all that God prophesied beginning with the pledge that this Seed of the Woman would crush the serpent’s head [GENESIS 3:15] and continuing down through the ages until it was said that He would be the One who will rise with healing in His wings [MALACHI 4:2]. We need this promised Anointed One who will cause war to cease and bring mankind to a point of peace. We are restless until we have Him.

We need a Lord, a Master. Man was appointed to exercise dominion over the Creation, but he cannot even fulfil this one task. We cannot master our own lives, much less master our fallen world. Therefore we need One who will rule over us, giving us His protection from all that would otherwise harm and destroy us. This is the One born today. And the sign that this is He of whom God has prophesied throughout long ages is that the shepherds “will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” [LUKE 2:12].

This sign must have been jarring for the shepherds. These humble men have just received a stunning announcement. Nowhere else in all Scripture do these three titles—Saviour, Christ, Lord—occur in such close apposition as in our text. However, as we saw last week, the Father chose to send His Son in great humility so that no one need be intimidated by Him. He has experienced our life fully, and we know that He will receive us, whatever our condition. However, let no one doubt that this is the Son of God.

What a contradiction! How utterly opposed to the pride of mankind. God humbled Himself to be born of a woman, born into a world which did not welcome Him, born into a world which was opposed to Him. No wonder that the Word states of Him, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” [JOHN 1:10-13]. Messiah was born in a sheepcote and laid in a manger rather than being born in a palace and laid to rest in an ornate crib. His life will contain an unusual bookend for a king, since he was thus born and because He will die with robbers.

If the shepherds had been startled by the sudden appearance of a single angel delivering the heavenly birth announcement, what must they have thought when the heavens were torn apart to reveal a great company of angels, praising God in chorus? During my message last Sunday morning, I felt as though I were assigned the task of being a curmudgeon or an iconoclast, for I pointed out the lack of any basis for several of the Christmas myths. There was no harsh innkeeper. There was no indication of poverty for Joseph and Mary necessitating them seeking out alternative accommodation. There were likely no animals present at the birth of the Son of God.

Having acted as an iconoclast during a previous message, I feel positively timid to point out another fallacy perpetuated in popular Christmas mythology. Whether in our hymnody or in popular literature, the angelic heralds are inevitably portrayed as singing. However, Scripture knows nothing of angels singing. Hymns speak of angel choirs and of songs of peace delivered by these heavenly beings, but the text is clear. “Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’”

[LUKE 2:13, 14]

Note that the angels were saying [legóntōn]. The original language never speaks of angels singing. Always they are speaking—perhaps in antiphonal praise or perhaps in united worship—but ever and always the angels of God speak. It is man, redeemed from the Fall and purchased for God’s glory, who sings. However, the angels speak.

Permit me to step aside from the text for a brief moment in order to explore with you why this might be. I cannot speak definitively, but I do believe the explanation I am about to deliver merits consideration. The angels who serve God have never fallen. Those fallen beings are the demons that were cast out of Heaven after following Lucifer in his rebellion. However, the cherubs, the seraphs and the other flaming messengers do not know what it is to be fallen, to be estranged from God and bound by sin. These serve Him, hastening to do His bidding and “to serve the for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” [HEBREWS 1:14].

In the same way, since they have never fallen they cannot know what it is to be redeemed. The angels cannot know what it is to be filled with joy because of the forgiveness of sin. This explains Peter’s enigmatic statement, “It was revealed to [the prophets] that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look” [1 PETER 1:12].

Music is composed of minor chords and major chords, notes that speak of man’s sorrow as it also speaks of his joy. The wind moans, as though grieving over the fallen earth across which it must blow, the crashing of the waves speak of the rage that attends the brokenness of the world and the night sounds lend a melancholy note to man’s experience. Similarly, joy is universally expressed with lilting songs that lift the spirits of those who hear. The song of a babbling brook as it leaps across the rocks is joyful. The warble of the robin lifts the heart of all who hear that song. The rustle of the leaves as the gentle zephyr stirs causes mankind to rejoice.

