His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel
Because he has come
And redeemed his people.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of his servant David …
Salvation from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us –
To show mercy to our fathers
And to remember his holy covenant
The oath he swore to our father Abraham
To rescue us from the hand of our enemies
And to enable us to serve him without fear
In holiness and righteousness
Before him all our days.
And you, my child, will be called
A prophet of the Most High
For you will go on before the Lord
To prepare the way for him
To give his people the knowledge of salvation
Through the forgiveness of their sins
Because of the tender mercy of our God
By which the rising sun
Will come to us from heaven
To shine on those living in darkness
And the shadow of death
To guide our feet into the path of peace.
John the Baptizer’s birth was as miraculous an event as that of his cousin, Yeshua. Both were of the ‘house of David’. Both births were prophesied. Both were innocent of crime but both died horrible deaths at the hands of the merciless and corrupt. It is said that there was an age difference of about six months between them. John was the older who prepared the way for the younger. Zechariah’s prophecy about his son is an amazing prophecy which remembers a peoples history with the God of Israel, the covenant He made with Abraham, about the promise of salvation and forgiveness through a son of the house of David, and the promise of a day of holy service performed in righteousness and peace.
John’s ministry was that of a herald – the servant who goes ahead of His Master to let the people know the Master is coming. Yeshua called John the greatest of the prophets who had been sent to Israel. Many try to assess why John was called the greatest of the prophets and many deep and meaningful things have been written about him. But the bottom line is very simple – John not only believed God, just as Abraham had, he lived and walked out his life as a herald of His Master, nothing more, nothing less. And such is our calling – to believe God, and walk out our lives according to His will. Nothing more, nothing less.
The Lord is coming!