03 The Angelic Announcement of Jesus Christ

Dr. Doug Bookman

A. The Announcement to Mary

Scripture: Luke 1:26-56

Notes: It is hard to imagine how shocking must have been the angelic visit and the message concerning the child to be born to her. But consider the cost to be borne by Mary. It was an awful disgrace in that culture to conceive a child before the wedding day. All of the joy and delights of the wedding day,anticipated by every young woman, would be forfeited by Mary. Much was being offered her, but much was being asked of her as well.


  1. About how old was Mary when the angel appeared to her?
  2. Notice that Mary was betrothed to Joseph. In that culture, they were legally and permanently man and wife, but for the period of the betrothal they did not come together physically. During that period the groom’s job was to prepare a home where they would live; the bride’s job was to make herself beautiful for her wedding day. On the wedding day the groom would simply fetch his bride and take her to the home he had prepared (amidst much rejoicing and merry-making).
  3. The song sung by Mary is one of the most remarkable expressions of theologically informed praise and delight in all of literature. Notice the degree to which she deliberately patterns her response after that of Hannah (1 Samuel 1).

B. The Announcement to Joseph

Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25

Notes: This appearance to Joseph is timely. Mary has been “found to be with child.” She would have been hard pressed to convince her betrothed husband of what had, in fact, happened; thus, the angelic intervention.


  1. Joseph’s family home was Bethlehem (south of Jerusalem); his family of artisans had probably re-settled in Nazareth (in Galilee, to the north) because work was readily found nearby (probably in the burgeoning town of Sepphoris just down the hill).
  2. Notice the significance of the name to be given to the child to be born to Mary – and the significance of that name as defined by the angel.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of NewTestament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission)

02 The Angelic Announcement of John the Baptist

Dr. Doug Bookman

Scripture: Luke 1:5-25

Luke 1:5-25

Notes: The last prophetic voice to Israel fell silent over 400 years before this incident. This is the first time God speaks in the NT era. With regard to the longings of the levitical family of Zecharias and Elisabeth, and with regard to the long silence endured by the covenant nation of God, this incident is unspeakably dramatic.


  1. Notice that Luke introduces this incident as happening “in the days of Herod.” Bring what you know about that man to your reading of this incident.
  2. Notice that both Zecharias and Elisabeth were levitical – part of that tribe which was to serve in the temple and eat the tithes of the Lord’s people. This reality made the barrenness of Elisabeth even more distressing.
  3. Aged Zecharias had been chosen by lot to burn incense in the Holy Place at the hour of morning prayer. Do some research on this particular priestly assignment, and the incident that occurs in the midst of the duty will be the more meaningful.
  4. Zecharias is told that the child to be born is to “drink no wine or liquor” – i.e., to take nothing from the vine. This is usually taken to mean he was to be a lifetime Nazirite (Numbers 6:1-7). Can you name two other men in Scripture who were lifetime Nazirites? What was the three-fold restriction placed upon a Nazirite?

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).


40 A Time Line of the Life of Christ

Doug Bookman

Jesus’ life before His public ministry began about 30 years Birth and Silent Years
Jesus’ nativity, infancy, boyhood, young adult & early adult life
Public Presentation

  • seeking crowds
  • working countless miracles
  • traveling throughout the lands of the Jews, saturating the area with His claims, and with the proof of those claims by means of miracles
3–5 months The Opening of the Public Ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. The ministry of the forerunner, John the Baptist
  2. The baptism and temptation of Jesus the Christ
  3. The miracle of water to wine performed at Cana
    Jesus demonstrates His glory for the first time.
about 8 months The Early Judean Ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. Jesus cleanses the temple at Jerusalem during Passover season
  2. Nicodemus, a seeking Sanhedrinist, comes by night to Jesus
  3. Jesus gathers to Himself those who had already believed John’s message
  4. John the Baptist is arrested; Jesus departs for Galilee, passes through Samaria on the way, deals with the woman at the well
18 months The Great Galilean Ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. Many, many miracles during this time
  2. Jesus is seeking crowds, traveling throughout Galilee, saturating the land with His two-fold claim (to be Messiah, and to be God come in the flesh), proving the legitimacy of those claims by means of miracles
  3. In spite of the undeniable proof Jesus offers in defense of the truth of His claims, Israel finally rejects Him and His offer; Jesus discerns that spirit of disbelief, His disciples/apostles do not. There are two great moments of rejection which bring this phase of Jesus’ ministry to a close:
    a) The first moment of rejection—the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:14)
    b) The final moment of rejection—the feeding of the 5000 (John 6:41)
Private Preparation

