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Advent 2012: Day

The birth of john the baptist


Today's Text: Luke 1:57-66

Text: Luke 1:57-66

I can’t hide it. John the Baptizer is absolutely my favorite character in God’s word besides God Himself. The one sent to make way for his Cousin.

The one sent way to prepare hearts for the Messiah.

You know, the slightly off one who lived out in the wilderness.

In Luke 1:66, the people say – “What then will this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.”

Let’s skip to Luke 18 when John is in jail for doing the work that the Father sent Him to do. The same John who was there when the Holy Spirit anointed + appointed Jesus for ministry asks, presumably in a little bit of doubt, Are you the One – Jesus? He knows what he’s seen of Jesus but now he’s in jail and he wants to know – are you the One? Is this worth it?

Have you had a moment like that with the Lord? If not, I don’t think it’s sacrilegious to do so. Because when we really sit down in our human flesh and ask Jesus – are you the One? Are you worth all of this? The answer is always the same. Yes. Absolutely — yes.

Jesus doesn’t berate John – he confirms the prophecy spoken about Himself in Isaiah 61. John – the blind receive sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news preached to them. Blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me – who doesn’t question my plan but sees the fruit of my work and believes.

Then Jesus goes on to say that among those born of women, none is greater than John the Baptizer (Luke 7:28). He loves Him. Even in his doubt.

What then will this child be like, they asked back in Luke 1? He’ll be like us and nothing like us all at once. He’ll be anointed by God for a super special job (unlike any of us) – but he’ll doubt the Lord when it seems he’s been abandoned (like most of us).

And (like us) the hand of the Lord will be with him all the way.

  • Wow, Alison, thanks for sharing! Glad to hear!

    I’m so surprised John didn’t know who his cousin was after he leaped in the womb after Eliz seeing Mary & recognizing the Lord, parents telling him what happened, etc! Gives me hope that when I don’t get what’s going on, John didn’t either.

  • Yes, John doubted. He was trapped in a prison in dire circumstances. Who wouldn’t doubt? We too can be trapped in a prison, of circumstances, of lies. I was trapped for many years by poor self image. I felt that I was never quite good enough for God, missing the fact that it was never about what I could do or be, but all about what he had already done for me. I rejected the lie of satan that God could not love me or want to do things in and for me. Then God showed me just how much he is my father, my heavenly “daddy Yahweh ” . I was disabled and in pain with a neurological disorder for 22 years, imprisoned by my circumstance. There was nothing I or the Drs could do. Morphine, neuro drugs, wheelchairs and carers were my life. Then suddenly, and despite promises of healing, unexpectedly, He stepped into that prison and set me free. No more pain, no more drugs, I can now not only walk I can run, jump, move , eat gluten! Even cleaning the house is fun(though I’m sure the fun of that will wear off eventually!). Now looking to God to see what is next. It’s amazing but also scary at times- such a change, so many possibilities – a job, children? God didn’t do this for me because I’m special, or filled with amazing faith. He did this because he is Love. And I marvel at it and thank and praise him for all he has done and is doing.

  • It is very comforting to know even John had moments of doubt.

  • I too am amazed how God has changed my life! The funny thing is He was changing me before I even realized it! Now, I look back and realize He did those things….not ME! He changed my heart first and then He started working on this and that that needed it. Hey, I'm still changing! The last 32 years have been so different than I could have imagined…my family is forever changed because of it and I praise God with all my heart!

  • Charliie


    I am so happy you were able to open up and pour your heart out to Him! I can just amazing God smiling down happy that His Child is finally letting Him in. Letting Him help, He wants to help us! He just wants us to invite Him in. By you being open and just honest, you are saying: Lord, I need You, I can’t do this on my own!

    I’m so happy for you because I know how it feels to just cry, vent and be so hurt. And not truly know what to say or how to say. But you be strong for so long, you don’t know how to just be free! But you did it ! You did ! I pray that God continue give you the peace in your heart and mind, allowing you to put all your faith in Him! Those tears was the cleanse to renew you! You are blessed because you belong to Him! Pray without ceasing and have faith! You will do amazing things, believe !

  • Charliie

    I too struggled with this same thoughts. I just got baptized earlier this year and officially gave my life to Christ. I must say it is tough breaking habits but prayer helps. When you fall short pray and ask God to help you forgive yourself. The fact that you can says shows how much you love The Lord. As someone mentioned, works does not give us grace. It is by our faith that we are saved and forgiven of our sins! You are a Christian and like all of us, you are a work in progress be thankful for that. I recommended this book Unmerited Favor by Joseph Prince. I read that book and it has changed my life ! It had helped me want and need to feed my spirit with the word of God. I no longer feel the need to go to other people for what the word says but I actually pick it up myself. I pray that God guides you with your temptation and your weaknesses. But please dwell on those strengths you have . I am sure God has already been making changes in your life, take notice, be thankful and be aware; He is not done with you yet! May you be blessed and enjoy these holiday seasons! You are His Child.

