Silence Broken

Luke 1:57-66 

Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her, and they were rejoicing with her.

And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father. But his mother answer and said, ‘No indeed; but he shall be called John.’ And they said to her, ‘There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.

And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, ‘His name is John.’ And they were astonished. And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. Fear came on all those living around them, and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea.

All who heard them kept them in mind saying, ‘what then will this child turn out to be?’ For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.

Everyone is Talking About It!

The last prophecy of the Old Testament predicted the coming of Elijah as a forerunner of the Christ. As we consider the birth of John and the passage before us, God has been silent for over 400 years. Now, the stories being spread about the birth of John are stirring up a lot of excitement.

Fear came on all those living around them, and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea.

Perhaps, some of the murmurs were something like; could this be what the prophet Malachi spoke? Could this be a sign of the coming of the Lord? Is the Great Day of the Lord near?

Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord, Malachi 4:5.

The Buzz

What’s causing all the buzz in the Judean hill country? What are the rumors being spread?

  • A priest named Zacharias came out of the temple unable to speak. His face and hand motions made it clear that something amazing happened to him.
  • Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth became pregnant in her old age. Impossible!
  • When the baby was born, the parents named him John even though there were no relatives named John. They named him John because an angel told them to. That’s crazy!
  • Eight days after the baby was born, the father was able to talk again after being mute for over nine months. The things he said about seeing and hearing from an angel are extraordinary.
  • Zacharias said that the angel prophesied that the son born will be like Elijah. He will be the forerunner of the Messiah.
  • The people said, what then will this child turn out to be? For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him, 1:66b.
  • Nothing has happened like this in hundreds of years! Could this be…? Could this be…? Could this be…?

The Role of John

The buzz was actually legitimate. Something amazing is happening! John was born in the spirit of the bold and uncompromising prophet Elijah! The angel Gabriel said about John; It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, Luke 1:17a. Gabriel paraphrased the final words of Malachi from the final prophecy of the Old Testament. The talk of these words is spreading like wildfire.

John’s calling is to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, Luke 1:17b.

In terms of biblical and historical significance, John played a vital and critical role within the redemptive plan of God. In terms of our devotional consideration of John, John is an example and encouragement for us to surrender our lives to God and follow His calling upon us.

Let us learn from John the following:

  • The Spirit of God was upon him. Pray that God’s work of grace and power of the Holy Spirit would be upon you; lavished upon; poured over you.
  • John followed the calling of God upon his life. He fulfilled his ministry calling. Are you serving God according to gifts He’s given you, and upon the path He has led you towards?
  • Let your words be simple and clear such as John; repent, and turn to God.
  • Walk in humble devotion and service to Jesus. As John says, we are not worthy to untie his sandals. He must increase, and we must decrease.

Father God, forgive us for complicating our lives with so many activities and pursuits. Our minds are racing throughout the day with stresses and complications and affections of this world. May our selfish pursuits decrease within our minds and hearts as we open our whole being for You to increase. John reminds of a simple life of Spirit-filled devotion to You and humble service. Cause us to prayerfully consider what we can learn from the example of John. Amen!