Jan 28

Rev Gav

Prophecy

Luke 1:16-17 – Today, we can meet the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, and it changes everything.

Luke 1:16-17

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.

One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”

19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long. 22 When he finally did come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary.

23 When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home. 24 Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. 25 “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”

Reflect

There was this idea in the Old Testament – the traditional collection of books from the Jewish people — that one day God’s special agent or Christ would come. This ‘anointed one’ of God would rescue the Jewish nation from its enemies and so the people lived in this hope.

However, the prophets predicted that before the Messiah or Christ turned up, a great prophet called Elijah would return and that Elijah would lead and prepare the way for the coming king. In this part of the story, the angel told Zechariah that this would be the job of his son John. John would be the expected Elijah, not literally, but John would be a great prophet and an earthly messenger. The message of John would be, ‘Get ready for the king!’ John would also give people the opportunity to get ready too.

So far, Zechariah had received two bits of exciting news. Firstly, despite being old, he was going to have a baby, and secondly, the long-awaited Messiah was going to turn up! And the two things were connected because John was going to be the prophet who announced that the King was arriving, and would help the people to prepare. At this point I expect Zechariah might’ve needed a lie down!

It’s hard for us to get our head around, but the second bit of good news is as exciting for us as it was for Zechariah. King Jesus is coming? We can meet him? Here and now?

Do

Ask God to fill you with a renewed sense of excitement that, today, you can meet the Messiah – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray

Holy God
Thank you that I can meet king Jesus today.
Fill me with a fresh sense of excitement
about Jesus, and the ministry of his followers.
And help me be always ready
to love and serve you.
This day and for ever.
Amen.

Think

Think of an occasion when you won a prize or were selected for something special. How did it make you feel? Have you ever felt this way about Jesus?

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