New New Redemption
Luke 1:24 (Elizabeth did conceive)
Luke 1:57 (she bore a son)
Luke 1:13 (He was given the name John)
Luke 1:15 (He was filled with the Holy Spirit)
Luke 1:67-80 ESV
Following the visit Zechariah received from the Angel Gabriel his life changed significantly.
We know from Luke 1:24 that Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth did conceive a child. The long-awaited child they had prayed for was becoming a reality.
Even though they had hoped they would have a child when they were young, God had another plan.
God actually had a much better plan for Zechariah and Elizabeth than they could have ever imagined!
Their child was chosen to precede the Savior of the world. He was the one who would prepare the way for the Christ, the Son of God.
Their child had a very special place in God’s Kingdom on earth. Zechariah and Elizabeth could have not imagined something like this would even be possible.
We learn from Luke 1:57, “Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.” Just as the Angel Gabriel had promised, the couple had a son.
We remember from Luke 1:13 the child was to be called John. In scripture the name John meant Graced by God.
We know from Luke 1:15 that the child would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born.
Everything changed for Zechariah and Elizabeth when others found out they were expecting a child. In Luke 1:58 we are told, “And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.”
Having a child is a joy-filled time!
I started having children when I was young. I was twenty three years old when I had my first child. My only daughter is the oldest. I cannot imagine how very difficult Zechariah and Elizabeth’s life would have been before they conceived their son when they were older.
I had my fourth child when I was 30 years old. Once again, I cannot know how difficult it would be to carry a child at the age of fifty-five.
I have to wonder, did Elizabeth have back trouble? Was she easily tired when she was expecting John? I have to wonder, how old was she? One source believes Elizabeth was 88 years old when she had John (https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Elizabeth_(Biblical_person). Regardless of her age, it could have been difficult for her to carry a child when she was old enough to be past child-bearing age.
We learn from Luke 1:59-66 that when their son was circumcised he was given his official name. “And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and 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.”
Despite the fact that the Angel Gabriel specifically told Zechariah the child’s name would be John, it was customary in Jewish life that he would have been given his father’s given name. Notice in verse 60 it was Elizabeth who corrected then and told them his name would be John.
We know from Luke 1:18-20 that Zechariah was unable to speak at that time. We do not know how Zechariah was able to communicate the child’s name to Elizabeth because women were not taught to read. In my mind, Zechariah could have written the name to a male friend and he would have told Elisabeth the child’s name. Somehow, Elizabeth knew the name God selected for the child was John. Even though those who were circumcising the baby argued about his name, Zechariah confirmed his name could be John by writing the name on a tablet.
After John was given his official name we learn in Luke 1:67-80 that a miraculous event occurred, “And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant usthat we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.”
In Luke 1:20 we were told that Zechariah had been made mute by the Angel Gabriel because of Zechariah’s unbelief. And now when the name John was made public and was official, Zechariah was suddenly able to speak again and he prophesied about Israel and his son John.
Zechariah saw who his son would be for Israel.
He knew his son would guide Israel to the way of peace.
I think it’s really cool that Zechariah and Elizabeth KNEW. By the time John is mentioned as an adult in scripture his parents are not mentioned, but they knew!
Spiritual Practice: Peace
Sit in silence with God and let Him give you peace.
In God, Deborah