Too often, we rush and we fail to slow down and consider the common sense of a Bible passage - in context.
Like a learner in a reading class, let's break down
a passage to see if we can comprehend it better.
Luke 1 (NASB)
8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division,
- Who is the he in these verses (He is identified in previous verses)?
- What was this man's profession or role in the community?
- How did he come about this role?
- What was a duty involved in his job?
- What is the mood of the area? What are other people doing?
- What is the purpose of burning incense?
- Why is admission to the temple reserved for certain individuals?
- How many people comprise a multitude?
Only the priests could enter certain area of the temple, so Zechariah must have been quite respected individual to have been given this special role of burning incense for the people. The priest was an intermediary for the people and God. He must have taken his charge seriously and with much reverence to all parties involved. It is a serious matter to be responsible for the prayers and offerings of the people - to make sure they are presented appropriately to God.
Not much really happens in these three verses, but perhaps Luke is still establishing the setting and characters of his account. The reader still wonders why this man is being selected for attention.