The Beautiful Triptych in Luke Chapter 1

Having examined Luke 1:5 – 38 quite thoroughly (or so I thought!) over this past week, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there’s so much more treasure to unearth in His Word just based on this passage and the entire first chapter of Luke. In the sermon today, Pastor Ed drew out three stories from the chapter to paint a beautiful triptych for us. Now, the word ‘triptych’ came to my mind during service because the way Pastor Ed shared his message reminded me of those paintings that are divided across three-fold panels. A bit like this:

And the three pictures (or stories) that he drew out for us were: (1) Gabriel’s visits to Zechariah & Mary; (2) Elizabeth’s visit to Mary; and (3) Zechariah’s song of praise at the birth of John. More important were the three keys that Pastor Ed gave us to unlock Luke Chapter 1, namely: Contrast, Comparison & Convergence. (Now, that got me really excited because I also use ‘keys’ or ‘tools’ in my GP lessons to teach my students how to unlock and uncover the deeper meanings in passages and articles and writings that we encounter! =)

I’ve written a bit about the 1st story in an earlier post (here), so let me write on the 2nd and 3rd stories. Let me start with the 3rd story first, which is that of Zechariah being able to speak again after a period of being struck mute. His first reaction was to sing a song of praise to the Lord, but what was interesting to me was that instead of rejoicing over the birth of his son first, Zechariah chose to begin his song of praise with reference to Jesus! Surely, his period of being struck mute must have made him realize where his priorities and faith should lie.

But it was the 2nd story that really struck me. When Elizabeth visited Mary to bless her, we were asked by Pastor Ed, why did God not choose Elizabeth over Mary to conceive the Lord Jesus? After all, Elizabeth was the more spiritually mature; she was married; and she had been praying for a child for a long time! Surely God could have (or even ‘should’ have??) chosen her over the teenage Mary? And the principle that Pastor Ed revealed to us us was that it is not our qualifications that determine God’s blessings, but only His grace. So in human terms, Elizabeth might have seemed the more obvious choice, but it was Mary that God chose in His wisdom and grace to bear our Lord Jesus. Indeed, we are reminded that when life can get complicated either because we are not given what we have been legitimately longing for (like Elizabeth) or because we are given what we have not asked for, or may not desire at a certain point of our lives (like Mary), we need to turn our focus back upon Him. And to realize that it is He who holds the future, He who sees the big picture, He who has plans never to harm us, but always to prosper and grow us.

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~ by irwin on February 12, 2012.

One Response to “The Beautiful Triptych in Luke Chapter 1”

  1. ” Indeed, we are reminded that … … we need to turn our focus back upon Him. And to realize that it is He who holds the future, He who sees the big picture, He who has plans never to harm us, but always to prosper and grow us”

    — > AMEN!! 😊

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