Luke 1:5-25, 57-80
Zechariah was a priest (and thus a Levite) and the Bible says that both he and his wife, Elizabeth, were righteous before the Lord. That means that they were serving God with their whole hearts and doing their best to follow God’s rules. At one point during the reign of the Roman King Harod, Zechariah was selected to burn incense in the temple. This was a special priestly duty that you were only allowed to do once in your life. Not every priest even got to do it once in their life. This was a huge day for Zechariah!
When Zechariah went in to this very holy place, he was in for a big surprise! The angel of the Lord appeared. Now, like most of us would be, Zechariah was a little afraid. He didn’t know if this would was good news or bad! But Gabriel (the angel) had good news. He told Zechariah that he and Elizabeth would have a very special son. That they should name him John and raise him with a special diet and that John would help prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. Understandably Zechariah was a little confused because both he and Elizabeth were older and didn’t have any children. He asked Gabriel how he could believe this and Gabriel said that since Zechariah had doubted he would not be able to speak until his son was born.
Now all the people outside in the temple are starting to wonder what is taking Zechariah so long. When he finally came out they realized something amazing had happened because he could no longer speak! They realized he had some sort of vision in there but didn’t know what. When Zechariah finished his time of service he returned home to Elizabeth. In due time their son was born!
The custom during this time was to have a ceremony on the eighth day after a boy was born to circumcise and officially name him. The people wanted to name him Zechariah after his father as was customary. However Elizabeth said no his name was John. Everyone was confused because there was no one named John in their family so they made signs to Zechariah to get his opinion. At this point God released his ability to speak and he agreed that the boy’s name was John just as the angel had said. Zechariah then went on to be filled by the Holy Spirit and prophesied that John would be the prophet to prepare the way of the Lord and lead people to repentance.
Zechariah is a wonderful example of a life lived for God being rewarded and used to grow the kingdom. Zechariah had faithfully followed God, so God not only blessed him with a son, but entrusted him to raise John the Baptist to be the prophet to lay the foundation for Jesus. When we follow God’s will He is faithful to reward us and use us for His glory!
List 5 things you can do to follow God’s will and show yourself faithful. (Pray before meals, read the Bible every day, give to the poor, etc.)