Summary: Here’s a sermon for early in December. It includes a story to illustrate what Jesus has done for us.


Luke 1:5-13, 67-75

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

8So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,

9according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.

11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68"Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,

For He has visited and redeemed His people,

69And has raised up a horn of salvation for us

In the house of His servant David,

70As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,

Who have been since the world began,

71That we should be saved from our enemies

And from the hand of all who hate us,

72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers

And to remember His holy covenant,

73The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:

74To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

Might serve Him without fear,

75In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

We have all had visitors, especially at Christmas time.

Some visitors make us glad when they arrive.

Others make us glad when they leave.

Some visitors come for what they can give.

Others for what they can get.

Some visitors are wonderful.

And others just make you wonder.

Some visitors are welcome.

And others are, well ...!

Let me tell you about one particular visitor.

Back in 1886 twin brothers lived in a western town.

Their names were Martin and Morgan.

They looked so much alike

that even their closest friends could not tell them apart.

But looks was the only way they were alike.

They certainly didn’t act alike.

Martin was the obedient son.

He was kind to others.

He was a Christian and had high moral standards.

Morgan, on the other hand, was a different story.

He was disobedient to his parents.

He was unkind; he lied; he cheated; he stole.

He was always in trouble.

As Martin and Morgan grew older,

the differences between them also grew.

Martin continued to excel in everything he did.

Morgan, however, got deeper and deeper in trouble.

He began to have run-ins with the law.

First it was for minor offenses.

But the older he got the more serious the trouble.

He was in and out of jail as a teenager.

Then as a young adult he committed the ultimate crime.

He killed someone and was found guilty of murder.

He was sentenced to die by hanging.

It was Christmas time

and Martin came to visit him in jail.

More of this story a little later!

In the Bible text for this morning,

Zacharias, father of John the Baptist,

uttered a prophecy about the yet to be born Jesus.

He tells about His visit and the outcome of it.

Point #1.


Verse 68: "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,

For He has visited and redeemed His people,

Some people believe in a visit from outer space by aliens.

How many believe we have been?

God has visited us in Jesus Christ.

We think we visit someone when we gab on the phone.

or when we drop by for a chat.

The Greek word translated to "visit" has much deeper meaning.

To visit means to exercise caring oversight,

like a parent keeping an eye on a child at play.

To visit means to come with some charitable and helpful action,

like bringing groceries

To visit means helping someone with a task.

Jesus explained visitation when He said:

Matthew 25:35-36

for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

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