Angels who have never known the sorrow arising from rebellion against the Lord of God can never sing neither of their grief nor their sorrow. There is no evidence that the fallen angels, creatures we identify as demons since their insurrection against love, can even feel remorse at their rebellion against the Living God. They clearly have regret when they are confronted by the Son of God. These demonic beings may beg not to be sent to the Pit, pleading to live in hogs rather than being sent away [see MATTHEW 8:30-32]; but they are not ashamed of their wickedness. Because the angels of God have never known the grief arising from sin, they cannot know the joy that comes from forgiveness and acceptance into the love of God. I suggest that because they cannot know the joy of salvation, they are incapable of singing. People, fallen and redeemed, sing; and the songs they sing speak of their sorrow over past sin and of their joy in God’s forgiveness.

The most natural sound imaginable in a congregation of the saints is a hymn of joy. The forgiven soul cannot help but sing, revealing the joy that fills the heart. And as the saints of God sing of the freedom they have found in Christ the Lord, the angels watch and marvel. The angels long to look into the matters of salvation, but they cannot. These august creatures can but watch and marvel as the people of God rejoice in their salvation. Thus, I encourage the people of God to sing, to rejoice always in joyful song.

Had you been one of the shepherds, how would you have reacted to the dramatic events? When they had recovered from the shock of seeing angels—not a few, but a vast multitude—the shepherds regained their speech and began to encourage one another. Their unanimous decision was to leave their flocks and go straight to Bethlehem. If this is the promised Messiah, they dared not miss His incarnation. Could there be another reasonable explanation for what had just transpired? Obviously, something marvellous had occurred earlier in the city of David, so they must witness it for themselves.

When the shepherds arrived in Bethlehem, just as the angels had said, they found Mary and Joseph—and most importantly, they found the baby. Just as the angels had said, He was wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. In the whole of Bethlehem, there was not another infant lying in a manger. Though it is possible that other babes were swaddled, no other infants were to be found lying in a feed trough.

What is there to see in this most glorious event of all history? There is a child, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. A young girl mothers Him and a young boy who hovers awkwardly nearby, uncertain what his role might be. How utterly pedestrian! How extraordinarily ordinary! The event is exceptional for its normalcy.

The announcement was in keeping with the Person of the Son of God. The event was so mundane as to be easily missed. We forget that God never promised that His Son would be attractive as man counts beauty or that His birth would occasion great surprise among the sons of men. In fact, God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, spoke of this One in rather terms that are stunning for their plainness.

“Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men;

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

“Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the LORD has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.”

[ISAIAH 53:1-6]

Without beauty, an unspectacular form, devoid of majesty—nothing about His appearance would cause us to desire Him. Despised, rejected by men, identified as a man of sorrows familiar with suffering—we did not anticipate this sort of Saviour! We looked for One who is attractive, One in whom we can take pride and One whose presence is august. However, the purpose of His coming makes Him attractive, for He came to set His people free.

Walking the dusty paths of ancient Palestine, this One promised all mankind, “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself” [JOHN 12:32]. There is an attraction in the cross of Christ. It either draws men to ridicule the One hanging there, or it draws men to worship. The One hanging on that rude, wooden tree is not physically beautiful, but He reveals the love of God in all its glory, and that love is wondrously attractive. No wonder they call Him Saviour.

THE PROMISE OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT — The angelic hosts praised God. Specifically, they said:

“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.”

[LUKE 2:14]

In these words is the promise of His coming. This Saviour is the means of and the expression of glory to God in Heaven itself. And on earth, what does the advent of this child mean? His presence with man means peace. This is not a promise that war shall immediately cease nor even that arms shall soon be laid aside, but specifically it is a promise that peace shall rest on those men on whom God showers His grace.

Men have always sought peace; however, the peace man sought was too often merely a desire to be undisturbed. Mankind seeks peace to pursue each individual’s interest, peace to remain undisturbed in a state of eternal mortification. Until the last days of mankind, the search for peace will drive men to seek what cannot be found outside surrender to this Saviour. Paul writes of the ceaseless search for peace which precedes the last days. In one of his earliest letters, he writes of that fruitless search. “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape”[1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-3].

