The Angelus prayer has three parts. The second goes like this:

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

This particular part is taken from Luke 1:38 in response to the annunciation of Jesus’ incarnation. Immediately prior to this scene, the prologue tells us that Luke’s purpose is to convey to Theophilus what he has received from “those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word” (Luke 1:2 RSV).

Paul Anderson, in his first complete treatment on the bi-optic hypothesis, has observed:

Luke departs from Mark no fewer than five three dozen times in which he sides with John, that he includes Johannine theological content in his Gospel and Acts, and that he expresses appreciation in his first prologue to ‘eyewitnesses and servants of the Logos.’

(Paul N. Anderson, The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus: Modern Foundations Reconsidered [London: T&T Clark, 2006], 10)

Another observation that supports Anderson is the phrase “from the beginning,” a uniquely Johannine phrase. In the Johannine epistles, “from the beginning,” when used outside of direct speech, was primarily connected to the eyewitnesses—either to their witness to Jesus (John 15:27; 1 John 1:1; 2:13), or to his commandment(s), of which they constantly reminded their audience (1 John 2:7; 3:11; 2 John 5-6). Possibly a double-meaning is intended here: the Word (Jesus) and the word (preaching about Jesus).

One implication of Luke’s gospel, with its early mentions of the ministers of the Word and the handmaid of the Lord, is that those who read the truth contained in the Third Gospel are to be servants/ministers of Jesus (Luke 24:47-48; cf. Acts 1:8). Jesus was born to serve us, and in serving us he saved us, so that we by the Holy Spirit and in the love of God should serve him, each other, and the world.


UPDATE: Paul Anderson alerted me that the quote I posted above came from the electronic version, which differs from the one in print. I have corrected the error. In addition, he has now found six dozen contacts between John and Luke. This is the figure in his recent article at The Bible and Interpretation (here).