Luke 1-9 primarily deals with the Christmas story, but also goes deeply into Jesus' teaching part of his life. The opening, however, holds a great deal about John the Baptist.
It's seemed a little odd in the first two gospels for John the Baptist to be mentioned, but not really explained. Luke, however, opens up with some background of John the Baptist and how he was conceived/born. The way the father responded seems much more natural than either Mary or Elizabeth's response. If an angel showed up to me today and told me I would have a child-being a virgin or an old lady-I would think I had lost my mind! I think that it is very significant that both Mary and Zechariah have a song in the first chapter of Luke. We see a lot of praise songs in the Old Testament-Psalms is dedicated to this, but in the New Testament it doesn't seem that lots of song praise is happening. Yes, the people who are being healed and witnessing miracles praise the Lord, but through song??
Reading through Luke I felt like I was back in my elementary sunday school classes. I've read these words so many times, but now I have a historical background and a different perspective. Yes the commands of love your enemies and do not judge others are very much applicable in today's world; but I read through these first 9 chapters and realize how my life has been affected by it. You hear of these miracles and we chalk it up to simply being Jesus. Can you imagine witnessing a person come back from the dead? Can you imagine a person being healed simply through faith??? I want to believe that this still happens today. Mean, I continually pray that my grandpa be healed from the disease that has no known cure...I've prayed for many who have had cancer...Can faith still really heal?? I believe it does, and the power of that is overwhelming. I feel like sometimes the bible downplays the excitement of this simply because it is a historical document. In chapter 8, Jesus heals a dead girl-but orders the parents not to tell anyone. Why is this?? Could you really keep that secret??
The last thought I have is a little random, but whenever I read Luke 8: 16-18 I think of the song we use to sing as a kid. "This little light of mine...Im going to let it shine..." This song is still powerful to those of us who believe-whether a child in the age aspect, or simply at heart.