Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

Luke 1:5–25

1.         Herod the Great, born 74BC ruled Judea, Samaria, Galilee and more until his death in 4BC. About one year earlier Zechariah, husband of Elizabeth, (and both were righteous before God) was serving as priest at the Temple in Jerusalem as he would two weeks out of the year. It was his honor to burn incense, a most solemn honor.

2.         While conducting this event an angel of the LORD appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. The angel said that Zechariah’s prayer had been heard and that he and wife Elizabeth, who were past the age of childbearing, would give birth to a son.

3.         This son would be a Nazarite meaning he would live a very disciplined life and largely away from others.

4.         This son would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his very birth and would proceed and announce the arrival of the long awaited Messiah.

5.         Zechariah was concerned and stated that he and his wife were advanced in years. The angel then states his name, Gabriel, and that Zechariah would not be able to speak (perhaps even be deaf) since Zechariah did not believe his words.

6.         However, Elizabeth did conceive, and hid herself for five months, and for her it meant the ending of her being looked down on since this was the sense of things if a woman could not conceive.

7.         She knew that this was from the Lord and thus is recognized as the first woman to confess Jesus as Lord.

7.         It is plain that both Zechariah and Elizabeth died before their son John, to be known as the Baptist, began his ministry in the desert.

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