The Birth of John the Baptist
Luke 1:57-58 (NLT)
When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.
Before the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, we can assume that he and his wife Elizabeth had given up on having a child, as now they were both very old.
Recall some of the words that Gabriel said to Zechariah earlier in Luke:
God has heard your prayer (the Passion translation notes that this could be translated, “the prayer you don’t even pray anymore”)
Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.
You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord.
To Zechariah and Elizabeth, the birth of their son is an answer to a long-time prayer. Their previous disappointment is replaced with joy. God has done what is impossible and reminds us again that nothing is impossible for Him. Not only does God fulfill Gabriel’s words to Zechariah about having a son, but Gabriel’s words that “many will rejoice at his birth” are also fulfilled when neighbors and relatives rejoice with Elizabeth.
God, we thank you for working so many things together that first Christmas. We thank you for answered prayers, and prayers that you will answer. We invite you to be our source of joy and hope.
Shared by Ian McHardy