We are in the Gospel of Luke… today we are going to tackle most of one of the largest chapters in the Bible (80 verses!)
We are going to be looking at the events of a man by the name of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth:
He is a priest
They are said to be considered righteous in the sight of God
I am so glad God is watching!
An angel will visit him
God will work a miracle
In the end this priest will prophesy and praise God…
Let’s rewind and go back 400 years...
Holman- “Malchi rebuked God’s people for specific violations of the covenant, such as laws concerning sacrifices, divorce, and tithes, but he also prophesied the coming of the Messenger who will set things right.”
At first glance it would appeared God had been silent or forgotten for 400 years after sending Malachi to the people and declaring His promise...
Feelings of forgotten as a nation
Zacharias forgotten as a priest (will God speak again?)
Elizabeth forgotten as she is barren no children
When in reality, God had not forgotten, but was DOING what he promised!
& declare what God will do in the coming future...
The world stage had to be set… made ready for His Messenger who would come:
Daniel had prophesied the things that would occur before the Messiah would come
Alexander the Great would come in… create one language Greek
His empire would be divided four way among his generals
Eventually Rome would take over the world… roads being developed for transportation!
God had not forgotten… On the contrary, He was remembering His promise, fulfilling His Word!
In fact His promises… THE PROMISE goes all the way back to the beginning!
The Seed of the woman would deliver a death blow to Satan
We see the three sons of Noah and there is a blessing passed to Shem
Through Abraham’s seed all men would be blessed this is made clearer in Genesis 15
Abraham had many sons… Yet Issac is the one God’s blessing was with.
Isaac had two sons yet the blessing (Promise) was with Jacob… The God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob.
Jacob had 12 sons… Jacobs name is changed by God to Israel (one who wrestles with God)
God’s blessing of promise is passed from Jacob to Judah in Indicating the One to come would be royal, a ruler King.
From the line of Judah comes a man who was anointed king by the name of David… in and God Promises this...
The Hebrew word: mashiyach, meaning “the anointed” gradually became a title for the Promised Savior-King Messiah!
God did NOT forget… He had been working all along in even the smallest of details!
NOW… back to Luke.
We Can Take God at His Word!
Priest had their turns to serve in the temple… this was Zacharias’ time
Selected to go in and offer incense (prayers) to God… Usually on behalf of the people of Israel
I don’t think this man was praying for a son… too old.
Praying for the people, felt forgotten, feeling the oppressions of the Romans, whatever it was GOD HEARD!
Wow! the angel states the Zacharias’ son will fulfill the prophecy of Malachi
Your son will prepare for the Promised Messiah
It Is Time!
The Messiah is coming!!!
What God says WILL HAPPEN!
Moody- Zacharias ought to have been focusing on the divine “promise” of the message, not the human “problems” of the message.
Did you miss it?
Do you doubt God due to human limitations?
The Promise of the scriptures was being fulfilled and this is Zacharias’ response…
Several lessons here:
Be careful when you ask God to prove it or for a sign!
This was good news, not intended to create a problem
The last words he could hear was the promise, his last words were questioning God
God has a time table and a plan, He is NEVER late and always stays true to His Word
God’s Hand Working Deserves Praise
“ His Name is John”
These are the words Zacharias would write on a board for the questioning crowd…
Wait a minute… Zacharias, he’s not going to carry your name?
NO this baby boy would carry something much greater… the message that the Messiah has come repent!
His Faith to obey and listen loosed his tongue… He begins to prophesy for all there to hear and share!
Look at the people’s response to all they heard and had seen…
Darrel Bock- The story’s close indicates that the Lord’s hand was with him.
Luke is saying, in effect, “Be assured, Theophilus or any other reader of my account, that God was in these most unusual events.”
When God’s hand is mentioned, usually an opportunity for deliverance is around the corner!