Luke-Acts should be seen as one volume, as both are addressed to Theophilus (“God-lover”). Theophilus could be a real person, or a made up name for anyone who wants to know more about the history of Christianity. If we look at the places in the book of Acts where the writer includes himself in the narrative (the “we” sections), we come up with Luke, a travel companion of Paul. That means he would have had unparalleled understanding of the growth of the church, and been in contact with those who could have told him about the ministry of Jesus.
Two miracles are recorded here. The miraculous birth of the forerunner of Jesus (born to Zechariah and Elizabeth), and the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. Both were foretold in the Old Testament:
Malachi 4:5-6 “Look, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD arrives. He will encourage fathers and their children to return to me, so that I will not come and strike the earth with judgment.”
Isaiah 7:14 “For this reason the Lord himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this virgin is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You will name him Immanuel.”
Isn’t it interesting that, whenever we see an angel appear as a messenger in the Bible, there is an awe inspiring majesty associated with the appearance? How different than the way we think of angels today!
The angelic announcement to Mary also confirms that Jesus is indeed the Messiah that the Jewish people were looking for!
2 Samuel 7:12-13 “When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent.”
Of course we understand that the first stage of that kingdom is spiritual, thank God! When He comes back He will set up the physical kingdom, which we are all longing for.
Revelation 22:1-5 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life—water as clear as crystal—pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, flowing down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.”