I think all too often we skip a very important chapter in the Bible and jump right to the glory one. Millions of people read the beloved Luke 2 passage. The passage that announces our Saviors birth. I love this passage and read it often with my kids, especially around Christmas. Plus our four year old loves, I mean LOVES, babies so we read this and baby Moses almost daily. She may even know them by heart. And well my son might just like the sheep...
This year as I prep myself for Christmas, keeping the true meaning embedded in my heart, I dug deep (as deep as I can getting up 2x a night with a newborn, functioning with half a brain) into Luke 1. I think all too often we forget about the glorious miracle of John the Baptist. The Angel Gabriel, coming to Zechariah, declaring he and His barren wife Elizabeth would have a son. And not just any son, a son "who will be great in the eyes of the Lord and be filled with the Holy Spirit even before birth!" (Luke 1:15)
You see the Holy Spirt before the day of Pentecost, only came on certain individuals, God's messengers, His prophets, for a certain amount of time. This was an amazing miracle. A barren woman, the Angel Gabriel (same angel who declared to Mary) and the Holy Spirit!
But here is what I love most, Zechariah's words in Luke 1:76-79 as he relishes in this amazing moment in time. This miracle. His son. His son who came to pave the way to something even greater.
"And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of sins. Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace."
Read those verses again, it's seriously powerful.
For almost two thousand years, since the promise God gave back to Abraham in Genesis 12, the Israelites have been waiting for God to deliver them. And Zechariah's very own son gets to pave the way. His son John has the amazing mission of preparing the people of the idea of salvation. The idea that there is forgiveness of sins. Not with a sacrifice but just by faith. And that the Light of the world will come down and live among us and cast out darkness and bring about peace.
Let this passage intrigue you to dive deeper into the greatest story ever lived and told. A story that was anticipated for roughly 2,000 years. A story that begins our path to an eternal life with our Heavenly Father. The type of Father who would humble himself as a baby, live among us, grow up in our sinful world, teach and disciple us, never sin, and die a gruesome death for us all to bring us into a forever life with him.