Day 20

The Birth of John the Baptist

from the The Birth of John the Baptist reading plan


Luke 1:57-80

BY Hayley Morgan

Text: Luke 1:57-80

Not everyone’s holidays are filled with family, cozy fires, plaid flannel blankets, and presents under the tree. For some of us, the holidays bring the pain of knowing someone is missing. Or a reminder of a hope gone unfulfilled. Some of us have strained relationships, and all those family gatherings just highlight the tension we keep under wraps the rest of the year.

As a teenager, my life with my dad was not easy. For a whole list of reasons, we struggled to see good in each other, we felt a loss of trust and, honestly, I felt a loss of love. This continued for years unchecked, and the holidays always made it extra apparent to me that things were not as I hoped they’d be. I would picture my girlfriends going back to their family homes and arriving to hugs and cheers from their father, excited to celebrate Christmas together.

My Christmases have never been bright in that cozy familial way, but when I read about the birth of a tiny John the Baptist, I remember all over again that our hope is not in our earthly father but in our Heavenly Father who loves us without end.

As we’ve already read, John the Baptist’s earthly father was Zechariah. I can only imagine that Zechariah was overcome with joy to be a dad, because Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth had all but given up on ever becoming parents. John was a long awaited baby who had joy-filled parents.

In Luke 1, we see Zechariah speak truth and hope over his son. He prophesies that John will turn people away from darkness and towards the light. He tells of the way that John will usher Jesus in and prepare the way. It is powerful. It is loving. It is mighty.

Can you imagine if your father spoke such life over you? Maybe it’s hard for you to imagine because your earthly father is angry or aloof. Or maybe you don’t know your father at all.

But our God, He turns earthly things upside down. We don’t have to hang our hope on our fathers—or anyone—here on Earth. Your Heavenly Father has already spoken words of hope and joy and freedom into your life. He has made you in His image and He wants to redeem your life through Christ. He has made unfathomable promises over you! He calls us a “people of his own possession,” a royal priesthood. He says that Jesus reigns and that He’ll come back for us.

When I read these words from Zechariah, I think, How magnificent to have a father who loves you so ferociously that he’d proclaim truth over you. But then I remember, I do have a Father who does that! He has already saved me, He has already planned for me good works to do in His name, and He loves me fiercely.

Just like Zechariah proclaimed over a tiny baby John, these things are true because of God’s mercy and God’s goodness, and for God’s glory. What hope we have in this season knowing that we have a Father who has spoken life over us, through Christ!

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For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!

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Post Comments (78)

78 thoughts on "The Birth of John the Baptist"

  1. Jasmine says:

    This devotional is definitely relatable for me. Growing up, my earthly dad was wonderful. He was a leader in our Church and he always lead me to the throne of Christ – even when I was just a toddler. When I was a little girl, I never thought I’d meet a man as great and godly as my dad. This has since changed. When I was 15, my dad started questioning whether God existed. He stopped going to church and his godly character slowly deteriorated. He has since adopted atheism and a worldly lifestyle to go with it. His choices, and sometimes his words, break my heart. I long desperately to go to him and be led to the throne of God once again, but that will not happen. I’m 22 now, and only recently has God shown me that I have to grieve the spiritual death of my earthly father. It’s been difficult, but through this, I have been able to experience my Heavenly Father in a personally unprecedented way! I’m still struggling, hurting, praying, loving, and healing – but God is so gracious through it all!

    1. Kasey Tuggle says:

      Praying for peace for you and for your earthly Father to come back to Jesus! Ephesians 3:20-21 God can do FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY than we could ever ask or imagine!

  2. Cristina Starr says:

    I loved everything about this devotional! I so can relate to not have a cozy familial Christmas experience year after year and how amazing it is to have a God who restores to us what we’ve always longed for through who He is in our lives and what He did on a cross for our sins. Having God as our father makes every Christmas that much more merrier and brighter!

  3. Sarah says:

    Right before I read this, I was praying for my dad because we’ve had a lot of problems as a family lately that have been building up over the past years. I cried reading this because it amazed me how God was there right away to answer my prayers and to comfort me. SO thankful for a Heavenly Father that loves so deeply and fiercely when my earthly father doesn’t. Thank you, SRT.

  4. JulieDPT says:

    I love my earthly father but he unfortunately does not show affection. We live approximately seven hours away and he has only come to my home once in the past 14 years. I have tried very hard to go and see him every other year. It wears me out mentally/emotionally to seem to be the only one putting forth effort to develop a relationship with him. It gives me comfort knowing I have a heavenly father who loves me unconditionally.
    ……. ” How magnificent to have a father who loves you so ferociously that he’d proclaim truth over you. But then I remember, I do have a Father who does that! He has already saved me, He has already planned for me good works to do in His name, and He loves me fiercely. “.

    1. Reggiemama says:

      Oh Julie my heart goes out to you. I too have s strained relationship with my father. He recently was hospitalized and I told him that I loved him and he said I love you. That’s the first time in my 57 years of life that I recall him saying those three words

  5. drasch says:

    This has touched me so deeply. Thank you for the reminder that our worthiness cannot be determined by an imperfect man… And the reminder to build up our daughters (and sons) and speak strong words of blessing over them. I want my girl (and boys) to feel the strong love of their earthly father so that they have the tiniest inkling of the grand love of their Heavenly Father.

    1. Daisy says:

      Drasch your so right what a great reminder that we are a tiny example of our Heavenly Fathers love to others especially our children!

  6. Jess says:

    What did Jesus do for us through his life and death? “He enabled us to serve Him without fear.” (Luke 1:74b) This verse just completely blows me away. There is no longer any reason to fear- we are in a covenant of love with a loving and tender Heavenly Father. We serve Him out of love! We encounter Him through love! We fellowship with Him out of love! Where is duty, where is law??? Perfect love has replaced all fear and we see that beautiful love through the Son giving up everything to restore us to God. And the Father giving up his Son and speaking life over us! Praise the Lord for his goodness!

    1. Ali says:

      Love this! You’re post reminds me of a song by Indelible Grace called “Love Constraining to Obedience”. It starts with “to see the law by Christ fulfilled, to hear his pardoning voice, changes a slave into a child, and duty into choice”. I’m oh so thankful to serve God out of love, not fear!!

  7. Melody says:

    I have had the opposite experience with my dad- we have a great and loving relationship. But the teachable moment is still there. If my dad and I have such a strong bond and affection, how much greater and better is my Heavenly Father's relationship with me and His affection?

    1. Daisy says:

      Thank you for sharing melody you are so right!

    2. Sophie says:

      Ah thanks Melody! My relationship with my dad couldn’t be stronger it more furled with respect and adoration. I was struggling to relate to this devotional and couldn’t find the message for me – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head! God bless x

  8. Courtney says:

    I emailed last week to let y’all know on the app in HCSB version what Zechariah writes on the tablet is MIA. It says he wrote….. :( Obviously he wrote, “His name is John.”

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