What Jesus Did! 'The Spirit and Power of Elijah' — Luke 1:17

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

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."
— Luke 1:17
Illustration of Luke 1:17 —  John will be powerful like Elijah.

Key Thought

Israel looked forward to the return of Elijah, the prophet who was to precede the Messiah. Since he never died, but went straight to God, they believed he would return and continue his powerful ministry in preaching God's truth (prophesying). His message would touch folks in a way that united generations and called people to life-changing repentance. Why? Why was his coming so important? His coming was necessary to prepare the people for Jesus. Shouldn't we also view THE key reason God has put us where he has placed us as being so that our words and our actions can help prepare others to know Jesus?

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous God, my Abba Father, please use my life to prepare the way for Jesus in the lives of those I love and over whom I have influence. In Jesus' name I pray. 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

If you are always trying to do good, then no person can really hurt you. But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, then you are blessed (happy). "Don't be afraid of those people {that make you suffer}; don't be worried." But you should keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer every person who asks you to explain about the hope you have. But answer those people in a gentle way with respect. Always be able to feel that you are doing right. When you do that, the people who say bad things about you will be made ashamed. They say these bad things about the good way you live in Christ. They will be made ashamed for the bad things they said about you. It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better if that is what God wants.

1 Peter 3:13-17

You will be arrested and judged. But don't worry about what you should say. Say the things God gives you to say at that time. It will not really be you speaking. It will be the Holy Spirit speaking.

Mark 13:11

Jesus continued to say to all of them, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him every day, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he himself is destroyed or lost. If any person is ashamed of me and my teaching, then I will be ashamed of that person. I will be ashamed of that person at the time I come with my glory and with the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

Luke 9:23-26

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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.