Even though Luke was not an eyewitness of the events he records in his gospel, and was not even a Jew, he seems to have gone to some effort to establish the facts and he gives us the fullest account of the birth of both Jesus and his cousin, John the Baptist.
The detail is remarkable, being specific about times and places and so it seems likely to me that Luke’s source for this period of Jesus’ story was Mary, possibly even directly. (Luke 2:19 “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”).
The announcement from the Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:32-33) refers back to a promise made to David centuries earlier “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
This promise was made to David in Samuel 7:16 through the prophet Nathan “Your house and your kingdom shall endure for ever before me; your throne shall be established forever.”
It would seem that this prophecy is fulfilled through Jesus in a quite unexpected way, because David’s earthly kingdom did not last forever.
The angels that appeared to the shepherds also referred to ancient prophecy, when they said that the baby to be born was Christ (which is the Greek equivalent to Messiah) Luke 2:11.
These words are all so familiar to us from so many carol services, and it makes such a good story, but is it just a story to us, or do we really believe what we see written before us?
Luke wants us to believe it. Read the first four verses of chapter 1. Luke 1:4 “so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”