Read Luke 1:57-66
John arrives, and Zechariah can speak again! What strikes me here is the obedience of this couple. God told them to name the child John, and that’s what they did, despite what others wanted or expected.
We know how easy it can be to “go with the flow”. It takes a strong will at times to persevere and do the right thing. There is so much temptation all around, to stay strong and focused on God is the best way but not always the easiest.
Earlier in Luke, we learned that Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in the eyes of God. They handled their responsibility as God had intended. He knew they would. Yet Zechariah had questioned, so God taught him a lesson, so to speak.
What I thought interesting in this passage today is that the people used hand signals to try and communicate with Zechariah. I thought it was only his speech that was affected, not his hearing. Why didn’t they just ask him what he thought? I don’t know that there is any significance here, but it was something I noticed. (If you know something about the significance, please share in the comments.)
Elizabeth is no longer disgraced in the eyes of her contemporaries, she has a child, a son. And this son isn’t just another newborn. God has distinct plans for John, as was told to Zechariah. Now the people get a glimpse.
“What will this child turn out to be?” The people were curious. The events surrounding his birth had all been so unique and different. Elizabeth had been barren all her life, and suddenly she was with child. She had secluded herself we’re told, so she wasn’t out and about rejoicing. And, her husband couldn’t speak. That had to be the strangest phenomenon of all.
“For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.” Indeed. John would bring many people back to the Lord. He would prepare the hearts of all to receive Jesus, their long awaited savior.
God’s hand is on each of us as well. We have a divine purpose, too. Maybe our birth wasn’t as memorable, but God does have a plan for each one of us. It is our job to recognize God working inside us. He is there, alive and ready to work through us. Do you feel him? Do you sense his leading?
Let’s pray. Lord of lords I come to you on bended knee. Forgive me when I forge ahead and don’t wait to listen for your voice. I thank you that you have worked with the messes I have created in my life when I didn’t listen to you first. Looking back, I see where you tried to correct me, but I didn’t pay attention like Zechariah and Elizabeth did. Forgive me. Looking ahead I see a vibrant path you have laid before me. I trust you will walk with me along the way. Thank you that your hand is upon me, too. In Jesus’ name. Amen.