Announcing John the Baptist
Zacharias was in the temple. His wife, Elizabeth was barren. Gabriel appeared to him telling him that Elizabeth would have a child and to name him John.
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5. Zacharias means “Jehovah has remembered.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1271)
“The temple priesthood was organized into twenty-four divisions, with each division serving twice a year for one year (1 Chronicles 24:4-19); Abijah’s was the eighth division (1 Chronicles 24:10).…Both husband and wife were from the priestly tribe. (MacArthur, 1271)
6. “Righteousness is an important characteristic of God’s people in Luke-Acts. Their righteousness was in the sight of God and not just in appearance as the case of some Pharisees.” (Stein, H. Robert, The New American Commentary Volume 24, Luke. [Broadman Press, 1996], 72)
“Zacharias and Elizabeth were faithful to obey the Word of God and live blamelessly. (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 171)
7. “Here was an old couple who did not have a child. To be childless was practically a disgrace for a Hebrew woman, and Elisabeth had no children.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 245)
8. “His division was on duty for one of their two annual stints (see v5 above).” (MacArthur, 1271)
9. Zacharias was chosen by lot. “This indicates that God’s providential leading causes Zechariah to be chosen…God was clearly in control of this event.” (Stein, 74)
10. “It is a Lukan characteristic to point out that major events are associated with payer.” (Stein, 74)
11-12. “When Gabriel appeared by the altar, Zacharias was frightened, for the angel’ appearance could have meant divine judgment.” (Wiersbe, 171)
13. “‘Fear not’ is a repeated statement in the gospel of Luke (1:13, 30; 2:10; 5:10; 8:50; 12:7, 32).” (Wiersbe, 171)
“Gabriel instructed him to name his son John (‘Jehovah is gracious’) and to dedicate the boy to God to be a Nazarite all his life (Numbers 6:1-21).” (Wiersbe, 171)
14. “‘Rejoicing’ is another key theme in Luke, mentioned at least nineteen times. Good news brings joy!” (Wiersbe, 171)
15. “He would be filled with the Spirit before birth (Luke 1:41) and would be God’s prophet to present His Son to the people of Israel (see John 1:15-34).” (Wiersbe, 171)
16-17. “God would use John’s ministry to turn many people back to the Lord, just as Isaiah had promised (Isaiah 40:1-5).” (Wiersbe, 171)
18. “Instead of looking to God by faith, the priest looked at himself and his wife and decided that the birth of a son was impossible.” (Wiersbe, 171)
19. “By revealing himself as Gabriel, the angel of Dan 8:16; 9:21ff. and one of only three angels named in the OT, he lent reliability to what he was saying.” (Stein, 77)
20. “Faith is blessed, but unbelief is judged, and Zacharias was struck dumb (and possibly deaf, Luke 1:62) until the Word was fulfilled.” (Wiersbe, 171)
21. “A delay in the priest’s leaving the sanctuary would cause alarm and concern.” (Stein, 77)
22. “Priests coming out of the holy place were expected to pronounce a customary blessing, such as Numbers 6:24-26, upon the people.” (Stein, 77)
23. “He could hardly wait to return ‘to the hill country’ (Luke 1:39) where he lived, to tell his wife the good news.” (Wiersbe, 171)
24. “God kept His promise and Elizabeth conceived a son in her old age. ‘There is nothing too hard for the Lord’” (Jeremiah 32:17).” (Wiersbe, 171)
25. “Barrenness could occasionally be a sing of divine disfavor (Leviticus 20:20-21), but it was not always so (Genesis 30:23; 1 Samuel 1:5-10). Still, it carried a social stigma that could be humiliating.” (MacArthur, 1272)
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New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Stein, H. Robert, The New American Commentary Volume 24, Luke. Broadman Press, 1996
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004