  • seeking privacy
  • avoiding miracles
  • fleeing areas populated by Jews
6 months Training of the Twelve
Notice that Jesus’ emphasis and tactics change dramatically at this point:

  1. He had been seeking crowds; now He seeks privacy
  2. He had been working miracles freely; now He seeks to avoid miracle-working in the attempt to avoid the consequent multitudes of people
  3. He had been speaking openly and plainly; now He speaks in parables
  4. He had been traveling throughout the land of the Jews; now He begins to move in non-Jewish territories (Syro-Phoenicia, Decapolis, Caesarea-Philippi)

Culmination of this period:

  1. Jesus finally finds solitude with His apostles, openly foretells His death for the first time; the apostles are horrified and unbelieving
  2. To reinforce the stumbling faith of the apostles, Jesus is transfigured before three of them
A time of mixed focus: Jesus presents Himself to the people of Judea and Perea; but all the while continues to prepare His witless disciples for His death. 6 months In and Around Jerusalem: The Six Months Before His Passion

  1. To Jerusalem, for the Feast of Tabernacles (November; cf. Luke 9:51, John 7:1). Then, ministers in Judea for final time, avoiding Jerusalem
  2. To Jerusalem, for the Feast of Dedication (December; cf. Luke 13:22, John 10:22). Then, to Perea (John 10:42), ministers until the sister of Lazarus send for Him
  3. To Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead (ca. February; cf. John 11:1). To village of Ephraim, remains secreted until He sets out for final Passover
Final Events

  • Final trip to Jerusalem
  • Passion Week
  • Resurrection Ministry
final week; and then 40 days Jesus Christ’s Passion in Jerusalem, the Resurrection and Ascension

  1. The final journey to Jerusalem; Jesus and His disciples travel to the city with a band of Passover pilgrims coming down from Galilee
  2. The Passion Week: Jesus dramatically enters Jerusalem (Sunday), cleanses and possesses the temple (Monday/Tuesday), keeps Passover (Thursday afternoon), then is arrested, tried, crucified and buried (Friday)
  3. The Ressurection (early Sunday), followed by a 40-day ministry on the earth
  4. The Ascension to the Father from the Mount of Olives

01 The Prologue

Dr. Doug Bookman

1. Prologue to Luke’s Gospel

Scripture: Luke 1:1-4

Luke 1:1-4

Notes: Luke was not an eyewitness to the events he records in his gospel, as he probably became a believer under the influence of the apostle Paul, likely in Antioch of Syria (Acts 13:1). On the other hand, he was a remarkably professional historian. He researched his material carefully (including personal interviews with principal players in the gospel accounts), and he did his work under the careful supervision of Paul.

Questions/Observations: Notice the emphasis placed by Luke upon careful research into the matters he records. This is important to the issue of the historical integrity and accuracy of these gospel records.

2. Prologue to John’s Gospel

Scripture: John 1:1-18

John 1:1-18

Notes: The apostle John is writing late in the first century; he knows three apostolic accounts have already been written and are in circulation, and he knows those accounts well. He introduces his gospel with a tribute to the person of Jesus, articulating and celebrating the deity of that One who was the Word made flesh.

Questions/Observations: Notice carefully the emphasis placed upon the eternality of Jesus. Throughout the OT one of the most distinctive attributes of Yahweh is His eternality; thus, this affirmation by John is a strong statement of Jesus’s deity.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

