In Luke, chapter one Zechariah questioned and doubted the angel Gabriel’s amazing news that he would have a son, and so his mouth became mute. It is interesting how he doubted God, therefore he wasn’t able to speak until he named his son “John”. Earlier this week I wrote on my blog, seasontheday.blogspot.com, the first part of this post: True to His Word. Today I want to finish writing about Zechariah and the miraculous conception, birth and declaration of His son. So Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife did conceive, God said she would, she was filled with joy and praised God. And we are going to pick up the story after John is born.
“Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” Luke 1:57-61
I just wanted to point out that God had Zechariah & Elizabeth go against the custom and what was normal at that time and name their son “John”. They were questioned by everyone, but yet the stood their ground. Ever feel like that? You are not alone.
“And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. Luke 1:62-64
Oh wow, we are getting to the good stuff here. Ok, the Holy Spirit whispered to me to look up the Hebrew meaning of the name John, and you will see the significance here. John means “Yahweh is Gracious”. So when Zechariah declared “His name is John (Yahweh is Gracious)” His mouth was opened, and THEN he was able to praise and bless God.
When you know the grace of God, and you realize He truly is gracious and merciful (even when you don’t deserve it), you are able to praise, bless and share the good news about Him. We are saved by grace, but God’s grace is much deeper than getting into heaven (which if that was it, that would be enough!) Saved in the Greek actually means (healed, saved, rescued, preserved) By understanding his forgiveness, grace, mercy, justification we truly are rescued. “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.” Colossians 1:6
After Zechariah name John, Yahweh is Gracious, his mouth was opened, he blessed God and He was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. Just another thought, he was full of and heard from the Spirit of God clearly when he believed God, and was trusting in His grace.
He said of John (and I feel it is for all believers, because aren’t we all God’s saints sent to prepare the people for His return?)
And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.” Luke 1:67-80
This is what stuck out to me, as I was challenged to be sharing this same message.
-God has raised up a horn or salvation (powerful deliverance) in the house of his servant David (Jesus!)
-Saved from our enemies
-God remembers his holy covenant he swore to Abraham (very important we study the Abrahamic covenant which is what we are now under, Paul mentions this in Romans 4 as well, and we are under the new covenant.)
-That we might serve Him without fear! (When you know his love, your previous fear of judgment and condemnation turns to praise and worship him.)
-Serve God in holiness and righteousness (knowing we have been set apart and declared righteous in His sight, because of Jesus’ blood and by our faith in Him) we can truly serve Him!
-Give knowledge of salvation (greek definition- welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety) IN THE FORGIVENESS OF THEIR SINS. (The deliverance comes when we know we are forgiven!)
-Jesus will guide our feet into the way of peace!
Wow! What a declaration! I am praying that every believer can share these incredible truths as God is calling His church to prepare for His return. Prepare the way of the Lord and remember always let this be on your lips “Yahweh is Gracious!”
About the Author: Hi my name is Amber, and I am the author of seasontheday.blogspot.com. At Season The Day I hope to encourage families to live an abundant life. As I venture through this life as a wife, mother, daughter and friend, I aspire to embolden others to step out of their comfort zone in their faith, to try new things, to get creative in the way we spend our time, and to be content in whatever season of life God has us. I love the adventure that comes from being a follower of Jesus. I hope you will join me in "spicing up" the choices we make for our families by adding a little "seasoning". Let's keep things interesting, after all Jesus does say "You are the salt of the earth..." Matthew 5:13