We are never too old to learn more about God, and never so mature in faith that we cannot grow. In Luke 1, we see how Zechariah, an older priest, emerged from nine months of silence even more deeply devoted to God.
When Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth gave birth, the entire community rejoiced, recognizing this child as a miraculous gift of God. On the eighth day, the family brought him to be circumcised. Tradition called for a family name to be given, maybe “Zechariah,” based on the miraculous events of the birth. However, Elizabeth proclaimed him “John” (v. 60).
Those gathered expressed their collective shock. No one in the family was named John. But this name was an act of obedience to which both Elizabeth and Zechariah were committed. They sought verification from Zechariah, using a form of sign language. Apparently, in addition to being mute, Zechariah was also deaf. He further surprised the people with his written message: “His name is John” (v. 63).
Then came miracle part two: Zechariah’s tongue was set loose, and he praised God. Word of John’s extraordinary birth spread quickly throughout the entire region (v. 65). Even as a newborn babe, John was drawing people’s attention toward the new work of God.
Zechariah’s hymn (Benedictus) is the second psalm recorded in the book of Luke (vv. 68–79). It flowed from an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. While Mary’s song focused on God’s work in the past, Zechariah’s looked ahead at the ministry of both John and Jesus and what God’s salvation would accomplish. The God of Israel had remembered His people. He would rescue them from their enemies and redeem them from their sin. He finished his song with the promise of peace.
>> Luke records the beautiful words of praise from both Mary and Zechariah. Today, offer your own expression of praise for the salvation you have been given through the work of God’s Son.
Praise You, Father, for Your perfect plan of salvation! Praise You for the pain You endured for us! Praise You for loving us despite our sin! Praise You for Your kindness and holiness! Praise You, praise You, praise You!