Bible Study Lesson from Luke 1:57-80
There is almost almost a clear chain of events leading up to the most extraordinary verses in the Bible.
This link in the Christmas story focuses on the birth of John the Baptist and why he was sent ahead of Jesus.
Christmas Story – Birth of John the Baptist
Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.
And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father.
But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.”
And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.”
And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called.
And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished.
And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.
Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea.
All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him. – Luke 1:57-66 NASB
John The Baptist – Fore-teller of Christ
If you have read the Bible or studied Hebrew history you’ll find that family lines and family names were very important to the Jewish people.
Not a Junior
Everyone just assumed the child would be named after Zechariah – or at least be named after someone in his family.
This is why the people present at the naming were so shocked that both Elizabeth and Zechariah chose to name the boy John, as the angel had told them to do (See Luke 1:13).
Meaning of the Name John
In Biblical terms, the name John means; “God is Gracious“. The name Jesus roughly means; “God saves“.
“We’ll Name Him John”
Zechariah’s relatives talked to him by gestures, because he was apparently deaf as well as speechless and had not heard what his wife had said.
Zechariah praised God with his first words after months of silence.
This passage is about John’s birth but is also a story of obedience to God.
Most people who have a child do not consult God when naming a son or daughter. The child receives a certain name because of the parents wanting that name for their reasons; not God’s.
Yes, I’m guilty too!
Silence is Broken
Zechariah was able to talk instantly after following God’s will to name his child as the angel had instructed. He obeyed. The Bible is full of stories of ordinary people who obeyed God and were blessed.
It is also full of examples depicting people who disobeyed God, bringing hardship and/or death to themselves while bringing continuing problems to generations after them.
Will We Obey?
Which will we choose to do when God asks something of us? I hope we can make the right choice as Zechariah did.
Love in Christ & Merry Christmas!
Learn how to receive the love and life changing experience of Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16 and read all the information.
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version