Historically, Luke begins his book before the other three Gospels. Heaven had been silent for over four hundred years when the angel Gabriel pierced the darkness of this world at the golden altar of incense in the Temple to announce the birth of the forerunner of the Messiah, John the Baptist, to an elderly priest named Zechariah.
Christ is the English translation, and Messiah is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew title Meshiach, meaning anointed One. It was used specifically of the Deliverer anticipated in the Jewish world who would be God’s Agent in fulfilling prophecies of the TaNaKh such as Genesis 49:10; Psalm 2 and 110; Isaiah 9:1-7 and 11:1-9; and Zechariah 9:9-10. The anticipated Messiah is Yeshua ha-Meshiach.33
There are three songs in this section: Elizabeth’s greeting of Mary (see Am – Mary Visits Elizabeth); Mary’s song (see An – The Song of Mary); and Zechariah’s prophecy (see Ao – The Birth of John the Baptist).