25 Days of Christmas – A Child Is Born
John 1:57-66 “Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”. And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called.
And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered.
And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.”
What a way to come into the world! Elizabeth has spent her entire pregnancy with her husband unable to talk. And now her child is born, a son. She’s been given instructions to call him John but there are no Johns in her husband’s family. This presents a problem especially since her husband still can’t speak. Now I must confess. There have been times in my 25 years of marriage that I wished my husband couldn’t speak! But I don’t know how happy I would have been if he was unable to talk after my kids were born. I would have missed out on some memorable conversations. And while I wouldn’t have had problems with my in-laws concerning the names given my children, it sure was handy to have Tim there to help set boundaries on our time. (Just in case you’re reading this mom, I love you).
But things weren’t the same in those days. No matter what Elizabeth had to say about the name, the family would expect tradition to rule. The child should be named after his dad. Eight days after the birth of his child, after his circumcision, the name issue drew to a head. Zechariah motioned for something to write with. He wrote that his name would be John just as God commanded. At this act of obedience God loosened Zechariah’s tongue and he could speak. The first words out of his mouth were words blessing God! The people were speechless, and scared. What did this wonder mean for the child they have come to love? It was obvious that God had His hand on John.
How little they knew of what God had planned. How much Zechariah’s faith matured during those nine months and eight days! He would need this newfound mature faith to raise this child to be all God would want him to be to fulfill his very special mission. He would need this faith to cling to when the pain would come. This child would be special, because he would be God’s messenger. Zechariah is a perfect reminder that we need to trust God and not give in to unbelief. It’s not the end of the world if you fail, you just might be silenced for a time. At least till your faith is restored. You may not give birth to a John the Baptist but you will give birth to a messenger of God -YOU! His message is one we need to continue to speak to our world today – Turn to God, Repent, His Kingdom is at Hand. This Christmas we celebrate God’s entrance into our world. He WILL be coming back! Let’s get ready….