Friday, February 24, 2012

Thoughts on Luke 1:57-80 (The Birth of John the Baptist, Zechariah's Song)

I am looking at Luke 1:57-80 now.  In it, there are two sections:

  • The Birth of John the Baptist
  • Zechariah's Song

We take so much for granted.  With the technology and advances we have in science and medicine, we can learn the gender of a baby before it is born.  Even as I read this, I take it for granted.  The angel told them they would have a boy.  Verse 57 tells us the baby was, in fact, a boy, just as God had said it would be.  Something else I find interesting is the naming of the child.  The mother had to speak up and tell them to name the child John instead of Zechariah.  Who was it that was going to name the child?  Is this a Jewish custom to name the child on the day of his circumcision?

After some quick research, I found that it is tradition to give the boy his name after he is circumcised.

You can read more about the traditional ritual (Brit Milah) at this website.

Anyway, it is also amazing that Zechariah was able to speak after confirming that the baby's name was John.  Neighbors and people around Judea were in awe and talking about these things.  A person who was mute after he entered the temple of God can now speak after giving the name to the baby.  You know we live in an indifferent society when we can read these few verses and not be amazed.

What's so amazing?

  • Everything that God said would happen, did happen.
  • A barren mother conceived, carried, and delivered a baby
  • A baby boy was born to an elderly couple well past their child-bearing ages
  • A righteous man unable to speak can now speak
  • The people wondered about the baby's future because they knew God was with him

When was the last time you heard about the birth of a baby and seriously considered what God was going to accomplish through the life of this child?  I know every parent wonders about the future of their own children.  It's amazing that the people around town wondered about the future of this child.  How many babies were born amongst your friends?  Have you considered what this generation might accomplish in the name of Christ?  Stop right now.  Take a minute to think about a baby you know.  Pray for that baby.  Pray that God would influence that child.  Pray that He would draw that baby closer to Him now and always.  Pray that that baby would know, serve, and love the Lord!

Okay, back to Luke.  Zechariah has a song to sing!  He praises God for remembering his promises to the people of Israel.  The way it is written, you can tell that Zechariah cherishes the prophecy of Messiah.  You can tell how Zechariah is honored that his son will be a part of the prophecy.  John will be the one to prepare the way for Messiah to come.  What a thrill!

Jesus is coming. My son will be the one to tell others to be ready for his coming.  I will live to see Messiah come.  The people will be delivered from the darkness.  What joy!  What joy in knowing how your son will serve God!

The chapter concludes by telling us that the child grew up and became strong in the Spirit.  That's exciting!

How do you think a child grows up and becomes strong in the Spirit?
How can you grow in your relationship with Christ?
How can you help a child (or a friend) strengthen their relationship with Christ?

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