Zechariah's Song - Luke 1:57-66
December 19, 2022, 9:16 AM

“When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. "

This morning we want to look at Zechariah's story, a priest who was made silent for nine months for not believing Gabriel's good news, that even in old age he and Elizabeth were to have a baby and this baby was the chosen one to prepare the way of the Messiah. He was to call his name John. When John was circumcised, Zechariah was able to get his voice back. He praised the Lord. This is subject of this week's Christmas carol or praise.

Zechariah filled with the Holy Spirit shouting what has come to be known as the “Benedictus”, a song filled with praise of not just his baby, but also what is about to happen with the birth of Jesus. Benedictus is in Latin meaning “the first word”. It is often recited in some churches and at this time of year. Zechariah announced the coming of the Redeemer to keep the covenant promises, yet in new ways.

John is indeed a miracle child, as this one came to Zechariah and Elizabeth in their old age, but was also special because he was a prophet prepared especially by God and prophesied in Malachi.

Interestingly, at the time of the circumcision, others expected this baby to have the name of his father Zechariah. It was the custom that when they circumcised their boys to name them, stemming from when Abram was circumcised, God gave him the new name Abraham. Zachariah gives John a new name different than what was expected. This name is given by none other than the angel Gabriel who tells him to name the baby John.

Perhaps the reason others planned to name him was Zechariah couldn't speak, but when Zechariah took a tablet and wrote His name shall be John, his tongue was loosed. He could speak!

Application:  Spend time praising God that this is all recorded in His Word for us and has raised up a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.   

Prayer: Bless the Lord God of Israel because he has come to help and has delivered his people. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house, just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.

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