Our daily Bible readings continue on their “chronological” track. Just as we used Samuel and Kings as an outline of Old Testament history (despite the fact that they were written late in that history), so we are using Luke and Acts to outline New Testament history. We will use the gospel of Luke to present the life of Jesus, but you should understand that while it was written to be historical, it is not written to be history.
Luke had an agenda in his presentation. He wrote to demonstrate that the story of Christianity was true, but also that its teachings were, indeed, the will of God.
As Luke opens, the early chapters reveal to us major themes. In chapter one, you see that what is to follow is no accident, but according to the purpose and plan of God. He acts among righteous people to bring about His will, and that will is to bring a new value system to the world. The value system is not totally new, for you can find its concerns in the Old Testament, but specifically this value system is not just for the Jews, but for all people.
But there is even another theme, and that is the theme of faith.
Zechariah, while a righteous man, is not a man to take God at his word. When told his heretofore barren wife will give birth to a son, he asks: “how can I know this is true?” Mary, on the other hand, confesses that she doesn’t know how she is to get pregnant, but she readily yields herself to the will of God. As you journey through Luke and Acts, this theme will be continually significant.