Luke notes the work of the Holy Spirit surrounding Jesus’ birth unlike the other Gospels. Among the characters mentioned in narrative form that are exclusive to Luke’s Gospel are Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna. Note that there are two females and two males, all of whom engage in prophetic speech. This seems to be a preview of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon “all flesh”, empowering the gathered disciples to give utterance. This is all a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32,
Joel 2:28–29 (ESV) — 28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
It seems that Luke draws intentional attention to the ministry of the Spirit among both men and women to show that both will serve as heralds of Jesus’ saving work.
© 2011, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.