Following Jesus • 11 / John the Baptist’s Dad

Read This: Luke 1:57-80

When you travel somewhere new, it helps to get directions — especially from someone who knows. Turn left by the firehouse. Get in the right lane. Watch for the Interstate overpass. The parking lot is just past the bridge. Before you know it, you’re there.

That’s how Gabriel’s messages worked. He carefully described each detail so everyone would know what to expect.

Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son. Many will rejoice at his birth. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. Sure enough — she brought forth a son, many rejoiced at his birth, the baby leaped for joy in her womb, and so on (compare vss. 13-15 with 41, 57-58).

Gabriel also said, “It is he who will go as a forerunner . . . to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (vs. 17). Think about that for a minute. John the Baptist’s father was a priest. He knew the Old Testament prophecies, he knew what “John” meant (God is gracious), and he probably smiled at the meaning of his own name (God remembers His promises).

Picture Zechariah spending nine months in complete silence (he was deaf and dumb) waiting for John’s arrival. Surely he spent those months poring over the Scriptures to learn more about these two long-awaited babies. You can tell by how he introduced his son to the world (vss. 68-79). He praises God for redeeming, delivering, defending, saving, and showing mercy to His people. And he thanks Him for sending the Sunrise into their darkness, releasing them from bondage, forgiving their sins, dispelling the shadow of death, and guiding their steps into the way of peace.

Basically, in presenting John, Zechariah introduces us to Jesus.


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