Following Jesus • 8 / The setup

Read This: Luke 1:5-25

Malachi reads like a dead end to the Old Testament. The Jews are back in Jerusalem but their faith has dried up. Their prophet is dishing out stern rebukes, and when he stops talking . . . the line goes dead. For four hundred years. No angels, no prophets, no messengers, no miracles, no words from God, no nothing. End of story.
Except for one thing. Set amid the chastening, Malachi prophecies a herald who will introduce the Messiah. A spark of hope as the fire goes out.
Luke snatches this spark from the ashes of the Old Testament and fans it into the inferno of the New. After four hundred years of no angels, prophets, messengers, miracles, or words from God, we get them all in one story. An angelic messenger brings a word from God to Zechariah, telling him his old and barren wife will miraculously bear a son who will be the greatest prophet that every lived because he will prepare the way for . . . the Messiah.
Luke kicks off where the Old Testament left off (compare Malachi 4:6 with Luke 1:17). The spark of hope bursts into flame with high drama and profound significance. The perfect setup for the grandest entrance of all time.
Action: Note the intricate details behind God’s elaborate plan. Remind yourself of this when you’re wondering about His involvement in your affairs.

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