Luke 1 Prelude to the Births of Jesus and John

Luke begins his gospel by emphasizing the certainty of the things he wrote — he investigated them carefully (1:1-4). His narrative begins with Zacharias and Elizabeth, an older couple who are still hoping for their first child. When Zacharias goes to the temple to conduct worship as a priest, God tells him that Elizabeth will have a child. Meanwhile the same angel visits Mary. He tells her that she will have a special son and that he will fulfill promises made to David in the Old Testament. Mary visits Elizabeth and they rejoice in the expected birth of the children. When John the Baptist is born, Zacharias is able to speak again and pronounces a blessing upon this special child.

  • Luke
  • Companion of Paul, physician, author

  • Theophilus
  • One to whom Luke/Acts addressed

  • Zacharias
  • Priest, father of John the Baptist

  • Elizabeth
  • Relative of Mary, mother of John

  • Mary
  • Virgin, mother of Jesus, wife of Joseph

  • Jerusalem
  • Zacharias served in Jerusalem in the temple

  • Nazareth
  • Gabriel spoke to Mary at Nazareth in Galilee

  • Hebron
  • Mary visited the home of Elizabeth, possibly near Hebron in hill country of Judea (Luke 1:39)

  • Judea
  • John lived in deserted areas in Judea when he grew up (Luke 1:80)


We should trust God’s providence in our lives to provide wonderful blessings. And we should glorify Him and fully obey His will as revealed to us just as Zacharias, Elizabeth, and Mary did.

Jesus was born after conception by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary. He is the Son of God.

John the Baptist was to go before Jesus to prepare His ways (76).