September 2 - Luke 1:5-25

Monday, September 2, 2013

Luke 1:5-25 – The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

Because the Luke passages are so long, I won’t often quote them in the text of these posts. However, you should be able to click on the link I will place at the beginning of each post and get to the Scripture for the day.

Zechariah is a simple priest … not the high priest. In fact, the division of Abijah isn't even one of the important classes of priests.  For two weeks out of the year, he is tasked with officiating in the temple. During the rest of the year, he is home with his wife.

God reminds us of Abraham and Sarah with this couple. They are old and have no children. They’d long since given up dreaming about that possibility. And the story begins.

Luke clearly describes the events and rituals that took place prior to Zechariah encountering God.  Think about that. Luke is a Gentile Christian. He is not a priest, he is not even a Jew. This man knows how to interview people and then relate the story. This is history, not a fable.

As with Abraham and Sarah, God’s announcement of a child to them signified something astounding. He was about to change the world and they were to be at the beginning of the story.  The child would bring them joy, gladness and rejoicing (Luke 1:14). He would be great before the Lord.

Now in Scripture, it was not unheard of for the people of God to ask for a sign. Zechariah’s problem was that he didn't believe the angel (Luke 1:20). Now, how a man could stand in the presence of Gabriel and not believe the words he was saying, I have no idea. But Zechariah did just that.

The people knew that it was taking a long time for Zechariah to emerge. This was a people who were ready and anticipating great change. Their hearts were being prepared.  The recognized that this simple man had a vision. Luke doesn't end the story here, but sends Zechariah home and when it is obvious that Elizabeth is finally pregnant, she emerges from seclusion to celebrate the fact that her humiliation was over. God had blessed her.

The one to prophecy the coming of the Messiah has yet to be born, but God is setting out his plan to save the entire world from sin.