Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week we’re going to study a story from right before Jesus was born. These words were spoken by a man named Zechariah. He was a priest in the Jewish temple, who was told by an angel that he’d have a son. This was laughable, because he was an old man, who’d wanted children for years, and had finally given up. He was told that his child would be a prophetic voice, challenging people to obey their God. Zechariah could hardly believe it, and when he questioned the Angel, he was told he’d be unable to speak until the day the child was born.
Next, they found out even better news. His wife’s cousin, Mary, was going to have a child as well, and this one would be miraculous as well since she was a virgin. Even greater promises were made about this child, it even sounded like he might possibly be the Messiah, the anointed King who they’d long waited to redeem their nation. God was clearly up to some amazing things.
When Zechariah’s son was finally born, he could suddenly speak again to name the child John, and to blurt out this song of praise to God, called the Song of Zechariah or in Latin, Benedictus which means “Blessed be”. It starts with those very words:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68-79 ESV)
This song is about his son John, who we often call John the Baptist, and the special job he was given.
Question: What do you think John’s role would be? What was he preparing people for?