— 67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us, 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. 76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
The Gospel of Luke is the first installment of the two-volume work Luke-Acts.
This first volume describes God’s climactic work in the history of salvation through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ;
the second volume (the Acts of the apostles) points to the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in forming a renewed people of God.
The purpose of the gospel according to Luke is found in He writes so that Theophilus (and other readers) ... may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
As for the exact “things” that require affirmation, we have to look further into Luke’s writings to find them.
We comes to what’s called Zechariah’s Song. Zechariah’s name means “the Lord has remembered.”
He was visited by an angel of the Lord and was told that he and his wife Elizabeth’s prayer had been heard and that they would have a son and that they were to name him John (1:13).
Then in vv26-38 you have the account of the birth of Christ being foretold.
Then in vv39-45 we have Mary visiting Elizabeth. This meeting of the two mothers is important:
We find John leaping in his mother’s womb shows that he recognizes that he is in the presence of someone greater than himself.
Jesus isn’t just a prophet like John.
In vv57-66 we have the birth of John the Baptist. in v64 you have Zechariah praising God because of the birth.
Which leads to the benediction that begins with the word “Blessed” means: “praise be”.
It praises God for faithfully keeping his promises to
David (v. 69) and
Abraham (v. 73), and
it highlights the relationship between John and Jesus (vv. 76–79).
I want to draw out attention to v78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us
Here is the proof of the tenderness of God to think in this way to such sinful creatures as we are.
Since the fall man has set himself in opposition to his Creator, who could have, right there been perfectly just in wiping out the whole human race.
How tender our God is to devise a plan so that fallen man could be restored.
Let’s look at the tenderness of God’s mercy towards sinners, that we might help others to trust in the dear Son, Jesus Christ, and so be saved.
Let’s think of a few things from the text, that in the mercy of God
There is great tenderness in it’s Abundant Provisions.
I think of a critically wounded soldier on the battlefield and here comes his friend, merciful and tender, who has brought to him a cup of refreshment.
It’s going to arouse him from his unconscious estate.
He’s covered in a clammy sweat but there is cold water to soak up his fevered face.
Those gaping wounds, where his very life is escaping to, his friend has brought stitches and bandages to close up every wound.
This isn’t all that is provided for this wounded soldier, there’s an ambulance, with men whose steps are ordered who carry the poor invalid solder, so as not to hurt him.
They carry him to the hospital where you see the softest of beds, just fit to bear the weakness and pain.
The nurses standing their ready to render any service that his wounds may require.
So the man sleeps and as he sleeps his body is restored and when he opens his eyes there is nourishing foods that are going to make him healthy.
There are fresh and colorful flowers that gladden his heart because of their beauty and fragrance...
Here is what the tender mercy of God is like. He has through of all that the sinner can possibly need, and
He has provided it in abundance, all that the guilty soul requires to bring him safe to Christ in glory!
We often think of the gospel as the message of God legally forgiving our sins (“justifying” us) because of Jesus’ work on the cross.
While this is true, Zechariah’s song (along with many other Bible passages) shows us that the gospel is even more comprehensive.
The gospel is explained here as God
visiting and staying with his people (v. 68),
When we begin to grasp the breadth and depth of the gracious, comprehensive work of God through Jesus as described here, our hearts are engaged with devotion to God. We begin to get a vision of all that God is for us. Understanding the gospel in this broader way makes Jesus not just the “religious” part of our lives but the focus of all our hopes. We should meditate regularly on the fullness of our salvation!
saving us from our enemies (v. 71),
fulfilling his ancient promises for us (vv. 72–73),
delivering us so that we might serve him without fear (v. 75),
forgiving our sins (v. 77),
shining light on our darkness (v. 79), and
guiding us into a life of peace (v. 79).
The gospel is full of mercy (God not giving us what our sin deserves), but even more,
it is full of grace,
with God giving us countless gifts and his own presence!
Think of God’s provision for notorious sinners, whose iniquities and many and gross
We find gracious words like these: — “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
If someone hasn’t fallen into the depths of open sin, the Lord says to him, as the tender-hearted Savior said to someone in that condition:
— Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: ...” and that one thing, the grace of God is prepared to supply.
There is as much in the Word of God to encourage the moral to come to Christ as there is to woo the immoral to forsake their sins, and accept “the tender mercy of our God.”
If there are children or young people who desire to find the Lord, there is this special promise for them,
“those that seek me early shall find me.”
Yes, even for little ones there are such promises as these: —But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Then if the sinner is an older person we read of some being brought in, to labor in the vineyard at the 11th hour (Mat. 20:6-7).
And if that person lay dying, dying unsaved, we find the account of the thief on the cross, trusting his dying Savior
with the promise ringing in his ears
that when he closes his eyes here on earth, he will open them in paradise with Christ (Luke 23:43).
For any particular sort of every sinner who really desires to be saved: “Come, for all things are ready!” ().
If you are very sad and depressed, despairing, there are divine declarations and promises that are just suited for you:
We read that — He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
— The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.
— A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench...
He will not extinguish the dimly glowing wick.
He is compassionate and gracious, knowing the frailty and weakness of men ().
Everything seems to be done on purpose that, into whatever condition a man may have fallen
through the grievous malady of sin,
God may come to him, not roughly, but most tenderly,
and give to him just what he most needs.
I rejoice to be able to say that all that a sinner is lacking, between here and heaven,
is provided in the gospel of Christ;—
Everything that’s need to provide:
pardon, all for the
new nature, all for
preservation, all for
maturing, and all for
is treasured up in Christ Jesus, in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell ().
When we begin to grasp the breadth and depth of the gracious, comprehensive work of God through Jesus as described here,
our hearts are engaged with devotion to God.
We begin to get a vision of all that God is for us.
Understanding the gospel in this broader way makes Jesus not just the “religious” part of our lives
but the focus of all our hopes.
We should meditate regularly on the fullness of our salvation!