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The Coming Authority of Christ – Luke 1

Day 1 – The Coming Authority of Christ

Luke 1

The question we want to ask throughout this study continually is: How does this prepare us to see Christ’s authority? 

It may seem strange to look for the authority of Christ in passages where Jesus wasn’t born. But it won’t take much digging to see the truth. In the first few verses, we discover Luke’s goal in this Gospel is “to write an orderly account” (Luke 1:2). His work is a compilation from “eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word” (Luke 1:3). He was writing specifically to a man named Theophilus, but his intention also applies to us – that we would hear of the works and teachings of Jesus and believe.

Everything that happens in chapter 1 is to prepare the way for Jesus. In this one chapter, we see prayers answered, a man struck mute, a barren older woman becoming pregnant, not one but two angels delivering messages, a virgin becoming pregnant, a fetus testifying to who Jesus is, the mute man given speech again, and a fantastic prophecy about what Christ will accomplish. Before Jesus is even born, we have multiple events, and people announce the authority he will have.

Luke 1:5-25 – Zechariahs Answered Prayer

Zechariah and Elizabeth seem to be faithful, God-fearing Jews. While Zechariah was offering incense, he was likely praying for Israel – praying for their salvation, deliverance, favor, etc. It’s like one of those situations where you don’t realize what you are asking for, but then you get it. Zechariah is praying for Israel’s redemption, and God answers his prayer by sending an angel to tell him he will be the father of the child who will prepare the way for the Messiah! Talk about an answer to prayer! But Zechariah doubts and is struck mute by the angel Gabriel.

Luke 1:26-38 – Christ is Coming

Gabriel isn’t finished with his work. Even though this Christmas narrative about Gabriel coming to Mary is familiar, we cannot allow its familiarity to detract from its significance. This angelic proclamation is truly miraculous. God is making his plan of salvation known to mankind. He is bringing the Savior of the world into the world he created by way of a poor virgin in a run-down town. The humility with which Christ prepares to enter the world paves the way for his authority.

Luke 1:39-45 – Johns First Proclamation

Next, let’s look at John. John’s job is to prepare the way for Jesus, and he is so good at his job that he does it while he and Jesus are both still in their mama’s bellies! When Mary visits Elizabeth, John “leaps for joy” in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 1:41). What a glorious and hilarious Gospel proclamation. And let’s not forget that John’s birth itself is a miracle. We don’t know Elizabeth’s age, but she was barren and advanced in years. God draws our attention to John with this extraordinary pregnancy. It’s like he gave John a megaphone to prepare the way for Jesus.

Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah Proclaims the Coming of Jesus

Finally, let’s take a quick look at Zechariah’s prophecy because it is awesome and all about Jesus! The language Zechariah uses so clearly proclaims the coming of the Messiah.

“He has visited and redeemed his people” (v. 68). God, himself, will come and redeem his people. “A horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David” (v. 69). This points to Jesus as a descendant of David. “That we should be saved from our enemies.” (v. 71) Who can save us but Christ alone?! “To show the mercy promised to our fathers,” and “to remember his holy covenant” (v. 72). Christ will fulfill all of these promises. “Whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high” (v. 78). Jesus’ birth is the ultimate act of humility as God descends from heaven to earth to visit us. “To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (v. 79). Jesus is the light of the world.

Before Jesus is even born, we see he will come in authority to redeem his people and bring light to a desperate and dark world. As we continue studying Luke, these truths become more and more evident. Praise the Lord God sent Jesus to rescue us; his authority is undeniable. 


  • Find an example from Jesus’ life that fulfills an Old Testament prophecy.
  • Zechariah and Elizabeth’s pregnancy is miraculous because she was barren and advanced in years. Does this sound familiar to any Old Testament stories you have heard?


  • We didn’t look at Mary’s song, often called The Magnificat. Read 1:46-55 and talk about how Mary’s confession is already exalting Christ, her Savior, even while he grows in her belly.
  • What other ways did you see the authority of Christ in Luke 1?
  • So many phrases from Zechariah’s prophecy are packed with meaning; pick one or some of them and discuss their meaning. 

Memory verse:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people.

Luke 1:68

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April 19, 2024

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