  • Brittany

    Hello, everyone! I just wanted to comment on this and say that I've had some things going on in my life that have caused be to doubt and given be anxiety and I've been trying really hard to pray about it. Well last night I finally really opened up and prayed with my whole heart like God was just a passenger a car. I cried and vented about all my frustrations. The crazy thing is, every time I would go to "whine" about my situation, the words wouldn't come out. All the would come out is apologies for my doubts and lack of faith. I stumbled through the whole thing because I don't open up like that nearly as much as a I should. However, I did it. And it felt amazing. Afterwards, I felt this overwhelming sense of confidence that God would get me through all of this (not that I would get myself through it) if I just have faith in him because it is HIS will. Next, another situation was put on my heart. Because of my doubts, I had signed myself up for some individual training for what I had anxiety about because I didn't think I would be able to pass. After this wonderful prayer, it was put on my heart to cancel this training because it was just another sign of my lack of faith. When I called to cancel the training, the instructor said he was going to call me today anyways because he wasn't going to make it either due to a situation in his life. Wow, sisters! What a sign! God is blessing me with much stronger faith and he's ready to test me with it. January 9th I will get to prove my faith in him and use the strength/courage/talents that God has blessed me with to pass and get through this situation! Amazing! I just really wanted to share this story. :)

    • operastevie

      Hi Brittany, I came to know Jesus when I was 33 and next May I will turn 70. My life without Jesus would have been meaningless even though I have gone through some really tough times. As I grow in Him I get younger in the Spirit and older in my body. Any pain I have gone through has been worth it all. My husband left me 35 years into our marriage but I never would have known Jesus the way I do if he hadn't. That was almost 15 years ago but I have forgiven him and pray that some day our marriage and family will be restored. He Skypes me quite often and we have a good relationship. Jesus is so good as a husband while my earthly one is a prisoner of war (prisoner of the devil) . Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me. Whatever you are going to be going through on January 9th He will be with you and will get you through it. May the strength of His Holy Spirit be with you on that day and forever.

  • Wow what an amazing passage. Just by giving him a name people knew amazing things were planned for John! I love knowing that God has also got great plans for us too, my prayer is that others will look at me and know I am his child. That I am the person I am because God is living in me!

  • In the wake of everything in Sandy Hook I can't help but get stuck on the last few lines of what you ladies have written, amazed by how God was with you as you wrote these words way before everything.

    " but he’ll doubt the Lord when it seems he’s been abandoned (like most of us).

    And (like us) the hand of the Lord will be with him all the way."

    A lot of people are feeling abandoned, or don't understand. There are many questions. Lots of doubt. Pain.

    But God is with us all the way.

    Immanuel. God is With Us.

  • Just wanted to say thank you to those that have been praying for me. I have my mammogram today at 2:30 EST. I’m nervous but trusting God.

    I’m really thankful for this Advent reading plan. I have learned a lot from it.

  • Good morning from Hawaii everyone. Love waking up and knowing that no matter what we do God is always there with me and for me. Knowing he is there even when I “feel” he isn’t somehow just brings peace to me.

    Peace & Blessings!

  • Jessica I

    Terri. You believe Christ is your savior then you are a true Christian. Like Grace says, we all fall short every day. I know I do. That’s what makes us human. But what separates us from others is our faith in God and our Savior Jesus. Know you are not alone and pray always, for God does listen to us.

    And with questions, we all have questions. Again it all falls back to our faith. Our faith in God and our faith in Jesus our Savior. That’s what being a Christian is all about. I don’t have to have physical proof that God exists because He is all around us. I just know He us there for all who seek Him. God bless you all today and every day!!!

  • I love that bit about Jesus loving John…even when he doubted. How reassuring for me…that Jesus loves me too…even when I'm not so sure of what's going on or what He's doing..even when I have doubts. What a relief and a blessing to know that He loves me anyway:)

  • Good Morning all! Woke up late, forgot to set clock. So still in bed reading God’s word.

    Miracles…hmmm….the people were astounded and believed because of Elizabeth giving birth at such a “mature” age, or when Zacharias’ tongue became loosed and they all wondered what great and mighty things would this little baby boy named John do, who had obviously been touched by the Hand of God.

    Miracles….I need a miracle today. I bet many of us need a miracle of some sort….a job, health, bills, relationships (there’s a big one), or maybe with our own self-doubt. God has His mighty Hand on each of us today and He will still make miracles happen, everyday. Believe, have faith, and you will receive : )

    • Amy

      I needed to hear that this morning, Sheshe. It's amazing how God uses each of us to speak words to each other. I am so thankful for this community.

  • Stephanie,

    I love what you said about what God would say to you “there is nothing between you and I but yourself” I find that very true because we can always find reasons not to do something God wants us to do and do stuff instead of what the world wants. We need to be strong and faithful and believe that God will see us through everything Terri we all fall short of him everyday but remember He will never leave us not forsake us!!

  • Just a note for anyone else looking for the Luke 18 passage, it’s actually Luke 7.

