Zechariah’s Praise - A New Name - Luke 1:62-72
December 20, 2022, 8:27 AM

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:  68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant,

What were Zechariah’s first words in nine months? He praised the Lord, the God of Israel. I think the angel had struck Zechariah deaf as well as dumb because in verse 62 it says they communicated to him with signs instead of speech. I think gradually in the silence of those months, when he could not converse with his wife or friends, Zechariah began to see what was happening. It began to sink into his head and heart that these were stupendous, unrepeatable, incredibly significant days that got everyone talking.

He was to change the custom of naming this son by his own name and instead gave him a new name. God has often given people different names. Names meant something in the Bible. Simon’s name was changed to Peter, the Rock. Saul’s name was changed to Paul meaning small or humble. Abram’s name, the exalted father, was changed to Abraham, the father of many or father of nations.

The angel told Zechariah his son shall be called Johanan or gracious, because he shall introduce the gospel of Christ, wherein God's grace shines more brightly than ever.

A new name is symbolic of a new covenant, a new arrangement with God, that is not by the law but by grace. God's plan in the beginning was always to create for Himself a people with whom He could share His life. We begin to see this clearly in God's relationship with Abraham. God comes to Abraham and does something with him that becomes the norm for God establishing a relationship with someone. He establishes a covenant, as talked about in verse 72.

God's part of the promise was that He would fulfill the covenant and redeem His people by bringing His Messiah into the world. This Messiah would bring God's people back to Him. As he said, "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people" (Jeremiah 31:33).

Some of you have heard the gospel song, “There is a new name written up in glory and its mine, yes Lord it’s mine.” I’m glad God not only knows our name, but will give us a new name.. Rev 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”

The new name reminds us of the new covenant and our relationship with Christ is based on this new covenant. His body was broken and we eat the covenant meal as we partake of communion, and we remember that God has bound Himself to us in covenant love. This is our faithful God. It is not based on law but on grace and that is the name of this baby, grace or gracious. A new name for a new beginning of a new work of God in coming to earth to save. Each of us will have a new and special name given by our Father.

Application: What is your favorite hymn or song of praise to the Lord? What is it that reminds you of your relationship to Him, or His character? Trying looking it up and make that your prayer or song of praise today.

Prayer: Pray your song of praise today