prophecy of Zacharias at the birth of John the Baptist as both Christ
and His forerunner are announced as having come into being. We would
note the Gospel content regarding both. The message that John would
preach and the person preached are here dealt with.
AIM: That we
should ever be discerning the Gospel as it is in Christ in every portion
of the Word.
INTR: Only in
Luke do we see the conjoining of the accounts of the birth of John the
Baptist and Jesus as he reminds us of the connection prophesied of old
and now by Zacharias.
1. This a long chapter in which even the
translators could find no break. After the dedication to Theophilus we
follow the intertwined narrative from the appearance of Gabriel to
Zacharias, to the appearance of the Angel to Mary, her visit to
Elizabeth, to Mary’s song of praise and then to the birth of John the
Baptist and the loosing of Zacharias’ tongue.
2. The story would be
fascinating if we read it in any account and perhaps it is the beauty of
the narrative of our Lord’s birth, in particular, that holds an
attraction even to the unsaved.
3. That which the Holy Spirit
provoked and empowered in Zacharias is Gospel indeed – it was then and
it is now.
incarnation of Christ, His coming into the world, is not to be separated
from the announcement miraculously given to John the Baptist. In
introducing Christ to the world, John preached the essence of who He is
and what He does and, thus, set the tone for what followed.
Zacharias’ praise for the Lord (vv. 67-75)
(This was by direct
inspiration of the Spirit and so he prophesied accordingly and we may
receive it as surely from him as from any other).
1. The declaration
that the divine visitation had occurred (he would have known of Mary and
the impending birth of his Lord).
1) It had been to Israel that the
oracles and the prophets were given and now those things were being
2) Redemption was the underlying thought of what was being
done – salvation from sin and c.
2. They would have known all
concerning David and especially those things promised that was not only
a wonder to David but also, the hope of Israel. (v. 69)
acknowledged that God had responded to that which the prophets had said
(vv. 70-71) and
1) We carefully note that the word “mouth” is
singular in that they were all of one voice and one message it that was
Christ: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time
past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hebrews 1:1. (different places
2) Peter reminds us that it was the Spirit of Christ that
was in them from the beginning.
3) While much had been said of
judgment, there had always been the message of deliverance.
mercy of God was always in the perceptions of the true fathers (v. 72)
and as is true with the faithful in all generations, there is a clinging
the thought of mercy – there is no other hope!
5. In vv. 73-75, he
invoked the promise given to Abraham with a precious interpretation that
is certainly consistent with the divine aim:
1) That He would grant
us to be delivered out of the hands of our enemies and their
contaminating and stifling influence and oppression
2) That we be
free to serve Him without fear and
3) To do so in holiness and
righteousness all the days of our lives!
II. Zacharias’ message
to his son (vv. 76-79)
1. The title given him and all the
implications of it
1) Prophet of the highest (5 Behold, I will send
you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day
of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the
children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come
and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:5-6)
2) He would go in
the presence of the Lord and immediately before the introduction of our
Lord to the world.
3) His was a very positive ministry in that
preparations would be made to receive the Lord in preparing a people to
2. The message he would preach would be Gospel indeed:
1) That salvation necessarily included repentance and the remission of
sins (even the fallen Jews has a sense of the need of sacrifice and
thought they were doing it).
2) He was to preach that salvation would
come through the tender mercies of God!
3) John was to preach that
the dayspring (margin: the rising sun) had come.
3. And then quoted:
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that
dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light
shined. Isaiah 9:2 AND To open the blind eyes, to bring out the
prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the
prison house. Isaiah 42:7.
4. John preached these things
Zacharias’ son John (v. 80)
1. This is the early history of John the
1) He was a Nazarite from birth like Samuel
2) He grew and
became strong in spirit (he had been filled with the Spirit from his
3) He was in the deserts (with the Lord, growing,
learning, and preparing for a momentous task which he performed well).
It is not that he disappeared not be seen; rather it was that he spent
much time in seclusion and not in formal schooling as the son of a
2. He is, as was Elijah, the “Voice of one crying in the
wilderness” and preached Christ exclusively!