The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
Pastor Ron Johnson
The Gospel of Luke was written somewhere around ___ ____ by a man who we know to be a _______________ and ________ ________________ of the Apostle Paul.
Luke wrote what we're about to read this morning as he was _____________ __________ by the Spirit of God (2 Pet 1:21).
Luke 1:5-25 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,17 and he will 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 for the Lord a people prepared.” 18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple.22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute.23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Both Zechariah (whose name means Jehovah Has Remembered) & his wife, Elizabeth, came from the priestly tribe of ___________ and as we saw in the text, were Godly people described as ____________ before God walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statues of the Lord.
We know (according to v 7), that this couple was __________ in years & apart from an act of God, there was no hope for Elizabeth to EVER have a child...
But the God of the _____________ had a different plan.
The _________ ________ and __________ so commonly associated with not being able to have a child finally be a thing of the ________ for him and Elizabeth.
And NOT ONLY was the angel’s news… GOOD NEWS… it was GOOD NEWS __________ _______.
When Gabriel delivered this message to Zechariah FROM GOD, it was the first time in _______ ________ that God had spoken to His people.
Not only was God going to give Zechariah and the barren Elizabeth the child they had certainly PRAYED for and LONGED for, but He was going to give him an INCREDIBLY __________ _________.
Zechariah's son would be ___________ with the Holy Spirit… _________ __________ (quite literally from the time he was in the womb) and according to the angel, he’d TURN MANY OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL BACK TO THE LORD!
According to Gabriel, Zechariah and Elizabeth’s son would radically change the way home life would be conducted within the nation… prompting fathers to _______ ____ to their call to be Godly, responsible men and fathers and causing _____________ __________ to obey their fathers, mothers and God
And John was sent to do these things IN ORDER THAT he might __________ ____ ______ for the coming of Jesus Christ.
And How did Zechariah (a man righteous before God… walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statues of the Lord) respond to the 1st direct message from God in 400 years? _____________
You see... Zechariah should have known that God could easily create ________ within his wife's barren womb... His God was the ___________ _______.
The very God who would one day __________ His Son from the dead... giving life to a body that had laid 3 days in the tomb
Prompts for Personal Reflection / Application
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
1) What stands out to you most about the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth?
2) Why do you think this couple’s story and the coming of John the Baptist is so closely connected to the “Christmas story” in Scripture? What was so important about John’s role?
3) Did Zechariah’s response to the words of an angel of the Lord surprise you? If so why or why not? Can you relate to his response?
4) Take a moment to pray in response to how God spoke to you today through His Word. Is there anything that encouraged or strengthened you? Anything you need to confess, repent of (and in His strength) begin doing differently?