Let’s recount St. Luke’s history up to this point. The birth of John the Baptist was foretold to his father, Zechariah the priest, as he was performing his duty of burning incense in the Temple at the hour of prayer. Suddenly an angel appears to Zechariah and announces that his barren wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a son whose name is to be John and who will turn many of the Children of Israel back to God. Zechariah questions the message of the angel, to which the angel states that Zechariah will be mute until the time of the fulfillment of his message.
Six months later, the same angel, Gabriel, appears to Mary to announce that she will be the mother of the Promised Messiah. Mary accepts her assignment humbly, but then hurries to her relative, Elizabeth, who immediately recognizes Mary as the mother of the Messiah, and whose baby leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb at the appearance of Mary, now pregnant with Jesus. The joy in the house is verbalized with Mary’s song of praise to God, also called the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).
Mary’s visit with Elizabeth lasts for three months, just as Elizabeth is ready to give birth. When she does, the relatives arrive to share in the joy and to be a part of the naming of this boy at his circumcision. But when the relatives want to name the boy Zechariah after his father, Elizabeth insists that his name is to be John, despite there being no relative with that name. Unwilling to accept Elizabeth’s choice, the relatives turn to Zechariah, who writes that the boy’s name will be John. And as the angel predicted, Zechariah immediately regains his voice. The Holy Spirit fills Zechariah and prophesying through him that through John’ ministry, God’s promises of deliverance from their enemies will be initiated as he prepares the way for the coming Messiah, who will bring salvation, forgiveness of sins, and light, the deliverance that they need the most.
Read Luke 1:57-80
How does this story remind us who God is, God’s Character?
Can you think of another character in the Bible who originally disobeyed God but who went back and fixed their mistake? If so who are you thinking of? Share.
Think back to a time in your life you had to deal with adversity… This may or may not be similar to the way Zechariah had to deal with being mute. What was the situation? How did you eventually get through it? Discuss this with one another.
Share with your family. What is one way you have seen God at work in your life this week?
(This can be as small as a connection with a friend, but consider how God might be working in and through your life on a daily basis.)