Summary: ...the power of the Holy Spirit can be an important part of your celebrating the birth of our Savior.
I would imagine most of you have been rather busy lately getting ready for Christmas. It is only a week away. Some people are beginning to act like little kids. I can always tell how childish people are by the way they act at Christmas time.
That is, some of us “children” become very excited about Christmas morning. One more week.
On a more serious note, I want all of us to continue to prepare spiritually for Christmas. Let me also say that the power of the Holy Spirit can be an important part of your celebrating the birth of our Savior. As we know this was true for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, the mother of John.
This morning I want us to continue on with the Christmas Story in Luke 1. Mary has come to the home of Elizabeth and (her husband) Zacharius. Zacharius has been given a “holy hush” and is unable to speak. Elizabeth gives birth to their son, John.
As a result of this birth, we see in verse 67 that Zacharius is “filled with the Holy Spirit”.
By now, I would hope that each of us can see what the anointing power of the Holy Spirit has done.
The Holy Spirit has had a lot of influence in setting the stage for the coming of the King.
The birth of Jesus Christ has dramatically changed the world. But before any of that could happen, it was the Holy Spirit Who changed the Elizabeth and Zacharius.
With that I would say that Christmas time is a great time for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen?
For over 800 years, there had been many prophecies given in preparation of the Birth of Christ.
But there would (at least) one more given by a man named Zacharius. He was:
· Blessed by the birth of his own son.
· (more importantly) Anointed by the expectancy of the soon coming King of Kings.
Text: Luke 1:68 thru 79 – The Prophecy of Zacharius
The Word of God has special meaning to each of us at Christmas time. I see the word of God as many things.
Last Sunday night we found that God’s Word has been given to us for:
· Salvation - saved from the destruction of sin.
· Restoration – cleanse us from the corruption of being mean, being jealous, being mischief, etc.
· Guide – show us the direction we should be headed in
The story of the birth John the Baptist is interesting and helps us to connect the scriptures of the Old Testament with those of the New Testament.
We need to look at the Bible as the never-ending story that was written with two parts:
· Part One – the fall of man; the desperation of man; the deliberate judgment of God on man; the prophecies given to bring man his salvation.
· Part Two – the fulfillment of God’s plan for all of mankind
Although the days of the Old and New Testament have come and gone, the prophecies and promises they speak to us are eternal. They still give to us hope.
There was a man that made those prophecies a reality. We know Him to be Christ Jesus, the Messiah.
With all due respect and honor to the importance of Jesus Christ, I would propose to you there was man who was sent to introduce Christ to the world.
He was John the Baptist, who would be used to
make the connection between:
· Part One and Part Two of the Bible.
· Man and his Savior.
What do I mean by that?
1. John came from the home of a priest that was steeped in religion.
2. John was born months before the birth of Christ.
3. John’s birth took place during the days of the Old Testament.
4. John was the connection between the prophets of old and the promise of the New and Living Way of Jesus Christ.
5. John’s Hebrew name meant “Gracious”.
6. John would make the way in the wilderness for the Grace of God to come to man.
This newborn baby, born of Zacharius and Elizabeth, would not be given the name of his forefathers.
Rather, John would:
· Be the introduction of the very reason for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
· Give the introduction of the Grace of God to all of mankind.
Zacharius is like most any father. He is naturally pleased with the birth of his son. But first things first!
Like Zacharius, any of us can become excited about getting something knew given to us at Christmas time.
But first things first.
The Holy Spirit has filled Zacharius and for that reason Zacharius must declare the Good News.
Like Zacharius in vs. 69, we must declare to the world,