When [Zechariah and Elizabeth's]
baby was eight days old, they [along with neighbors and relatives]
came for the circumcision ceremony. [The others]
wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, "No! His name is John!" "What?" they exclaimed. "There is no one in all your family by that name." So they used gestures to ask the baby's father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone's surprise he wrote, "His name is John." Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.
— Luke 1:59-64 NLT
What is the big deal about the name of this miracle baby given to Elizabeth and Zechariah? Obedience, pure and simple. There was no reason to name him John — no relatives or heroes in the family with that name. But the angel had said, "you are to name him John." So, they did! God's approval of their obedience was shown in the removal of Zechariah's inability to speak when they affirmed the name, John. The conception of this baby, leading to this birth, this child, was no accident of late-life passion. It was the work of God! Obedience, pure and simple, opens up a pathway for the work of God, and no one's life illustrates this principle more than John ben Zechariah, the one we know as John the Baptizer!
Holy and righteous God, full of compassion and mercy, please forgive me for sometimes treating my responsibility to obey your will as optional. Give me a holy passion to honor you in word and in deed. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- 1 Samuel 15:17-23
- James 1:21-25
- Colossians 1:19-23
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.