Summary: An often overlooked passage has some great insights concerning God, Jesus, and John the Baptist!
" SLIDE #1
" We are rapidly closing in on Christmas. It is an exciting time for children and adults.
" There are many things to do to be prepared for this wonderful holiday.
" Today we will begin a 3-part series entitled, Christmas With Luke.
" In this series we will examine what the Gospel of Luke shares concerning some of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.
" Today we will examine Luke 1:68-79, this is Zechariah's Prophecy.
" In my 25 years of ministry, I have never preached a message from this passage.
" The background for is this is this. Zechariah is the father of John the Baptist.
" He and his wife Elizabeth were up in years and were barren to this point.
" These were good people, Zechariah was a Priest.
" One day when Zechariah was serving in the temple, an Angel, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to tell him that Zechariah and Elizabeth were going to a child and Gabriel also told him what this child was going to do for the Lord!
" Zechariah questioned Gabriel as to how his could happen since he and Elizabeth were so far advanced in age.
" Well, Gabriel chastised Zechariah and told Zechariah he would not be able to speak until the child was born because he did not believe Gabriel.
" When Zechariah came out of the Temple unable to speak, the people rightly surmised that Zechariah had seen a vision while in the Temple.
" This is found in Luke 1:5-24
" After this happened, the angel appeared to Mary to let her know that she was going to give birth to the son of God.
" Now we get to Luke 1:57-ff, John was born, it was time to name him. Zechariah could not speak as of yet.
" On the eighth day as was tradition, they were going to circumcise and formally name the child.
" The people figured he would be named after his father Zechariah.
" Elizabeth said, no he will be named John. Everyone was asking which relative was named John, so they figured she was taking advantage of Zechariah not being able to talk, so they asked Zechariah what the boy's name would be.
" Zechariah asked for a tablet and he wrote his name is John!
" Now here is what happened.
" SLIDE #2
" Luke 1:63-66 (CSB) - 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote: "His name is John." And they were all amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard about him took it to heart, saying, "What then will this child become?" For, indeed, the Lord's hand was with him.
" So today we are going to look at some insights we can gain from Zechariah's prophecy.
" Let's turn to Luke 1:68-71
" SLIDE #3
" Luke 1:68-71 (CSB) - 68 Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and provided redemption for his people. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, 70 just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets in ancient times; 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of those who hate us.
" SLIDE #4
I. God's purpose for Jesus.
" When we consider the Christmas holiday, what do we think about? Trees, gifts, Santa Claus, family, gifts, food, decorations, Jerry's Electric show, gifts, food, gifts food. :
" Oh yes, and Jesus! :
" This prophecy by Zechariah was called the Benedictus in later centuries after the Latin word meaning Blessed.
" It is believed to be been sung as a hymn in middle of the 6th Century by Caesarius of Arles. ARE ROLES
" This first part of the prophecy deals with God and His purpose for Jesus.
" Before Jesus there was no Christmas. But did God send Jesus just, so we could have all the things we associate with Christmas?
" There is an interesting word in verse 68, the word VISITED.
" This word means to look upon, to look upon in order to know the state of anyone.
" Then to visit for the purpose of aiding those who need help.
" So, God looked down, knew what we needed, and sent Jesus to offer a remedy for our issue.
" Until Zacharias, there was almost a 400-year absence of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of prophecy.
" Malachi, the last of the Old Testament Prophets had died around 400 years earlier.