the birth of john the baptist foretold



Luke 1:5-45

BY Hayley Morgan

Text: Luke 1:5-45

The Birth of John the Baptist is Foretold to Zechariah

Reflection

The birth of John the Baptist is one of my favorite parts of Scripture. It reads like an amalgam of so many wonderful stories.

It has a hint of the story of Sarah and Abraham, as Elizabeth and Zechariah are also an elderly, barren couple. It has the feel the divine revelation Mary would have with her pregnancy with Jesus. There is even a run-in with the royal family, when newly pregnant Mary comes for some mentoring from the very pregnant Elizabeth. Scripture says John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb at the nearness of the Lord, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

God was up to some incredible things. Those times of waiting were full of unknowns, yet held a palpable excitement. Waiting always carries tension. I would imagine that Elizabeth (and Mary) went to their Father many times a day, asking for the strength to remain faithful, the eyes to see the miracle, and the heart to bear the responsibility of stewarding His good gifts.

Think of times of waiting and tension in your own life, times when you don’t know what God is orchestrating in your life. In those times of the in-between, are you not drawn closer to God because He is the only sure thing?

He is sure and certain, in times of waiting and tension, excitement and expectation. We can rest confidently in His goodness and nearness.

Prayer

God, give us strength to remain faithful, eyes to see the miracle of Jesus’s birth, and the heart to bear the responsibility of stewarding the good gifts you’ve given us. Help us draw near to you in our waiting, our excitement, and our expectation. Amen.

Advent Action

When you find yourself waiting at different times today – for the car to warm up, the oven timer to ding, the kids to fall asleep, the red light to turn green – think on Christ. Do not reach for your phone, do not jot down a list. Simply sit in the tension of the waiting and know that He is good.

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For an added layer of worship and study, we chose a beloved Christmas song for each day of our Advent plan. We invite you to listen to Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” today as we dwell on the truth of God’s word together.

Post Comments (23)

23 thoughts on "the birth of john the baptist foretold"

  1. Carla says:

    I have been struck by the idea from this story that "Nothing is impossible for God" all season long. During the first week of Advent a family led our scripture reading as we lit the wreath and asked us to continue to be brave enough to ask God for what see,s impossible, for the longings in your heart that remain unanswered. This has stuck with me more than anything during this Advent season of waiting.

  2. Charise says:

    I an struck by two small scriptures that are just kind of wedged in among the story. Luke 1:37 “For no word from God will ever fail.” And the very last one. A special verse for the ladies. Luke 1:45 “Blesssed is she who has believed that The Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” God has promises for each of us. He knows us. Sees us. Has promises for us in whatever situation we are in today no matter how lonely frustrating or desperate. He blesses us just for believing him and even if we don’t he emphatically states that his promises are sure and true and will never fail. Praise be to God. He is faithful in the waiting.

  3. Jess says:

    My church does a song that I just love for the times of waiting…
    "In my waiting…In my leaving… In my asking… In my receiving…
    Though I wonder
    What you're doing
    I'm still choosing
    To believe in the meantime" https://soundcloud.com/lcbc-worship/in-the-mean-t

    1. Mandy says:

      Jess! This is wonderful and exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you :-)

  4. Carolynmimi says:

    But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. (Luke 1:13 NIV)

    God answers prayers we have long forgotten
    God answers prayers we have dismissed as unanswered
    Or even denied

    When do you think Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up hope for a child of their own? When do you think their last prayer for a child was uttered or even fleetingly crossed their minds with any genuine hope of conception.

    And Yet, Gabriel clearly told Zechariah, "your prayer has been heard."

    On this Sunday morning, consider the prayers once prayed fervently, pleadingly that have never been answered or that you see no possible way the answer could be yes. Those prayers on a shelf, dusty, maybe even bitter reminders, you think, of God's "No's", those entreaties with squashed hopes, sometimes these very prayers are the ones God uses to demonstrate that our timing, our reasoning, our finite minds cannot begin to understand all He desires to bring out of the barren spots in our lives.

    God does not forget any prayer. Just look at Zechariah and Elizabeth. He savors them as he works in us to make us ready for His ANSWER!

    1. Joyngrace says:

      Beautiful and so true. Amen.

    2. AnnaLee says:

      So needed to hear these words today. Thank you!

  5. Jayne Caldwell says:

    My husband entered Heaven a year and a half ago and I find this second year of aloneness worse than the first. I am so thankful for the nearness of God and for the fact that he is good…all the time. I know it is to him alone that I can turn to when it still feels like my world is falling apart and that he is "sure and certain."

    1. brandi says:

      Praying for you Jayne. I have no words that can really make you feel better. I wish I did, but they all sound empty. But I know the One Who gives all comfort and so do you! So lifting you up to Him today! I love you my sister!

    2. Jess says:

      My husband too entered Heaven, almost 4 years ago. The second year was definitely harder than the first – but it does get "easier". Easier is not the right word, but I think you understand. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. There are still days that I end up a puddle of tears, but those are much fewer and farther between. God is always near. God is always good. God is always listening. Sending prayers your way today!

    3. Lea says:

      My husband went to Heaven almost ten years ago! I still miss him so much. A friend told me to write my feelings down and then answer them with the Bible passages. It helped so much, God's word is so helpful in all our times of need. May His strength and peace be with you. And know that you have our understanding and love with you.

  6. Anita says:

    I want to add something here but am at a loss to get it squeezed down into words. So I'll just repeat what I heard in my heart: Pay attention to the goodness of God and give Him thanks.

  7. Tricia says:

    I have always loved the text of the baby John leaping in the womb at the sound of Mary's voice. It is so joyful.

    Yes, waiting for God's plans to show themselves. So hard to just wait and not force something to happen myself. I learn this truth over and over again. Let God do it, as His power and wisdom is infinite. Trust Him. Wait on Him daily.

  8. Candacejo says:

    I try to imagine Mary's anticipation and HER waiting season….I cannot fathom! And only Elizabeth and Joseph to share it with! Who else would believe her?! She was to give birth to the Messiah…it did not seem possible but yet it was true…

    Oh the waiting! How we struggle in the waiting season! But Hayley is so right…we will draw closer to Almighty God in our season of waiting if we will allow Him to speak to us in this quiet time. When He is all we have, He is all we need! There is so much to be learned in a valley that we will never find on the mountaintop. Take time to listen, take time to be still…

    1. Mandy says:

      This is beautifully written Candace! I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for your words today.

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