Life of Christ

  1. The PrologueThe prologue to Luke and John’s gospels
  2. The Angelic Announcement of John the Baptist
    • With regard to the longings of the Levitical family of Zecharias and Elisabeth, and with regard to the long silence endured by the covenant nation of God, this incident is unspeakably dramatic
  3. The Angelic Announcement of Jesus Christ
    • It is hard to imagine how shocking must have been the angelic visit and the message concerning the child to be born.
  4. The Birth of John the Baptist
    • Notice that there is much excitement throughout the region at the remarkable birth of John the Baptist
  5. The Birth of the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth
    • The details surrounding the birth of Christ
  6. The Genealogies of Jesus Christ
    • Both genealogies legitimize Jesus’s claim to the throne of David
  7. The Childhood of Jesus Christ
    • Jesus’s visit to the temple at the age of twelve and His growth in wisdom and stature
  8. John the Baptist, Jesus’s Baptism, and the Temptation
    • The ministry of John the Baptist and the nature of Jesus Christ’s baptism and temptation in the wilderness
  9. The First Five Days of Jesus’s Public Ministry
    • John the Baptist’s interaction with the Pharisees and the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry
  10. First Temple Cleansing, Nicodemus, and the Woman at the Well
    • The first time Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem, Nicodemus, the woman at the well, and ministry in Judea and Samaria
  11. Jesus’s Ministry in His Hometown, Nazareth
    • Jesus’s first and second visits to Nazareth
  12. The Role and Impact of Miracles in Jesus’s Ministry
    • The reason Jesus performed miracles (especially during his Galilean ministry) and the impact they had
  13. Jesus Calls Disciples and Then Apostles
  14. Jesus Saturates Galilee with His Message
    • The three recorded tours through Galilee and the commissioning of the Twelve
  15. The “Unpardonable Sin” and a Shift to Parables
    • It is widely acknowledged that the day of the unpardonable sin functions as a basic turning point in Jesus’s ministry, and it is essential to understand why that is so.
  16. Calming the Storm and Driving Demons into Pigs
    • Jesus calms a storm on the Sea of Galilee and delivers a demon-possessed Gadarene
  17. The Collapse of the Galilean Campaign
    • Jesus hears of John the Baptist’s death, feeding the 5000, walking on the water, hard sayings, and many followers leave
  18. Unsuccessful Attempts to Find Solitude with His Apostles
    • At this point in His ministry, Jesus’s death is about one year away. It is here that Jesus’s purpose – and consequently His tactics – change dramatically.
  19. Jesus Finds Solitude with His Apostles Far North in Galilee
    • Having been several times frustrated in His attempt to get alone with His apostles, Jesus decides to take them to the region of Caesarea-Philippi.
  20. The Transfiguration
    • The transfiguration was a gracious and spectacular strategy to reinforce the staggering faith of three of those apostles.
  21. Last Efforts in Galilee
    • Having struggled to find an opportunity to confront His apostles with the truth that He was soon to die, there are only a few days or weeks in Galilee before Jesus sets out for the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.
  22. Jesus and the Twelve Travel to Jerusalem
    • Jesus receives bitter counsel from His unbelieving brothers and then travels secretly with the Twelve to Jerusalem.
  23. In Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles
    • Tensions rise as Jesus ministers and heals during the Feast of Tabernacles.
  24. Jesus Ministers in the Region of Judea
    • This period is often called “The Later Judean Ministry” of Jesus.
  25. Open Encounters with the Jewish Leadership
    • Luke describes a number of miracles wrought by Jesus and times of teaching, as well as the consistently hostile response of the Jewish leadership.
  26. The Feast of Dedication/Hanukah (Late December)
    • When Jesus returned to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication, He faced the animosity of His enemies.
  27. Jesus Ministers in Perea
    • Perea is close to and accessible from Judea, but much safer for Jesus.
  28. Jesus Travels to Bethany and Raises Lazarus from the Dead
    • Only John records this sensational miracle, and he makes it clear that, in very important ways, preparation for the events of the Passion Week was laid in this event.
  29. Jesus’s Strategic Route to Jerusalem and the Triumphal Entry
    • These passages describe the very important and strategic route that Jesus took as He made His way from Ephraim to Jerusalem for the Triumphal Entry.
  30. The Fig Tree and the Second Temple Cleansing
    • Jesus curses the fig tree and cleanses the temple a second time.
  31. Jesus Silences His Enemies and the “Olivet Discourse”
    • Jesus returns to Jerusalem, leaves His enemies speechless, and on His return to Bethany, preaches the “Olivet Discourse.”
  32. “Silent” Wednesday
    • Wednesday of the Passion Week is often called “Silent Wednesday,” but that doesn’t mean nothing happened.
  33. The Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane
    • Jesus makes preparation for and eats the “last supper” and then leads the 11 remaining disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane.
  34. The Illegal Trial before the Sanhedrin
    • Jesus faces an illegal trial before the Sanhedrin in several stages while Peter follows and denies the Lord.
  35. Jesus Tried by Pilate and Herod Antipas
    • Jesus faces Pilate, Herod, and then Pilate again before being handed over to a crown of thorns and crucifixion. Meanwhile, Judas succumbs to his guilt.
  36. Jesus on the Cross
    • The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Life
  37. Jesus’s Body Placed in the Guarded Tomb
    • After undeniable, visible proof of His death, Jesus is buried in the tomb.
  38. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
    • On the third day, Jesus Christ rose to life and appeared to His followers.
  39. Forty Days until the Ascension
    • Jesus appeared at least five times during the forty days after His resurrection and prior to His ascension.
  40. A Time Line of the Life of Christ
    1. A timeline of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ from His youth to His ministry to His passion, death, and resurrection