A New Hope - Luke 1:76-80
December 22, 2022, 11:23 AM

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”  80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Zechariah moves from addressing God in praise to addressing his newborn son in his arms, “You will be called a prophet of the Most High.”. What an honor to know in advance you are especially chosen by God to declare truth and revival to your people. You will prepare the way for the Messiah. What a privilege for John and for his parents who probably didn't live to see that day due to their age.

Although they were thinking of political salvation from the oppressors, there was a need for moral salvation. Salvation by facing sins and repenting of them. It has more than national rebirth. It was to be a spiritual rebirth.

One commentator said, "It’s not what the child is that made him important, but what the child says- a prophet through whom someone else is meant to speak. That is the task that God indeed prepares for each of us." God is no longer working through priest and sacrifices for us to come before His holy throne. We are prophets telling forth the good news of Jesus Christ that He came to save people from their sins. We are the new priests representing God to men and men to God.

The Old Testament prophets could say with hope. “Someday He will come. God will visit us and we will be redeemed. Someday, God will keep His promise.”, but now John would say, "Listen people the one we were looking for is here. He is at hand. Hear him and follow him".   

Prophets pay a price for proclaiming truth. John was lonely as he spoke in a wilderness and had to eat locust and wild honey. He was denounced also by the Jews and his task was very unpopular. He was also beheaded for his message, but he felt it was worth it all to be used by God.

We know the Lord has a wonderful plan for your life, but realize that plan is to be used for His glory and for our ultimate heavenly blessing. The Lord has the same plan that he had for John in that we are now to be prophets in the New Testament sense speaking forth the Word of God to others of His grace and love.

Applications:  God has wonderful plan for our lives, but the first and foremost plan is for you to know Jesus, trust Him to save you, and forgive your sin. Then you are to be a witness of God’s work in your life and in the world. Are you willing to pay the cost?

Prayer:   Father, only through You and the power of Your Holy Spirit in me can I live a life worthing of this calling.