In the following article you will find a brief commentary on Luke 1 and 2 that goes along with our Riverside Church Two Year Bible Reading Plan (Volume 1 & Volume 2). This plan will allow you to read the New Testament and Psalms once every year and the Old Testament once every two years.
Luke 1 & 2
The birth of Jesus is brought to us in three places: here, in Matthew, and uniquely in John 1. Typically we speak of the birth narratives in terms of Matthew and Luke.
The birth of John the Baptist, fulfilling the prophetic promise that one would come in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way, is critical to the story. John’s parents are promised great joy and gladness (1:14-15). If we know John’s life we may be surprised to hear promises of so much joy. John never drank, never wore nice clothes, lived and preached in the wilderness, was imprisoned and died a young and tragic death. But he was “great before the Lord”. He prepared the way for Jesus.
What are we to make of this illustration of joy? His life teaches us that true and lasting joy is found in the glory of God. When we seek God’s glory as brought to us in Jesus, we rejoice with unearthly gladness. John and his parents lived and died in great joy because they were up front and personal with God’s glory!