Summary: Zechariah was a faithful servant for the Lord, but doubted God when an angel appeared to Him with great news. When God's promise was fulfilled, his first response was to PRAISE because of who God is. Will we do the same during this Christmas season?

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2014 Christmas Series (December 7, 2014)

Sermon 2 – Zechariah’s Praise

Luke 1:5-25; 57-66; 67-80


- Obvious question: “What is Advent?”

-- The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival."

-- The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ

-- His birth is his First Advent, his first coming, to a world in great need

-- Also reflects on the anticipation of the return of Christ in his Second Advent

- Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history.

-- It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ

-- It is where ALL of creation might be reconciled to God because of Jesus Christ

- Last week we talked about Mary’s visit with Elizabeth

-- Elizabeth’s baby leaped in the womb when he heard Mary’s voice

-- Elizabeth was delighted to see what God had done in her life, and in Mary’s

-- Mary responded in worship that her soul glories the Lord (it’s not about her)

- This morning, we are going to examine the events surrounding John’s birth

-- Many would ask why we’d look at him at Advent, well, he was a proclaimer!

-- His job was to proclaim the coming of the King, and we’d be wise to follow him

-- APP: It is our job to tell others about Jesus; not just me, not you, but OURS!

- John the Baptist was the forerunner, much like Isaiah, who proclaimed the truth

-- From his life we are encouraged that we too can be proclaimers, always!

-- But, it has to start somewhere – this morning, let’s see where HIS story starts

- Lots of scripture to cover; different teaching (not expository); preaching

- Pray

∆ Point 1 – Experiencing brings Change (v5-25)

- Read Luke 1:5-25

- Zechariah was a man who was faithful in the sight of God; a priest under Herod

- While performing his duties, God found favor with him and sent an angel

- Many ask today if God is still speaking to us, and I believe that He is - always

-- APP: If we are faithful, God will speak to us – and then we must follow Him

- v13 is a specific command that he will name his son to be, John

-- He will be a prophet to be used by the Lord to bring people back to God

- IMP: But, good old Zechariah had some problems in the area of faith

-- He doubted (he questioned the angel) rather than just hearing God and accepting

- v19, “The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”

- I’m thinking about this time Zechariah has a clue that he may be in trouble here

-- Take a look though at what is happening in this scenario …

-- He is standing in church, doing church stuff, and NOW he wants to doubt God?

- v20, “And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

- Meanwhile, everyone is outside waiting for church to end. Consider this …

-- Probably wondering what was taking so long for him to complete his “duties”

-- Normally, he is pretty routine when it comes to things he does at the temple

-- He goes in, burns the incense, comes out, and off to Ryan’s we go … right?

- There’s a lesson here for us – that sometimes church is more than what we expect

-- IMP: Sometimes, God has a few more things planned for us than what we plan

-- So he comes out, he is mute, and then people are wondering what happened!

- IMP: When we get into the presence of God, we ought to experience a change

-- Of course, when cannot all be stricken mute, but there ought to be a life change

-- Others ought to be able to see that we’ve spent time with God; Zechariah did

- APP: When God says He is going to do something – we can count on it

-- DEEPER: When God shows up, a mighty experience MUST be expected!!

- TRANS: So, here is Zechariah, now mute, about to be a Dad, and willing to obey

∆ Point 2 – Following God’s Command (v57-66)

- Read Luke 1:57-66

- 9 months in and Zechariah hasn’t said a word, but he has God’s promise (v57)

-- And so when John was born, and was preparing for the circumcision/naming

-- Cue neighbors (prob. same ones wondering what took him so long at the temple)

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