Luke 1:57-66 THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
1:57-66 Elizabeth gave birth to John (soon to be called John the Baptist) and the community has heard that the Lord has shown her great mercy and rejoiced with her. Any fear of disapproval by the neighbors that may have been present when she waited 5 months to reveal her pregnancy was gone. On day eight John was circumcised (per (Genesis 17:4-14 and Leviticus 12:1-3). He should have been named after his father, Zechariah, as was the custom, but Elizabeth insisted on John, as the angel Gabriel instructed in verse 13, and the people were confused. The people made signs to Zechariah (an indication he was not just speechless, but deaf as well). Zechariah confirmed, writing on a tablet, that the child's name should be John, and immediately his punishment (for doubting) was lifted and Zechariah was able to speak again. Whoo hooo! What was the first thing Zechariah did? He spoke of His blessed God. At the sight of Zechariah being able to speak, fear came on the people and the gossip began all over the country of Judea. News sure does travel fast when gossip is involved! Curiosity of what the child would be was the first necessary fuel to feed the good news of Jesus Christ. The hand of the Lord was with John. I love the image this portrays of the protective hand and the guiding hand. I pray, "Lord, may your hand protect and guide me. Amen." My mind turns to Mary now six months along in her pregnancy and how excited she must have been for her friend and relative Elizabeth.