Commentary on Scene 121 – Gabriel Tells Mary that She will Birth A Son

Chapter 1 – The Birth of Jesus

Act 2 – The Annunciation to Mary

Scene 1 – Gabriel Tells Mary that She Will Birth A Son

Nazareth, Galilee            late December / 7 BCE

Luke 1:26-38

1  Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,

2  to a virgin engaged to a man of the house of David whose name was Joseph; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

3  Coming in, Gabriel said to her, “Greetings, favored one!  The Lord is with you.”

4  But Mary was very perplexed at this statement, and pondered what kind of salutation this was.

5  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God!

6  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son; and you shall name Him Jesus.

7  He will be great; and will be called the Son of the Most High!

8  And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will have no end.”

9  Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

10  The angel answered, and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. read more

Commentary on Scene 112 – Elizabeth Becomes Pregnant with John

Chapter 1 – The Birth of Jesus

Act 1 – Prophecy About John

Scene 2 – Elizabeth Becomes Pregnant with John

Judean hill country,  Judea          summer / 7 BCE

Luke 1:24-25

  1. After these days Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth became pregnant,
  2. and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace from among men.”

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This very short Scene of only two verses is the continuation of the narrative from the Gospel of Luke in the last commentary (Scene 111) as it continues the story after the priest Zacharias has returned home from his tour of service in the Temple in Jerusalem.

It is assumed that either immediately or soon after returning to his wife Elizabeth, whom he has not seen for at least two weeks, Zacharias would try and couple with her to produce the baby that had been promised to him by the angel Gabriel.  Most likely Zacharias slept with his wife as soon as he returned home, as he had been told by the angel Gabriel in the last Scene, that because he had doubted the words of the angel, he would be unable to speak “until the day when these things take place.”  Either way, soon after his return home, Zacharias’ wife, Elizabeth, becomes pregnant with child.

During a five month period of “seclusion”, when Elizabeth isolated herself in her home and away from everyone, she gives an interesting statement, which many have taken to mean that she was publicly disgraced until now, at her advanced age, by being childless. read more

Commentary on Scene 111 – The Birth of John is Foretold to Zacharias

Chapter 1 – The Birth of Jesus

Act 1 – Prophecy About John

Scene 1 – The Birth of John is Foretold to Zacharias

Mark 1:1 / Luke 1:5-23

This commentary begins a new Chapter – Chapter 1 – entitled, The Birth of Jesus.  You can probably guess what this Chapter is about…

This first Scene of the Chapter is taken entirely from the Gospel of Luke, with the exception of one verse from the Gospel of Mark, which is its opening line (Mark 1:1). There are no parallel verses shared between the Gospels in this scene. The contents of this Scene, along with the next few Scenes which are also taken entirely from the Gospel of Luke, have been called, The Birth Narrative.

Although the author, Luke, was not an apostle or disciple of Jesus Christ, and had never met Him in the flesh, he wanted to write an account which he compiled from the testimonies of “those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word”, as he stated in the second verse of his Gospel. This group included some of the apostles of Jesus, and people who had been with Him, which likely included His family.

Luke’s Gospel is the longest of the four Gospels (at 1,151 verses), and it contains many details and stories that are not found in the other Gospel accounts.  The Gospel of Luke is often recited around Christmastime for the details that it provides about the birth story of Jesus. For more information on Luke, see the very first post of this series. read more

Commentary on Scene 022 – The Genealogy of The Son of God

CHAPTER 0

Act 2 – The Genealogy of Jesus

Scene 2 – The Genealogy of The Son of God

Luke 3:23-38

This scene of The Synoptic Gospel is taken entirely from the Gospel of Luke, and it recounts the genealogy of Jesus as the Son of God, and lists the lineage of Jesus from Joseph, the husband of His mother Mary, all the way back through time to Adam, as the “son of God”.

It is not uncommon for the story of a great man to open with his ancestry – at least a mention about who his mother and father were, and other ancestors further back in time especially if they are of note or importance.

Luke’s genealogical record of Jesus is different from most Jewish ancestries in that it begins in the present with Jesus, and then goes backwards in time to end with the first man, “… Adam, the son of God”. Naming Jesus first, and then going backwards in time emphasizes Jesus. By contrast, if you recall, the genealogy of Matthew’s Gospel (Scene 021) began with Abraham, who is seen as the beginning of the Israelite lineage, and went forward in time to end with Jesus.

