Luke 1:5-25, 57-79
Zechariah and Elizabeth were godly people who were experiencing the darkness of their times. Herod the Great was an oppressive and murderous ruler, everyday Roman rule meant high taxes and unjust treatment; and on top of this they were experiencing the personal difficulty of the reproach of being childless in their old age. Into this situation the Lord speaks through his servant, the angel Gabriel. He brings hope in two significant ways. First, he tells them they are going to have a son – and not just any son, but a son who will be a prophet of the Most High. The angel also informs Zechariah that his son would “make ready for the Lord a people prepared” – meaning the Messiah was soon to come. However, Zechariah struggled to believe the promises and was made mute until the time of the birth and naming of his son. At this point Zechariah gave praise to God with words focused not on his son, John, but on the Messiah. This Messiah would come in fulfillment of the David and Abrahamic Covenants and he would institute the New Covenant. He will be a “horn horn of salvation” and will drive away the “enemies” of all mankind, he is called the Lord to denote his status, and he will be the “sunrise from on high” – bringing light to those in darkness, and hope to the hopeless. This is the Jesus that has come into the world – and he is still bringing hope to all who look to him in faith.