Richard, was a 1954 graduate of Wheaton College, and received his Th.M. And neither should we. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God (vv. But I don’t think Zacharias minded very much. And a lesson I believe we can learn from this is a very encouraging and practical one. That was rather hard to believe. New York: Doubleday, 1993. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1999. She calls Mary “the mother of my Lord.” “My Lord” was a messianic title taken out of Psalm 110:1: “The Lord says to my Lord....” She acknowledged by divine revelation that Mary would give birth to the Messiah, the Son of God. That is one reason he gave us His Word, and one reason He includes these great historic events in the Word. Map | Privacy Policy We should keep those three spiritual certainties before us by faith—that God purposes good for His people, that He sovereignly works through all things to bring about that good, that He is even able to reach beyond centuries of time in order to do so. Synopsis of the Four Gospels. By the remission of their sins, He was pastor of Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, CA from 1972 to 1993 when the Lord called him home. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. Even the Messenger of the covenant, Each Mother's Day, we consider the life-story of some great mother of faith from the Bible. So, we're told that Mary rose in those days and went into the hill country "with haste" to the home of Zacharias and Elizabeth in order to see for herself. Jealousy is a destructive emotion. Copyright © 2020 Johnson, Luke Timothy. 6:1-21); we're told that a Jewish man could uniquely set himself apart unto God for a period of time in his life—consecrating himself as a "Nazarite" (from the Hebrew word nāzar; which means "to vow"). Griffith-Jones, Robin. Their excitement mounted daily, until “the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she brought forth a son” (Luke 1:57). Because it was through her that He would keep a promise that He had made to the nation of Israel centuries before her time! (1958... More, The Net Pastor’s Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 37, Fall 2020. Before John was conceived in her womb, an angel had announced that he would be the fulfillment of the closing words of the Old Testament—that her son would be the one who would go before the Lord "in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17; see also Malachi 4:5-6). He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:8-17). Sacra Pagina Series. It was John's duty to point people to Jesus and say, "Behold! Zacharias was one of the priests who had the honor of being sent into the holy place of the temple, and of offering incense on the altar before the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. But there is no jealousy in the life of one whose trust and hope are in God, as with Elizabeth. Praise God for mothers and grandmothers who are used by God to confirm and strengthen the faiths of others around them! You may even feel that you hardly make a noticeable difference at all in your own time. What confidence she had in God's promise concerning her son! Well; I don't know if that's true. They did not even care about the status that went with the priesthood. The crooked places shall be made straight Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version; copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.). Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. But more amazing than that was her attitude toward Mary. They had better ask Zacharias. How Can an Omnipresent God Be in Hell if that is Eternal Separation from God? Commit it to God in prayer together and ask Him for the patience to live with it graciously until He changes it. Theologians sometimes call this meeting “The Visitation.” In this passage Luke gives us the first of five nativity hymns. God's Promises in the Circle of Refinement. The chapter continues with the prophecy of Zacharias (known as the Benedictus ,) and ends with the note that John "grew, and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts" until his ministry to Israel began; so it is unknown how long Elizabeth and her husband lived after that ( Luke 1:65–80 ). For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years” (Luke 1:18). | Copyright Information, Enhance your daily reading of God's word. And he asked for a tablet, and wrote as follows, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. It turned out that she held a very privileged place in God's providential history. 42-45). Now; to really appreciate the lessons we can learn from her life, we need to go back and consider that ancient promise that God was about to keep through her. sworn.". And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42, 43). He knew how God had given a son to Sarah in her old age. I am sure they pored over the Old Testament Scriptures during the last few months of her pregnancy, reading every passage they could find concerning the Messiah and His forerunner. or "anointed one," or "Messiah," Mal. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. And He loves to do that for people who trust Him and obey Him, even in impossible situations. Herod was a Jew, but cooperated with the Roman occupiers. His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.” But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name." John had the great distinction, then, of being the promised "forerunner"—the herald to the people of Israel of the long-awaited, promised Messiah. For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, Instead he prayed (cf. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981. With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 3. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1972. And yet, there was an element of sadness to their lives; for the very next verse tells us, "But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years" (v. 7). She and her husband had faith in God's Old Testament promises to provide the Messiah; and they both looked ahead—as best they understood to do so—to the promised Messiah as their Savior. It was a beautifully symbolic experience of worship. Gaventa, Beverly. My situation is impossible.” “My husband will never change.” My wife will never learn.” “We’ll never get out of debt.” “I’ll never be well again.” “My unsaved loved one will never come to know Christ.” “This job will never improve.” Listen to God’s Word again: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Believe that. “And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years” (Luke 1:7). Commentary on the Gospel of Luke. 3:20). But Elizabeth protested, “No indeed; but he shall be called John” (Luke 1:60). she blessed Mary. God does not want any of us trying to drag others along spiritually, but he does want husbands out in front, taking the spiritual lead and ministering to their wives and children in the things of Christ. All this was too much for Zacharias to grasp. Our God is the God of the impossible! She was rejoicing over the fact that even though she had lived with the sorrow of barrenness for many years—even into her old age—it turned out that God had bigger plans for her than she or anyone else could have imagined. As the custom was, their relatives and neighbors gathered to rejoice with them over this extraordinary event, and on the eighth day, at the child’s circumcision, they tried to call him Zacharias after his father. You may not feel as if you have much to offer in God's kingdom right now. As the incense kindled and a cloud of fragrance arose from the altar, the prayer of the worshipers outside would rise into the presence of God (cf. Matt. Nobody in either of their families had ever been called John. But immediately the angel spoke: “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. Her words are unusual for several reasons. There has been a class consciousness in almost every culture in history, and the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day was no exception. How can a wife encourage her husband in this matter without nagging? . But that's when unbelief struck even such a great man as Zacharias. 10:17). Theme: Elizabeth—the mother of John the Baptist—gives us an example of godly faith and character. If so, try recounting some of the special things God has done for you. The greatness of God’s grace inspired Zacharias to utter a magnificent song of praise to God. Richard L. Strauss authored nine books, and served as pastor of churches in Fort Worth, TX, Huntsville, AL. Of her son, the Lord Jesus Himself once said, "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist" (Matthew 11:11). . While she knew that she herself had been honored of God, she realized that Mary had been infinitely more honored; in fact, more honored than any woman on earth. Beare, F.W. To give knowledge of salvation to His people Many Jews were beginning to think God had forgotten His promise, that their national situation was hopeless. There were about 20,000 of them in and around Jerusalem at the time, and unfortunately many were proud, bigoted, overly indulgent, self-seeking men, religious only in those external matters that would impress other people. Listen very carefully to the details as Luke tells us; Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. Luke writes; And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? 5. God bless mothers and grandmothers who follow her example of practical faith! The quality of our walk with God determines our ability to walk happily and harmoniously with each other. But Zacharias and Elizabeth never thought so. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. Their piety was no outward show; it was a heart relationship with the Lord. He was the old man who saw the baby Jesus when He was brought into the temple to be circumcised by Joseph and Mary. Others had said it was the most lucrative Starbucks in the world; tips were good if … So then; Elizabeth was given a privileged place in God's providential history. Then, Elizabeth confirmed the very same blessing that Mary alone had heard from the angel, confirmed the identity of the child in Mary's womb as "Lord", confirmed Mary's own blessedness for believing the promise, and confirmed that there would be the fulfillment of all that had been told her. For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.

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