With the birth of John the Baptist, a long period of waiting came to an end. The priest Zechariah had not been able to speak for his wife Elizabeth’s whole pregnancy—but after John’s birth, he proclaimed the Lord’s faithfulness to his people. Israel had waited centuries to hear John’s message of repentance and to be pointed to the Messiah. Today, we share in that redemption and are called to lives of faithful service to our Savior.
57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us8 from on high
79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
Copyright © 2022, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.