Advent: Preparing for Jesus – Zechariah’s Prayer (Part 2)
December 13, 2019
“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Zechariah’s song of praise began with a focus on the promised Messiah. He was also pleased and grateful for his son being born. In the second part of his song, with thanksgiving, he takes note of his son’s purpose.
The proud father said that his son would:
Point people to Jesus. Like the prophets of old, John would be called “a prophet of the Most High.”
Prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry on earth. John would go before the Lord to make a clear path for Him.
Remind people of their need for salvation. John would boldly speak of sin and the need for rescue.
Show people the way of forgiveness. John would share God’s tender mercy, by which those living in the shadow of death would find the path of peace.
God was with John as he grew and “became strong in spirit.”
Father, thank You for a man like John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus. Let me be a preparer of the way as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
For parents: Zechariah’s song provides a “heart-check” for every parent. We want success and top billing for our children. Are we willing, like Zechariah, to burst forth in praise when God calls our children to take on the role of John the Baptist? Later, John said that his influence must decrease so that Jesus’ influence could increase. Are you willing to allow your children to have a “John the Baptist” assignment? Share your thoughts on this at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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