Summary: A Christmas time message about Zechariah and Elizabeth
HOLY DAYS, HOLY PEOPLE
Ready for a miracle?
Luke 1:5-25; 57-65
Introduction – Christmas is 24 days away!
• Waiting for Christmas is hard…especially for kids.
• Sears catalog in October/November…wonder and wait
• Xmas is a time of waiting for many and it started that way
• God hadn’t spoken to his people for 400 years…waiting
• No angels had shown up with good news for Israel.
• No God fearing king to usher in an era of prosperity.
• No deliverers rose up to throw out the oppressors.
• No word from the Lord since the prophet Malachi. 400
• The worship of God had been corrupted.
• For the most part, God’s people were godless.
• The religious leaders were absolutely terrible.
• Sadducees were corrupt & getting kickbacks from Romans
• Pharisees were legalists who beat people down w/rules
• The Roman pagans were occupying the holy lands.
• They put Herod the Great in charge of God’s people because he was half Jewish.
• He beautified and expanded God’s Holy Temple and then hung a big Roman eagle right over the entrance way.
• These were dark times among Israel w/no hope on horizon
• You think it’s hard to wait for Christmas? Try waiting 400 years for someone to come or for something to change!
Segue: That was the setting of the very first Christmas. And that’s sets the stage for the very first Christmas characters.
Zechariah and Elizabeth (READ vs 5-7)
5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
Righteous in God’s eyes.
• That simply means they were in right standing with God.
• When God looked upon these people he saw faithfulness.
• These people were quietly doing good from within a crooked society & corrupted religion. True believers.
• And I want to point out…the Father noticed.
• Some of you feel just like Zech & Elizabeth….feel like you are the only one trying 2B faithful in your family, marriage, place of employment…know this: God sees your faithful…
• Careful to obey the commandments and regulations.
• Commandments refer to their personal conduct, they obeyed the Law of Moses, kept the faith.
• Also obeyed regulations which were the rules of worship
• If there was an offering required they gave it, if there was a religious holiday they observed it, if there was a church potluck they brought the 3 Bean Salad…or a Jell-O mold.
• For all that was going well there was heartache in their live
• Unable to conceive.
• In Jewish society childless couples were thought 2B cursed