What Jesus Did! 'Beyond Fear' — Luke 1:11-13

Monday, January 5, 2015

Then, on the right side of the incense table, an angel of the Lord (God) came and stood before Zechariah. When he saw the angel, Zechariah was upset and very afraid. But the angel said to him, "Zechariah, don't be afraid. Your prayer has been heard by God. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a baby boy. You must name him John."
— Luke 1:11-13
Illustration of Luke 1:11-13 — "Zechariah, don't be afraid. Your prayer has been heard by God. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a baby boy. You must name him John."

Key Thought

God has sent his presence, his messengers (angels), his love, and most of all, his Son, to us to cast out our fear. Zechariah is caught up in the whole exciting faithfulness of God that occurs with the coming of the Messiah. God has chosen Zechariah, along with his wife Elizabeth, to play crucial roles in the fulfillment of God's greatest promises. This faithfulness, however, was experienced as a very personal blessing in addition to their roles in the coming of the Messiah. Zechariah experienced his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to offer sacrifice at the great Temple. Zechariah received a visit from God's heavenly messenger, an angel. Zechariah was given a son in his old age. But, Zechariah was also given a job—he was to name his son John. When we faithfully obey God, we are never completely sure what the result of that obedience will be. Often times, we feel that no one will really know whether we obey or not. Yet God is still at work in his world through his people's obedience to bring about great things. Let's not take God's commands lightly. Who knows where that "simple" obedience may ultimately lead!

Today's Prayer

Father, please accept my obedience in the little, clear, and simple things as an offering of my love to you. Take that obedience and bring glory to your name and a blessing to your people whether others know of my part in your plan or not. In Jesus' name, and to Jesus' glory, I offer you this prayer and my life. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

During the time when Herod ruled Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah. Zechariah belonged to Abijah's group. Zechariah's wife came from the family of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Zechariah and Elizabeth were truly good people before God. They did everything the Lord (God) commanded and told people to do. They were without fault. But Zechariah and Elizabeth had no children. Elizabeth could not have a baby; and both of them were very old. Zechariah was serving as a priest before God for his group. It was his group's time to serve. The priests always chose one priest to offer the incense. Zechariah was chosen to do this. So Zechariah went into the temple of the Lord (God) to offer the incense. There were many, many people outside. They were praying at the time the incense was offered. Then, on the right side of the incense table, an angel of the Lord (God) came and stood before Zechariah. When he saw the angel, Zechariah was upset and very afraid. But the angel said to him, "Zechariah, don't be afraid. Your prayer has been heard by God. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a baby boy. You must name him John. You will be very, very happy. Many people will be happy because of his birth. John will be a great man for the Lord (God). He will never drink wine or liquor. Even at the time when John is being born, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. John will help many Jews return to the Lord their God. John himself will go first before the Lord. John will be powerful like Elijah. He will have the same spirit Elijah had. He will make peace between fathers and their children. Many people are not obeying God. John will bring those people back to the right way that people should think. He will make people ready for the coming of the Lord." Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I know that what you say is true? I am an old man, and my wife is also old." The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I always stand ready before God. God sent me to talk to you and to tell you this good news. Now, listen! You will not be able to talk until the day when these things happen. You will lose your speech. Why? Because you did not believe what I told you. But these things will really happen." Outside, the people were still waiting for Zechariah. They were surprised that he was staying so long in the temple. Then Zechariah came outside, but he could not speak to them. So the people knew that Zechariah had seen a vision F9 inside the temple. Zechariah could not speak. He could only make signs to the people. When Zechariah's time of service was finished, he went home. Later, Zechariah's wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant. So she did not go out of her house for five months. Elizabeth said, "Look what the Lord (God) has done for me! He decided to help me have a baby. Now people will stop thinking there is something wrong with me."

Luke 1:5-25

Related Scripture Readings

All the angels are spirits who serve God and are sent to help those people who will receive salvation.

Hebrews 1:14

If God's love is made perfect in us, then we can be without fear on the day when God judges us. We will be without fear, because in this world we are like him (Christ or God). Where {God's} love is, there is no fear. Why? Because God's perfect love takes away fear. It is {God's} punishment that makes a person fear. So {God's} love is not made perfect in the person who has fear.

1 John 4:17-18

Dear friends, we are saying these hard things, but we really we expect better things from you. We feel sure that you will do the things that are a part of salvation. God is fair. God will remember all the work you have done. And God will remember that you showed your love to him by helping his people. And God will remember that you continue to help his people. We want each of you to continue with the same hard work all your lives. Then you will surely get that great thing you hope for. We don't want you to become lazy. We want you to be like those people who get the things that God promised. Those people get God's promises because they have faith and patience.

Hebrews 6:9-12

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.