  • Teri we have all failing short and no one is perfect. There are stories and stories of Gods chosen one failing at some point, but God’s grace is renewed every morning. Seek his grace and repent and you will be renewed. That’s was Christmas is the time to reflect that Jesus died so that we could come to the Father boldly and ask for forgiveness. Jesuse died to pay the price for sins. If you accepted Jesus as your savior and believe his word you are a follower of Christ therefore you are. Christian.


  • Terri V.

    Good morning Sisters in Christ! Happy Advent Season. Father God! You are all powerful and merciful, open our hearts and minds to thoroughly understand and live your word today.

    I was saved in Nov. Of 2010 and still have questions…can someone shed some light for me…
    1. I am not a true Christian because I fail to live rightiously, from time to time I may allow my anger with the flesh get to me and don’t see people as the lord wanna me to…or i pick up a cigarette after the lord cleansed me of that nasty habit…or because I have failed to find a place of worship …. I AM SORRY Lord for offending you.

    I would appreciate any wisdom you could share your humble sister in Christ,


    • Grace

      Terri I am not a wise scholar, but I do know that your faith in Jesus Christ is what makes you a Christian . Not works. And the fact that you want to live a life for Christ , is a good indication that you are a "true" Christian, God bless you. We all struggle.

    • StephanieR

      What Fran (below) said is true but, also, remember, there is a unseen war going on around us. Although, Satan knows who you belong to, he wants to drag you down and cause you to doubt! He is the father of lies and would like nothing better than to see you stumble and fall! It helps me to picture this because then I can tell satan, "get behind me! you are NOT winning this war–God is the victor and you are not pulling me down with you!" Then turn and look fully into God's face waiting patiently for you! As many times as I fail when I turn around and look at God's face He is there waiting–with love and I can just imagine a smile!

      I imagine Him saying" I love you! there is nothing between you and I but yourself! When you come to me and seek me I will be there! I send my son, that tiny baby, to love you, also! And He has paid the price–paid in full! there is nothing left undone!"

      Thank you, God! For allowing your Son to pay the price for me!

      • Lois Capossela

        Well said my sister! God is loving and forgiving though we may fall a thousand times, He is always there to help us up and keep us on track! God bless you all, Merry Christmas!

      • operastevie

        Thank you for your comment StephanieR. I am StephanieM (Operastevie) I am finding this method of reading God's Word so amazing. I seem to be able to write things our that I never thought I could. You said it perfectly about being in a war. I have been asking the Lord's direction about going to Berlin to pray for a church plant with my church which I believe He has confirmed to me. He gave me a vision yesterday that I wrote down and it coincides with what you said about going to war. Here is my vision that could be for all of our lives.
        December 20, 2012
        I saw a man dressed in soldier fatigues I think getting into a helicopter
        or it seemed as though he was crouched in an attach position with an assault rifle.

        I felt it meant that we were heading to Germany to do spiritual warfare because as Canadians we were following in the footsteps of those who went to war in the second world war to fight against Hitler who definitely belonged to the devil.
        We are going to do Spiritual warfare against this same enemy, the devil by praying for a new church that will spread the good news of Jesus. Our assault rifle will be the Word of God, The Sword of the Spirit.
        We are going to do battle.
        Praise our awesome almighty God, in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

        • StephanieR

          Stephanie, I love that God gave you a vision! He often does that to me to help me understand what He is trying to tell me! (sort of like a parable) . Last night He showed me a picture of people holding cups (I know not as exciting as yours!) every cup was different–some small, some large, some fancy, some plain. Every cup was being filled with Love (His love). His message to me was this, "See everyone is different–everyone brings something different to me–I want to fill each cup with my love but sometimes they are already filled and there is no room for my love!" I know He was telling me that I must empty myself so He can fill to the brim my "cup" with His love! What a wonderful way for God to speak to us!

          • operastevie

            Thanks again Stephanie. That was a wonderful vision. You are so right that sometimes our lives are so full that we forget to give room for God to speak to us! I am really learning a lot through this reading plan. After this one is finished I am going to do one of the other She Reads Truth: plans. I really love how we can interact like this. I am also doing Seeking God, a 25 day plan and read through the Bible in a year historically. Since starting these plans I don't seem to be able to get enough. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and much good time with Jesus in the New Year.

          • StephanieR

            Stephanie, I see below you are older like me! It is nice to hear from someone near my age (60). I see you have had life problems like me (husband left). It is great how God links people up! I, also, am doing many Bible studies and cannot get enough! I am different from you in that I became a Christian when
            I was seven but around 30 walked away for 20+ years. I am back and loving my God who has forgiven! He has given me the "mission field" of my work which is a large hotel and a project to supply baby quilts for homeless and displaced children in Colorado where I live–He is so wonderful! I will pray for you and your trip to Germany!

  • Sandrine

    Thank you Abba for Your grace and merci, even though I may fall and doubt a million times: they remain from everlasting to everlasting!

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