While Matthew’s genealogical record is mainly for the Jewish people, this record in Luke was written to prove that Jesus is the Son of God, which is of interest to all the people in the entire world. read more

Commentary on Scene 021 – The Genealogy of The Messiah

CHAPTER 0

Act 2 – The Genealogy of Jesus

Scene 1 – The Genealogy of The Messiah

Matthew 1:1-17

  1. The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
  2. Abraham was the father of Isaac,
  3. Isaac the father of Jacob,
  4. and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
  5. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar,
  6. Perez was the father of Hezron,  Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  7. and Hezron the father of Ram.
  8. Ram was the father of Amminadab,
  9. Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
  10. and Nahshon the father of Salmon.
  11. Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab,
  12. Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth,
  13. and Obed the father of Jesse.
  14. Jesse was the father of David the King.
  15. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba, who had been the wife of Uriah.
  16. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,
  17. Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
  18. and Abijah the father of Asa.
  19. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,
  20. Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
  21. and Joram the father of Uzziah.
  22. Uzziah was the father of Jotham,
  23. Jotham the father of Ahaz,
  24. and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
  25. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,
  26. Manasseh the father of Amon,
  27. and Amon the father of Josiah.
  28. Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
  29. After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel,
  30. and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel.
  31. Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud,
  32. Abihud the father of Eliakim,
  33. and Eliakim the father of Azor.
  34. Azor was the father of Zadok,
  35. Zadok the father of Achim,
  36. and Achim the father of Eliud.
  37. Eliud was the father of Eleazar,
  38. Eleazar the father of Matthan,
  39. and Matthan the father of Jacob.
  40. Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.
  41. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;
  42. from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations;
  43. and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

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In this third post of the Scenes of The Synoptic Gospel a new Act begins, entitled, The Genealogy of Jesus.  You can probably guess what this Scene is about…

This Scene is taken entirely from the Gospel of Matthew, where verse 1 begins with, “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, …” 

It is interesting to note that the name “Jesus” is the first and also the last name that is mentioned in the New Testament, so that He is like the book-ends that hold the entire cannon together.  And this means that the New Testament is clearly about Jesus Christ.

This record has usually been considered to be through Joseph, the “father” of Jesus, and it represents a royal lineage which mentions many of the Kings of Israel, as opposed to the genealogy that is recorded in the Gospel of Luke, which has traditionally been seen as listing a more priestly lineage through His mother Mary, and we will examine that in the next post, on the commentary of Scene 022. read more

Commentary on Scene 012 – The Word of God

CHAPTER 0 – PROLOGUE

Act 1 – Foreword

Scene 2 – The Word of God

John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14

  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  2. He was in the beginning with God.
  3. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
  4. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
  5. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.
  6. There was the true Light, which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
  7. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
  8. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him –
  9. but we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

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Listen to the audio:

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This second Scene from The Synoptic Gospel is taken entirely from the first chapter of the Gospel of John, and is one of the most deeply profound and spiritually significant theological statements that has ever been made!

It is appropriate to use it here in the Prologue Chapter of The Synoptic Gospel because it talks about beginnings.  This is the beginning of The Gospel Story of Jesus Christ, and it opens the New Testament, even as the opening line of the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

From the first verse, “In the beginning was the Word. …” the first thing to consider is: the beginning of what?  The beginning of God?  The beginning of the Word?  The beginning of Heaven or the heavens?  The beginning of the universe?  Or is it merely the beginning of the earth?

The second question is, what is “the Word”?  And if “word” means something that is spoken verbally, as a command, who is the one that spoke it? read more

Commentary on Scene 011 – Prologue

CHAPTER 0 – PROLOGUE

Act 1 – Foreword

Scene 1 – Prologue

Luke 1:1-4

  1. Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,
  2. it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.

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This very first Scene of The Synoptic Gospel is the Prologue, which is taken from the first four verses of the Gospel of Luke.  Traditionally, this is the usual opening of any attempt to parallel and merge the texts of the four Gospels, because it is introductory, and also because, unlike the other three Gospels, Luke’s prologue is addressed to an individual, someone named Theophilus (Luke 1:3).

It is noted that the Gospel of Luke and also The Book of the Acts of the Apostles were composed by this same Luke, called the physician (a doctor) (Colossians 4:14), and that the two books of Luke / Acts were originally bound together as one volume.  A proof of this is that both books are addressed to the same Theophilus (Acts 1:1).

While Theophilus could be the name of an individual, such as an important political supporter of early Christianity, or a wealthy patron of Paul or Peter, the Greek word means, “friend of God”, or “loved (or beloved) of God”, or even “lover of God”, or “one who loves God”.  Out of a desire for mystery, or the need for secrecy, theophilus could also be a code to address everyone who loves and seek after God.  Are you a Theophilus? read more