A New Era Begins

The era of Gods grace that began with the birth of John the Baptist is still in effect today.

Luke begins his account of the gospel by telling about the lineage of the birth of John the Baptist, the God-appointed forerunner of Jesus the Messiah. The parents of John were a priest named Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth. The Bible states they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. The birth of John was by means of a miracle from God, and that Elizabeth was well past the age for bearing a child when John was born. The birth of John was reminiscent of the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah, showing that God is able to do whatever he wills to do to keep his promises.


Luke 1:5-17

A. Serving Faithfully

Luk 1:5  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

…….Saint Luke, the only declared Gentile to claim authorship of any book of the Bible, begins his story after his greeting, letting us know of the condition his country was in by stating the rulership of Herod. Any study of Herod will result in knowing how evil and cruel this ruler was.

…….Luke also made it important to mention that both parents of John the Baptist were descendants of the royal priesthood, accounting all the way back to Aaron in the days of Moses.

Luk 1:6  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Luk 1:7  And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

…….I believe the reason Luke mentioned in the beginning of His book concerning the parents of the great John Baptist, is because in his day when a woman could not bare a child she was thought to be guilty if a sin that has not been forgiven yet. In verse 6, he plainly states that other than a priestly lineage, they were both righteous before God. Just as in times of old, people will categorize those with handicaps and inabilities to be less than able in the ministry of the Gospel. But history also tells us, it’s the ones who do not desire the spotlight and stage that are able to be used the greatest. Those who have always been thought of as “less than” are the ones The Lord instills ability and anointing to change the known world around them. Thank God we don’t have to meet a status quo in order to be used by God!

B. An Angelic Announcement

Luk 1:11  And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

Luk 1:12  And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

…….Think about this, the duty of the priest of God was to enter into the presence of the Lord. That was the purpose of the veil separating the common from the appointed. To know how shocked Zacharias was makes me wonder if he had ever actually been in the presence of the Lord. Had the Lord removed His Presence from the Most Holy Place? Had the priests become so negligent in their spiritual duties to where it was no longer spiritual? Dear Lord, never let us get to the point where we no longer recognize your presence!

Luk 1:13  But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

…….The Bible doesn’t state it any other way, but apparently Zacharias was either still hanging onto hope that the Lord would give them a child. This could have been an earnest prayer from decades ago, and the Lord remembered his prayer but knew the timing wasn’t right. He may very well wanted the Lord to eliminate the doubts of others about his wife not being able to let go of a certain sin. What if his prayers were that God would send that forerunner of the messiah to introduce to the world the savior that had been prophesied for hundreds of years. Who knows? What we do know is this, Zacharias prayed, and God answered.

Luk 1:14  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

…….Zacharias could have been one of doubt himself, losing hope of ever seeing his own lineage continue through himself. He may have been simply going through the motions for some time, waiting on a replacement to fill his shoes. What the angel of God did say is that he would have joy and gladness.

Luk 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

…….Though there is great church controversy about the partaking of alcohol, many scriptures including this one lets us know that God does not bless those who partake in it, and Luke thought it important enough to state the words of the Angel of the Lord concerning it.

Luk 1:16  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

…….It is obvious that just prior to the birth of John the Baptist and Christ, the children of God were not living like children of God.

Luk 1:17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias (Elijah, one of the greatest prophets known to man), to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

…….John the Baptist was declared by the angel to become one of the spirit filled evangelists to prepare the way of Christ. Although every bit of this took place, Zacharias still had his doubts.


Luke 1:18-25

A. Struggling With Doubt

Luk 1:18  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

…….Being in the position of ministry Zacharias was in, the Bible shows us how important it is to stay indued with anointing. We know that Zacharias and Elizabeth lived a righteous life, but it is more than just “living right”. We will not see the fulfillment of our ministry without walking in the Spirit of God. We must worship God in Spirit and in Truth!

Luk 1:19  And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

Luk 1:20  And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

…….Not only was this an angel, but the angel Gabriel himself! Gabriel is the great messenger of the Lord, the one appointed to blow the trumpet of the coming of Christ! It must be easy to wonder how Zacharias would still feel so much doubt while being in the presence of one who dwells in the presence of God!

B. Unable to Speak

Luk 1:21  And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

Luk 1:22  And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned (nodded) unto them, and remained speechless.

Luk 1:23  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

…….I honestly wonder if his result in being muted was to simply prevent him from letting his doubt be known to those around him. God knew what he was about to do through this man. It may have been that the Lord didn’t want the doubts of Zacharias to affect the faith of Elizabeth. Don’t be surprised when God sets limitations, He may only be preparing us for new creations!

…….The limitations set on Zacharias’ life did not mean the Lord didn’t love him. It meant that he loved him enough to continue His unhindered desires in him.

Luk 1:24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

Luk 1:25  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

…….Luke doesn’t mention this, but by the words of Elizabeth it is obvious that she knew what was about to happen and doubt wasn’t getting in her way!


Luke 1:57-68,80

A. Naming of John the Baptist

Luk 1:57  Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

Luk 1:58  And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

Luk 1:59  And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

Luk 1:60  And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.

Luk 1:61  And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.

Luk 1:62  And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

Luk 1:63  And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.

B. Obedience and Recovery

Luk 1:64  And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

…….Though Zacharias was punished for having doubt in the presence of God, because of his obedience his voice was restored unto him! Can you imagine the moment?!

Luk 1:65  And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.

Luk 1:66  And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Luk 1:67  And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

Luk 1:68  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

Luk 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

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