Posts Tagged ‘John the Baptist’

Luke 1

Luke 1 has the writer telling us why he is putting pen to paper.  It was to “to write an orderly account for you….that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught”.  Luke was the detailed writer of the four gospel writers – with a lot of attention to order and detail.  He begins the story he will tell with Zechariah and Elizabeth.  They were “both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord”.  A priest and his barren wife, both old in age, but committed to walking with God and obeying His commandments.

Zechariah is in the temple leading some prayer and worship when the angel Gabriel comes to him. He is told that his wife will bear a son and “he will be  great before the Lord….he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb….to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared”.  This child will become a messenger for the coming Messiah.  Zechariah has a bit of a problem believing what he has just heard, so the angel says “you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words”.  Faith requires that we believe what we can’t see.  Zechariah struggles and is mute until John is born.

That in itself was a miracle, but it was only the precursor of what God was going to do. An angel comes to Mary saying “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be”.  A little more struggling with faith.  The angel continues and says “you have found favor with God”.  That had to be quite overwhelming.  But the angel goes on.  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called  holy— the Son of God”.  Wow – what a message.  She questions a bit but is told this reality: “nothing will be impossible with God”.  And after that, Mary believes it and changes her attitude saying “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word”.  All in, ready to do God’s plan.

It was like she flipped a switch. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant”.  She knows she isn’t worthy, but she is willing and God uses those who are willing to do His will.  John is born to Elizabeth and Zechariah and his tongue is loosed and his speech restored.  We learn that John would “go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God”.  God truly loves us all, and had a plan to provide a way for us to be set free from the penalty of our sin.  John is the messenger to prepare the way for the Lord.  “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel”.

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