Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Luke 1:5—4:13 is a section concerned with the preparation of the Man-Savior in His humanity with His divinity. In this section we have already covered the conception of John the Baptist, the Lord’s forerunner (1:5-25), and the conception of the Man-Savior (1:26-56). Now we shall go on to consider the birth and youth of the forerunner of the Man-Savior (1:57-80).
As we have begun to see, the preparation of the Man-Savior is in His humanity with His divinity. In principle, His preparation is the same as His conception, for in both the conception and the preparation we have the divine essence and the human essence. The conception of the Man-Savior was of the Holy Spirit with the divine essence in the womb of a human virgin with the human essence. In other words, the Lord’s conception was of the divine essence in the human essence. Likewise, His preparation was in His humanity with His divinity. How excellent, marvelous, and extraordinary is this preparation!
In 1:5—2:52 we have the conception, birth, and youth of John the Baptist and that of the Man-Savior. We have pointed out that the conception of John the Baptist and that of Jesus the Savior are different in essence. The conception of John was God’s miracle, accomplished with the overaged human essence, simply by the divine power without the divine essence being involved. Therefore, the result of this conception was simply a man, one who was filled with the Spirit of God (1:15) but who lacked the nature of God. The conception of the Man-Savior was God’s incarnation, constituted not only by the divine power, but also of the divine essence added to the human essence. Therefore, this conception produced the God-man, the One with two natures—divinity and humanity.
John the Baptist was born of his mother miraculously. Concerning this miraculous birth, 1:57 and 58 say, “Now the time was fulfilled for Elizabeth to give birth, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had magnified His mercy with her, and they rejoiced with her.”
The Man-Savior’s forerunner was circumcised on the eighth day. “And it came about on the eighth day that they came to circumcise the young child” (v. 59). This was according to the requirement in Leviticus 12:3.
When some were about to call the forerunner of the Man-Savior “by the name of his father, Zachariah,” his mother answered and said, “No, but he shall be called John” (1:59-60). Then some went on to say, “There is no one of your relatives who is called by this name” (v. 61). When they gestured to Zachariah as to what his child should be called, he wrote on a tablet, “John is his name” (v. 63).
In 1:13 Zachariah was told by the angel that Elizabeth would bear a son and that he would call his name John. The Greek word rendered John is Ioannes,meaning Jehovah is favorable, Jehovah shows grace, or Jehovah is the gracious Giver.
The people were right in saying that none of Elizabeth’s relatives was named John. The Lord’s forerunner was given this name because he was to be one who would not keep the traditions. For this reason, he was not given a traditional name, but he was given a new name.
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