“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.”

Luke 1:13
Gabriel stunned Zechariah when he announced, “Your prayer has been heard.” What prayer? Some speculate that this refers to their years-long desire to bear children. Others think the angel was referring to Zechariah’s prayer in the temple, the one whispered by every faithful Jew—praying for the coming of the Messiah.

Perhaps the angel was, in a sense, referring to both. The desire for a son and the longing for the kingdom of God were closely intertwined. The long years of anguish and darkness, of year after year with no child, likely gave way to a desperate pleading for God to come.

Now it was to be for Zechariah and Elizabeth: a child, and one who would in fact herald the arrival of the Messiah! Gabriel had stood in the very presence of God, got his marching orders, and delivered the good news.

After a time of silence, Zechariah saw God’s promises fulfilled. We see along with him that God birthed something new at Christmas time, a newness that is breaking out, still today, in the hearts of God’s people and amidst a broken world.



Scripture Focus

Luke 1:11-25

Insight

We sit in silence and await another Advent, when that child returns as the King to restore our hearts and renew the world.

Bible In A Year

  • Daniel 11-12
  • Proverbs 10
  • Hebrews 13

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