Luke 1:74
That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
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(74) That he would grant unto us . . .—The form of the Greek indicates even more definitely than the English that this was the end to which the “covenant” and the “oath” had all along been pointing.

Might serve him without fear.—The service is that of worship as well as obedience. This was the end for which deliverance from enemies was but a means. Here, again, the form of the hope points to its early date. What prospect was there, when St. Luke wrote his Gospel, of any deliverance of the Jews from their earthly enemies? By that time, what was transitory in the hymn had vanished, and the words had gained the higher permanent sense which they have had for centuries in the worship of the Church of Christ.

1:67-80 Zacharias uttered a prophecy concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah. The gospel brings light with it; in it the day dawns. In John the Baptist it began to break, and increased apace to the perfect day. The gospel is discovering; it shows that about which we were utterly in the dark; it is to give light to those that sit in darkness, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is reviving; it brings light to those that sit in the shadow of death, as condemned prisoners in the dungeon. It is directing; it is to guide our feet in the way of peace, into that way which will bring us to peace at last, Ro 3:17. John gave proofs of strong faith, vigorous and holy affections, and of being above the fear and love of the world. Thus he ripened for usefulness; but he lived a retired life, till he came forward openly as the forerunner of the Messiah. Let us follow peace with all men, as well as seek peace with God and our own consciences. And if it be the will of God that we live unknown to the world, still let us diligently seek to grow strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.Might serve him - Might obey, honor, and worship him. This was regarded as a "favor." This was what was promised, and for this Zechariah praised God.

Without fear - Fear of death, of spiritual enemies, or of external foes. In the sure hope of God's "eternal" favor beyond the grave.

74, 75. That he would grant us, &c.—How comprehensive is the view here given! (1) The purpose of all redemption—"that we should serve Him"—that is, "the Lord God of Israel" (Lu 1:68). The word signifies religious service distinctively—"the priesthood of the New Testament" [Bengel]. (2) The nature of this service—"in holiness and righteousness before Him" (Lu 1:75)—or, as in His presence (compare Ps 56:13). (3) Its freedom—"being delivered out of the hand of our enemies." (4) Its fearlessness—"might serve Him without fear." (5) Its duration—"all the days of our life."Ver. 74,75. Thus Zacharias, by an infallible Spirit, expounds the covenants and oaths of God to Abraham and David, not as they appear to us at first view, as if they were promises of a mere temporal kingdom, and a victory for the Jews over their enemies, together with a splendid state for them, which was all the scribes and Pharisees, and the generality of the Jews, expected from the Messiah; but as confirming God’s resolution to send the Jews a Saviour, who should save them from their sins, the guilt and dominion of them, and from the power of hell, and purchase a spiritual liberty for them to serve the Lord all their days, without fear, in holiness and righteousness, which indeed was the true end of the Messiah’s coming. Thus for now the song of this holy man respected Christ, whom he showeth to be sent from the free grace and mercy of God, yet in performance of God’s truth and faithfulness, according to his oath promises; and to be therefore sent to deliver his people from their enemies, and to purchase for them a spiritual liberty, not to sin, but to serve the Lord without fear; in holiness and righteousness. The latter part of his prophecy respecteth John the Baptist, the new born son of this priest and heavenly prophet.

That he would grant unto us,.... What is said in this and the following verse, is the substance of the promised mercy, covenant, and oath:

that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, as before, in Luke 1:71.

might serve him without fear. One principal end of deliverance from spiritual enemies by Christ, is the service of God; and nothing lays a greater obligation on men to serve the Lord, and glorify him, than redemption by Christ; nor is there any thing that makes men more zealous of good works: spiritual and evangelical service, in distinction from the legal service, and worship of God, is here meant; since it is said to be "without fear", which the threatenings and curses of the law filled men with; but being delivered from it, they become free from that spirit of bondage unto fear, it genders to; as being delivered also from sin and Satan, they are without fear of hell and damnation; and from the world, they are without fear of men; and from death, they are without fear of that, through which many under the legal dispensation, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. It is a saying of the Jews (y), that:

"greater is he that serves from love, than he that serves from fear.

But such sort of service is not of a man's self, or performed by his own power and strength, but is a "grant" from God, and owing to the influence of his Spirit and grace,

(y) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 31. 1. Vid. Maimon. Hilch. Teshuva, c. 10, sect. 1, 2.

That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Luke 1:74. Ἀφόβως, without fear) The Fear of our Enemies, not fear of the Lord Himself, and that a filial fear, is set aside: Hebrews 2:15, [To deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.]—λατρεύειν, that we might serve) This constitutes the Priesthood of the New Testament.

Verses 74, 75. - Might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. What Zacharias looked on to was a glorious theocracy based upon national holiness. Israel, freed from foreign oppression and internal dissensions, would serve God with a worship at once uninterrupted and undefiled. Luke 1:74Serve (λατρεύειν)

Originally to serve for hire, from λάτρον, hire. Plato uses it of the service of God.

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