Likewise, Isaiah speaks of the restless nature of fallen mankind in ISAIAH 57:19-21.

“‘Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,’ says the LORD,

‘and I will heal him.

But the wicked are like the tossing sea;

for it cannot be quiet,

and its waters toss up mire and dirt.

There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’”

The final verse is an iteration of ISAIAH 48:22 where Isaiah had testified on behalf of God, “‘There is no peace,’ says the LORD, ‘for the wicked.’” In this fallen world, peace is elusive, a phantom, a will ‘o the wisp on the wind. Recall Jude’s dark description of the wicked. “These are … waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” [JUDE 12, 13]. Mankind’s evil is restless, always stirring up muck and slime.

So long as evil reigns in society, and evil does reign over society, the world cannot know peace. All one need see to verify that wickedness reigns is to note the bitter hatred repeatedly expressed in this dying world. In this week past the United States was shocked by a slaughter much like that which occurred in Paris a few weeks past. A man and his wife, imagining that they are pleasing their blood-thirsty god, killed and wounded more than a score of people. Shocking as that action was, more shocking still is the bitter vituperation of supposedly civilised people castigating anyone who would dare say that they are praying for those who were wounded or for those who grieved. Even a major newspaper mocked God and ridiculed the idea that prayer changes things. What can these things be except expressions of man’s restless wickedness?

Older translations of the Word seem to suggest that the angels said something other than what is found in our text. Many older translations speak of peace on earth, good will toward men. This dreadful mistranslation has been mistakenly used to teach that if only we have good will toward others, peace will result. It is practically a formula for worldwide peace. Many preachers have taught that peace will come through the exercise of good will. Western good will expressed toward Muslims generates, not peace, but rather war. Christian good will produces among fanatical Islamists anger and rage, rather than peace.

There is no peace on earth except among those on whom God’s favour now rests. Fast-forward in your mind to an event thirty years in the future from the date of this child’s birth. This child has passed through infancy, through boyhood, beyond youth and into manhood. He stands, thirty years of age and on the verge of His great unveiling as the promised Messiah. This One, now a grown man in the strength of His manhood approaches John the Baptist to initiate His ministry.

As He is baptised, Heaven breaks its silence and the voice of the Father speaks: “You are My beloved Son, with You I am well pleased [LUKE 3:22].

“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”

[LUKE 2:14]

Mark well the connection. That Baby has become the Man in whom the Father was pleased. Peace will come to earth when men are like Him. That is the way of peace. There is no other way for peace. No consultation between warring factions, no peace negotiations, no disarmament talks will ever bring peace until the Son of God reigns in the hearts of fallen men.

Who are these on whom God’s favour rests? These are those who have received the Son of God as Master of life. Those who fear God, and who receive His message, are at peace with Him and with themselves. Paul speaks of this peace in the Roman letter. “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” [ROMANS 5:1-5]

Later, contrasting those who continue in their state of separation from God’s favour with those on whom His favour rests, the Apostles writes: “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” [ROMANS 8:5-8].

This is the call to life which the angels first issued, a call which is extended to you also, if you will receive it. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” [ROMANS 10:9-13].

I can imagine no greater Christmas gift for any of us than that we should receive the gift of life which is in Christ Jesus as Lord. This is our invitation to all who will receive it. Receive Him as Saviour, as Christ, as Lord. Even as we stand to sing, you who have yet to receive His rich gift, step out of your seat and into the aisle. Coming to the front of the church, take the Pastor’s hand. “Preacher, today I come to confess Jesus as my Lord. I believe that He died because of my sin and was raised for my freedom. I take Him as Lord, as Saviour, as Christ.” Come and angels attend you in the way. Amen.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Good News Publishers, 2001. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[2] Darrell L. Bock, Luke 1:1–9:50: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Baker, Grand Rapids, MI 1994) 213

[3] I. Howard Marshall, Commentary on Luke: New International Greek Testament Commentary (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI 1978) 108

[4] Robert H. Stein, Luke: The New American Commentary, Vol. 24 (Broadman, Nashville, TN 1992) 108

[5] G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According to Luke (Fleming H. Revell, Old Tappan, NJ 1931) 37

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