I think Luke is my favorite of the four Gospels. It was the first one I read in its entirety, which I'm sure helps. Also, Luke's writing style and descriptions just read better to me. Luke was a physician and companion of Paul, and also wrote Acts.
It is also one of the reasons why I'm hesitant to take any more online courses without a lot of research. I'd taken one a few years ago and was told the entire first part of Luke was just made up. Nobody would have known what happened to Mary, Joseph, or Jesus when He was born. Nevermind we believe it to be divinely inspired and surely someone as powerful as GOD could have figured out somewhat to transfer that information to Luke's head, but what do I know?
I suggested (politely, even) what I'd read elsewhere - perhaps Luke had gone and asked Mary. Even without divine inspiration, this would seem like a sensible thing to do. "Hello there Mary. Since your son did this odd thing of dying and then being alive again and then ascended into heaven after claiming to be the Son of God, might there be anything you think important about his birth and childhood?" And, again even without divine inspiration, it seems reasonable Mary would have remembered. Moms remember some of the most random stuff, so I'm thinking an angel making an appearance and then having a child without first having sex would have probably stuck in her brain. They seem like details I'd remember, at least.
But I digress...
Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
I'm not sure I've heard enough about Zacharias and Elisabeth. It isn't common at this stage in the game for people to be running around walking blamelessly in the Bible. In fact, we've pretty well established by this point everybody really stinks at following God. Which is why they/we need Jesus.
Anyway, his wife is barren and they're both sad. He's a priest and gets selected to burn incense in the temple. We always talk about the appearance of an angel to Mary, but Zacharias gets a visit too. It doesn't go as well for him though, as he doubts the message and is struck mute until the child is to be named. On the upside, they get to have a child! This child would also be special in the sense he'd be the witness to Jesus. A very big deal!
Luk 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
Luk 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
Luk 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.