The Birth of John the Baptist: Luke 1:56-57
1. God’s Promise is Veracious
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home. 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. Luke 1:56-58 (ESV
God’s promises are veracious, or true, which means they will most certainly come to pass.
56 “Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant. 1 Kings 8:56 (ESV)
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy;
Psalm 111:7 (ESV)
The birth of John the Baptist removed the awful stigma that overcast Elizabeth’s life, and her neighbors and family rejoiced with her in God’s great mercy.
2. God’s Purpose is Gracious
59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. Luke 1:59-63 (ESV)
The name “John” means “God is gracious.” and that concept paired with the meaning of Elizabeth’s name “my God has sworn” and Zacharias’ name “God remembers” speaks to the faithfulness of God’s gracious purposes.
Elizabeth showed great obedience under peer pressure in insisting that the name of the child be John, as was directed by the angel.
22 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22 (ESV)
3. God’s Power is Wondrous
64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 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. Luke 1:64-66 (ESV)
The word “immediately” reflects the power of God displayed in relation to the faith of Zachariah.
The neighbors responded to the power of God with fear when they realized that God had worked in their midst.
The purpose of these miraculous events led to the question “What then will this child be?” a question that anticipates his role as herald and preparer for the Messiah.
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14 (ESV)