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Biblical/Doctrinal Studies:
Zechariah's Prophecy: Chiasmus in Luke 1:67-80
by Ed Vasicek

The four prophetic poems in Luke are not merely random accounts of history (though they are historical), but take us into a direction. In the Magnificat (1:46-55), the theme is that God loves to exalt the humble (like Mary) and humble the exalted; thus, He will provide salvation for his humbled, subjugated nation, Israel. In Zechariah's prophetic poem, the Messiah era is here, and John the Baptist will prepare the way of the Messiah who will deliver Israel, and, it is implied, others who dwell in darkness. The angelic song (2:14) implies that Jesus is the focus of God's glory, and that God has a special gift of "peace" for those He favors (possibly a reference to the elect). The last poem, Simeon's blessing (Luke 2:29-32) extends the work of the Messiah as a "light to the gentiles," (quoting Isaiah 42:6).

The theme: Jesus fulfills the promises made to Abraham, and those promises extend not only to Israel, but also to all those "living in darkness."

  1. Introduction

    67 "His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:"

  1. Redemption

    68 "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people."

  1. The Horn

    69 "He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David"

  1. Prophets predicting salvation

    70a "(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies"

  1. Deliverance from enemies

    70b "and from the hand of all who hate usó"

    Jesus sent to fulfill God's promises made to Abraham

    72-73 "to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham:"

  1. Deliverance from enemies

    74-75 "to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days."

  1. Prophet declaring salvation

    76-78a "And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God,"

  1. The Sun

    78b "by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven"

  1. Enlightenment

    79 "to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

  1. Conclusion

    80 "And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel."

Pastor Ed

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Highland Park Church
516 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, Indiana, USA
765.452.1779
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