John the Baptist and The Price of His Purpose. (Luke 1:57)

So many miracles surrounded Jesus’ arrival… angels prophesying his birth to his parents in dreams, angels announcing his birth to shepherds and astrologers, a great star that settled over him, protection that was provided by heeding God’s word when Herod decreed all baby boys would die in fear of the savior’s arrival, and the birth of a boy named John who was chosen, before his own birth, to serve as a way maker for Jesus and his ministry.

Remember that John’s father, Zechariah, had lost the ability to speak while his wife was pregnant with John. Perhaps knocked into a position of submission to the task of believing how his family was about to expand, despite the odds given the couple’s age. Perhaps so that no negative speech could surround the incubation of this child.

The Word says: “When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about these things, Everyone who heard this wondered about it asking “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. (Luke 1:57-66)

“His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come to His people and redeemed them.’ (Luke 67-68)

As we see, Zechariah praised God with his first words after months of silence. He prophesied the coming of a Savior who would redeem his people and predicted that his son John would prepare the Messiah’s way. John’s arrival impressed a certainty within Zechariah that the Messiah would come in his lifetime and that his son had been chosen to pave the way, just like the angel, Gabriel, originally told him. How precious this baby must’ve been to his parents. Can you imagine the anticipation of what was to come and the wonder of how things would play out?

Zechariah prophesied over John, and said, “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from Heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”  And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.” (Luke 1:76-80)

They raised their boy and, no doubt, instilled the message he would proclaim during his life’s mission. And when that time came, they had to watch their boy leave to go live in the wilderness. In the desert. Why was that a requirement? God had told John’s parents that John was a gift to them. But he was also a very special Messenger and a Prophet of the Most High. It must’ve devastated John’s parents to have to let their son go. It couldn’t have been easy for John to leave the life he knew with them. But the wilderness would give him close proximity to the Lord he was born to serve. There, with no worldly distractions, he could gain the knowledge he needed for his purpose…

John remained separate from most people and, in particular, from the hypocritical religious leaders of his day. No doubt inspired by Spirit, John’s message was different from theirs and his life proved it. He did not know who the Messiah was as he grew up, but he knew he would know him one day. In the meantime he had ‘work’ to grow into, and to do. Let us all have this same attitude as we walk with and for the Lord. We’ll continue the story next week.

Meanwhile, let’s continue to pray for the wars going on right now and the needs of our own country. We do not understand all of the things that are happening, or where we’re going. But we do see thousands dying, divisions rising, and ask that it somehow stop. We pray for all and ask for wisdom to be part of the solution.๐Ÿ™

Blessings and Love to each of you.๐Ÿ™โค๏ธ

Poppa B.