Homework #6: Preludes to Jesus’s Ministry
1. Read Luke 1:1-3:38 in NOAB. As you go through, make a bullet-point list for each of the following. You do not need to use complete sentences for these lists:
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a. Identify major indicators of the Jewish cultural context of this material. There’s quite a lot, so don’t feel you need to be totally comprehensive. But, do make sure you read the whole of this section, as I will assume you have done so as we discuss it in class
b. Identify major indicators of the Roman Imperial context of this material
2. Re-read 1:18-25
a. Based on the text, why do you think Gabriel made Zechariah unable to speak?
b. What do you think Elizabeth means by her “disgrace” in verse 25?
3. Re-read 1:26-38
a. Based on the description of Jesus given in this passage, what might one expect his life to look like?
b. Contrast Mary’s reaction to Gabriel’s announcement with Zechariah’s reaction. In other words, why do you think Gabriel did not make Mary unable to speak like Zechariah?
4. Re-read 1:39-56. Mary’s words in verses 46-55 are often called ‘The Magnificat.’ In this text, Mary refers to “the proud,” “the powerful,” and “the rich” on the one hand, and “the lowly” and “the hungry” on the other. If we can these as two contrasting groups, who does each of these groups correspond to? Look carefully at the passage as you answer.
5. Re-read 3:7-18. John is said to be proclaiming “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (3:3). What sorts of concrete things does this “repentance” involve (based on the text)? In other words, what are the real-life implications of what John is doing?