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.
— Luke 1:14-16
Babies usually bring great joy with their arrival. Kinfolks and friends are overjoyed for the family. This will be true of John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. However, the joy will be multiplied in this case, and not just because they are given John as a surprise blessing later in life. John has a crucial role to play in the coming of God's promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. He will reach many hearts that the religion of the day could not touch. His life from the womb will be one that is dedicated to God's Messiah. He will identify himself by his diet and his habits as one specially consecrated to the work of God. But unlike the ascetics of the desert who withdrew from sinful people, John spoke with the Spirit and fire of God and drew them to his message and made them ready to meet Jesus. With the birth of any child, let's pray that he or she will bring glory to God and bring many others to come to know his Son.
Dear heavenly Father, God of all the Universe, please look down on the little babies I know [list several by name] in my family and church family and do mighty things through them. Guard their parents. Nurture them in your truth. Bring the experiences into their lives that will make them most useful to you. In Jesus' name. 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 Luke 1:5-25
Related Scripture Readings
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah's wife. He said, "You have not been able to have children. But you will become pregnant and have a son. Don't drink any wine or any other strong drink. Don't eat any food that is unclean. Why? Because you are pregnant, and you will have a son. He will be dedicated to God in a special way: He will be a Nazirite. So you must never cut his hair. He will be God's special person from before he is born. He will save the people of Israel from the power of the Philistine people." Then the woman went to her husband and told him what had happened. She said, "A man of God came to me. He looked like the Angel of God. He made me afraid. I didn't ask him where he was from and he didn't tell me his name. But he said to me, 'You are pregnant and will have a son. Don't drink any wine or other strong drink. Don't eat any food that is unclean. Why? Because the boy will be dedicated to God in a special way. The boy will be God's special person from before he is born until the day he dies.'"
When it was time for Elizabeth to give birth, she had a boy. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord (God) was very good to her. They were happy for her. When the baby was eight days old, they came to circumcise him. They wanted to name him Zechariah because this was his father's name. But his mother said, "No! He will be named John." The people said to Elizabeth, "But no one in your family has this name (John)!" Then they made signs to his father, "What would you like to name him?" Zechariah asked for something to write on. Then Zechariah wrote, "His name is John." All the people were surprised. Then Zechariah could talk again. He began to praise God. And all their neighbors became afraid. In all the hill country of Judea people continued talking about all these things. All the people that heard about these things wondered about them. They thought, "What will this child (John) be?" They said this because the Lord (God) was with this child.
My little children, again I feel pain for you like a mother feels when she gives birth. I will feel this until you truly become like Christ.