His name is “John”!

Scripture reading for March 15th: Luke 1:57-80, Psalms 58:1-11, Proverbs 11:12-13

Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, had been struck dumb, unable to talk, since he was told by an angel that his old and barren wife would have a child.  Zechariah had been offering incense and prayers in the Holy Place at the altar of incense when this visitation took place.  (Luke 1:11-20) Now the baby had arrived and the time for dedication and naming was at hand.  Evidently, family members were helping select a name and were considering naming him ‘Zechariah’ after his father.  (Luke 1:59)  The mother, Elizabeth, spoke up and stated that his name would be “John”.

The relatives made some signs to Zechariah to see what he wanted and he took a table and wrote emphatically, “His name is John”. He then could talk and began praising God, something that he hadn’t been able to do for the entire time of the pregnancy!  This supernatural event caused quite a stir among the people of that region and they wondered about what was happening.  (Luke 1:62-66)

Zechariah was then filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and has redeemed His people.  He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David (as He said through His holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us–to show mercy to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath He swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.  And you, my child will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him,. . .” (Luke 1:68-76)

At the birth of his son, Zechariah’s mouth was opened to prophesy and praise God.  Through him, God  foretold the coming of the Lord and John’s preparatory work of repentance.  The long-awaited ‘Redeemer’ was at hand and John would prepare the way. God’s plans are worked out through simple men and women who by faith allow the Lord to use them.   Are you available today to “prepare the way for the Lord” by sharing Christ’s love and Gospel?

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