Theophilus And A Visit From Gabriel

Theophilus And A Visit From Gabriel

Dedication to Theophilus
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”


The author of the Third Gospel is believed to be Luke, who accompanied Paul on his travels (Col 4:14; 2 Tim 4:11; Phlm 1:24). This Gospel is the longest book in the NT and is part of a two-part work called Luke-Acts, which was dedicated to a person named Theophilus (1:3). The purpose of Luke's Gospel is to provide a historical defense of the Christian movement and is intended for a non-Jewish audience. Luke includes many unique details and parables not found in the other Gospels. For instance, he offers extensive information about Jesus' birth and adolescence and introduces the Emmaus Road story and numerous parables. Luke emphasizes the plight of the poor and includes stories about women and other marginalized groups. Like Matthew and Mark, Luke organizes his Gospel around Jesus' movements from Galilee (4:14–9:50) to Jerusalem (9:51–19:27) and then within Jerusalem (19:28–24:53).

Dear Theophilus,

The opening of Luke's Gospel includes a preamble where he explains the purpose behind composing the Gospel, outlines his research methods and resources, and concludes by dedicating his written work to Theophilus, expressing his hope that the Gospel would provide confidence and sureness to its readers.

An Angelic Visit

Luke introduces us to John, whom we know as John the Baptist before he can share information about Jesus. John's birth was also remarkable, similar to that of Jesus. He introduces Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, and explains the circumstances Zechariah encounters while serving at the temple while burning incense. Zechariah is visited by an angel in the temple, who declares that his wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a son named John. This child will serve as a prophet, like Elijah, and lead the Israelites back to God. 


Gabriel, the angel, is questioned by Zechariah, but his unbelief results in him being unable to speak. This silence of Zechariah reinforces the authenticity of his divine vision. Upon exiting the temple, witnesses recognize an inexplicable occurrence validated by Elizabeth's subsequent conception.





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