Summary: The point of this message is that God is always moving, even when we don’t see him moving.

The Birth of John

LUKE 1:4-25 & 57-66

© 2006 Eric Bain

NOTE: This sermon is available in audio format @


1. Luke was a great friend

2. He was an investigator and historian

3. He has gone out of his way… to make sure that we can know the certainty of the things we’re gonna learn about in his letter.

--- PRAY ---

Question: Have you ever had to deal with a major disappointment in life… you prayed to God to relieve your suffering… but he just doesn’t seem to move?

This morning as we move into the book of Luke, we’re going to be introduced to not just one such individual… but a married couple that had just this experience. Open your Bibles to the book of Luke!


LK 1:5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.

Transition: OK, let’s stop here, because what we’ve just read, is the foundation of upon which Luke is going to build the rest of the story of Jesus. I mentioned to you last week that the Gospel of Luke is really nothing more than the story of the life and ministry of Jesus, as told by a historian named Luke. But here what happens is, Luke begins the story by doing two things…

1. He sets the story in time – During the time Herod was the king of Judea

a. This is not real specific. Because we know that Herod reigned for 33 years. (37 – 4 B.C.)

b. But it’s not that important that Luke be so specific, because all he’s really doing is giving us a point of reference.

2. The second thing he does… is he introduces two characters

a. Zechariah

b. And his wife Elizabeth

We’re told that Zachariah is a priest… But also, and this is important… Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron – which is really just a fancy was of saying that she too came from a family of priests…

• In other words… these guys got the priesthood in their blood.

a. ILL – The gal at Scum that was a Physician’s Assistant… but she came from a family of Doctors.

• But, to be honest, it wasn’t the fact that Zachariah and Elizabeth had this priestly lineage… that was so important to Luke… but rather it was the fact that they were both righteous people.

a. ILL – I mean we’re all familiar with… or at least we’ve all heard about… priests that aren’t very righteous people?

b. In fact, at that time, Zachariah was just one of about 18,000 priests that served in the temple… Sure there were some that were very righteous and others that were much less righteous.

• But Luke wants us to know that Zachariah and Elizabeth were righteous.

Again, look at the text… Luke says…

Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.

• Now, here’s the deal… this isn’t to say that they had no sin. The Bible clearly teaches that everyone, short of Jesus, is sinful…

• But rather, what’s going on here… is Luke is trying to counter act the fact, that most people in his time and culture would have assumed that the reason Zachariah and Elizabeth were unable to have any children was because they had some kind of hidden sin in their life – In other words, they would have automatically assume that Elizabeth’s barrenness… was the result of God was punishing them.

But Luke wants us to know, in this case, that’s not what’s going on. You see, it is true that sin sometimes has consequences that are both horrible and humiliating… But it’s also true, that sometimes horrible and humiliating things happen to really good/godly people. And that’s what’s going on here!

Point: Zechariah and Elizabeth were both good/godly people!

• He was a priest… and she was the daughter of a priest.

• But in spite of that… Luke let’s us know, that they had lived a lifetime of disappointment & shame.

• They weren’t able have a child… and yet they desperately wanted one

• Only now, it’s too late… cause they’re just too old

This would be one of those disappointments that last a lifetime…

And as if that disappointment weren’t enough… let’s not forget that they were also considered a public disgrace. Cause, it was simply assumed that the reason they couldn’t have kids, was because God was punishing them!

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