Luke 1:57–66 (ESV)
The Birth of John the Baptist
57 Now the
time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called
him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him
to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all
these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
Babies are beginning to be born! Today’s reading ia about the birth of John the Baptist. Elizabeth had been barren and advanced in age, but the Lord had shown great mercy to her and they (the neighbors & relatives) rejoiced with
her. Elizabeth is a witness to God’s grace, mercy, and power. She gives birth to the baby. On the eighth day, in compliance with the law, the baby is circumcised. It is Elizabeth that names the child John, in accordance with what
the angel had told her. Zechariah couldn’t speak because he had doubted the Lord. They looked at Zechariah, because they expected the baby to be named after him, but Zechariah wrote on a writing table “His name is John.”
Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and Zechariah could speak again. Zechariah begins by blessing God. What would your first words be if you regained your voice. I would like to think it would be to praise God, but I just
don’t know. When Zechariah spoke, fear come upon all their neighbors. This was the talk of the town and community, as Elizabeth was old and barren had a baby and the father who was mute throughout the pregnancy began speaking again.
The question that all were asking is “What then will this child be?” Why did they ask this? Because the hand of the Lord was with him. We often focus on God creative hand in the creation of Jesus, well today we see how
Elizabeth and Zechariah witness God’s creative hand to relatives and neighbors in the community. Do you have a miracle to share? I do! I have been baptized and my sins have been washed away. This is a washing that can only come
from the Lord, because it is a miracle. Baptism is not what you do for God, it is God who does the washing and forgiving... it is his work in you. This is going to be the ministry of John... pointing people to Jesus and baptizing them. I
pray: Lord, I see your creative power in taking an old and barren woman and producing a baby. I see your power in taking away Zechariah’s voice and then restoring it 9 months later. I see the power as all the relatives and neighbors
witness your power. Lord, you have the power to change hearts and to correct us when we doubt. Help me to never doubt you or to question you... and when I do... teach me to repent and to receive your forgiveness. Amen.