There is a lot in this very first chapter of Luke to consider and absorb. Starting off with the fact that Luke was a gentile believer who did not actually have a first hand account of Jesus. According to tradition, Luke spent a lot of time gathering information from others who had first hand accounts. He apparently spent time with Mary to capture her story from her first hand account. From a historical sense, Luke also wrote the book of Acts, which can be read with the book of Luke straight through as a historical account of Jesus and the early church.
I love that Zechariah was chosen by “lot” to serve in the temple that day. What was seemingly a random occurrence, lead to the angel Gabriel announcing John the Baptist’s coming into the world and the important role he would play. By the way, this past year when we studied the book of Daniel we learned that there are only two angels that are named, Michael and Gabriel. Michael leads in conquest and Gabriel always bring important messages from God.
Finally, there is so much about the coming of Jesus as the messiah that can not be denied it came from God. First, both John and Jesus were names give directly by God. Neither man was named by family tradition or human distinction. Both came from specific meaning given by God Himself. Second, Mary who was a young, poor, female (all strikes against her in that society) was chosen directly by God to take on the greatest task in human history; bringing the Messiah into the world. And finally, when Elizabeth greeted Mary, she chose to great her as “The mother of my Lord”. I don’t think we can deny the Holy Spirit’s hand in revealing that to her.