Birth of John the Baptist
On the eighth day after the birth of John his father still could not speak. The priests at the circumcision wanted to name him Zacharias after his father, Elizabeth said no his name is John.
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57. It is time for Elizabeth to give birth.
58. “Apparently Elizabeth remained in seclusion throughout her pregnancy.” (Stein, H. Robert, The New American Commentary Volume 24, Luke. [Broadman Press, 1996], 97)
“At the proper time, God fulfilled his promise to Zechariah and Elizabeth. Can you imagine the neighbors’ reaction to this grace-child of their old age. They knew this was no ordinary child. This was the Lord’s mercy. Elizabeth’s attitude was infectious. Joy broke out all around.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
His Name is John
59. “Traditionally, a baby boy would be named after his father or someone else in the family, so the relatives and neighbors were shocked when Elizabeth insisted on the name John. Zacharias wrote ‘His name is John’ on a tablet, and that settled it!” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 174)
60. “Elizabeth interfered. Not so! John is his name. Confusion erupted. That name appears nowhere on the family tree. Why would you do a thing like that? Let Dad decide. Still silent (vv. 20-22), Zechariah wrote the name John.
Astonishment filled the room. Zechariah had learned his lesson. Do not ask why or how. Just obey God “[Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. [B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
61. They did not believe a woman!
62. “The priests conducting the circumcision ceremony appear to have assumed that, since he could not speak, he was also deaf.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1275)
63. Give me something to write on! His name is John!
64. Zacharias was now able to speak!
“Zechariah’s speaking further heightens the miraculous nature of this event, and thus its importance. It also fulfills the angel Gabriel’s word in 1:20. The neighbors (and the readers) realized that God would work great things through this child.” (Stein, 98)
Hand of the Lord
65. Silence now moved to the neighbors. Awestruck, they tried to figure out what had happened. The news traveled fast. The entire hill country spread the word. As they talked, they also questioned. [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
“Awe, or fear, is the proper reverent attitude which those who witness a heavenly intervention or manifestation of divine power should express. It may begin as a terrifying fear of judgment or wrath, but it progresses to a holy awe of God and a recognition of his otherness, which leads to ‘glorifying and praising God’ (cf. 2:10,20; 5:26; 7:16).” (Stein, 98)
66. “John was important not in himself but because he assisted in the preparing for Jesus.” (Stein, 98)
67. “Although Zacharias is not in the line of David, he does recognize that his son is going to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ, as foretold by Malachi and Isaiah.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 250) Malachi 3:1 Isaiah 40:3
68. “The word redeem means ‘to set free by paying a price’…. Jesus Christ came to earth to bring ‘deliverance to the captives’ (Luke 4:18), salvation to people in bondage to sin and death. Certainly we are unable to set ourselves free; only Christ could pay the price necessary for our redemption (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-21).” (Wiersbe, 174)
69. “In Scripture, a horn symbolizes power and victory (1 Kings 22:11; Psalm 89:17, 24).…The enemy is defeated so that he cannot capture more prisoners. It means total victory for the people of God.” (Wiersbe, 174)
“The word salvation (Luke 1:69, 71) carries the meaning of ‘health and soundness’…When you trust Jesus Christ as Savior, you are delivered from Satan’s power, moved into God’s kingdom, redeemed, and forgiven (Colossians 1:12-14).” (Wiersbe, 174)
70. “This parenthetical comment, probably from Luke, emphasizes the theme of prophetic fulfillment.” (Stein, 100)
71. Saved from our enemies [KJV]. This terminology comes from such OT passages as Psalm 18:17; 106:10; 2 Samuel 22:18. The ‘enemies’ are further described in this verse as those who ‘Hate us.’” (Stein, 100)
72. “The coming of the Redeemer was inherent in the covenants God made with His people (Luke 1:72), and it was promised by the prophets (Luke 1:70).” (Wiersbe, 175)
This verse “begins the second major part of the hymn…For Luke the coming of Christ clearly did not bring the creation of a new religion but the fulfillment of the covenantal promises God made to the saints of the OT.” (Stein, 100)
73. “Compare Genesis 17:4; 22:16-17. For ‘father Abraham’ see Joshua 24:3; Isaiah 51:2.” (Stein 100)
74. “He sets us free, not to do our own will, because that would be bondage, but to do His will and enjoy His freedom.” (Wiersbe, 175)
“Compare Psalm 97:10.” (Stein, 100)
This “involves the kind of salvation that we read of in the rest of Luke-Acts and that is exemplified by such passages as Acts 2:37-41.” (Stein, 100)
75. “The Benedictus, begun in Luke 1:68, ends at this point.” (Stein, 100)
Prepare the Way
76. “This verse begins the second major part of the hymn honoring the miraculously born child who God as appointed for his service.” (Stein, 100)
Prophet of the Highest [KJV]. “God would make John his prophet.” (Stein, 100)
John will prepare the way for Our Lord, Jesus.
77. The remission of their sins. [KJV]. “Forgiveness of sins is the heart of salvation. God saves sinners from separation from Him and from eternal hell only by atoning for and forgiving their sins.” (MacArthur, 1275)
78-79. “Dayspring means ‘sunrise.’ The people were sitting in darkness and death, and distress gripped them when Jesus came; but He brought light, life, and peace. It was a dawn of a new day because of the tender mercies of God (See Matthew 4:16).” (Wiersbe, 175)
“John prepared the way of the Messiah (Luke 1:76), which is the way of peace. Compare Acts 10:36.” (Stein, 101)
80. “Instead of enjoying a comfortable life as a priest, John lived in the wilderness, discipling himself physically and spiritually, waiting for the day when God would send him out to prepare Israel for the Arrival of the Messiah.” (Wiersbe, 175)
“God calls us today to believe His good news. Those who believe it experience His joy and want to express their praise to Him…With Mary, we must say, ‘My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior’ (Luke 1:47, Italics mine).” (Wiersbe, 175)
Do you want to believe His Good News?
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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
Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HNTC Vol. 03: Luke. [B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
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