WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Come, Lord Jesus. Be born anew in me. Live in my heart. Abide in my life. I await your coming.
Read LUKE 1:57-66
The Birth of John the Baptist
57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever disagreed with, or disapproved of, the choice of a name? Thank God for your own name. Whether you like it or not it is your own and part of you.
A television commercial shows a girl of goth-like appearance named Joy, looking anything but joyful. We’re assured it is all on the inside!
In our reading today, the joy and graciousness of God are very much a public spectacle. Things go a bit off script when the relatives want a traditional name (v 61). But Elizabeth and Zechariah are both adamant that he is John (vs 60,63). The name means ‘God is gracious’. And how much graciousness were these new parents now experiencing in their lives.
As soon as Zechariah’s obedience is confirmed, his voice returns and he can’t stop praising God (v 64). Blessings flow. Everyone now knows God has spoken. They have the first insights into how special the child will be. What exactly that will mean is yet to be revealed.
When we do things for God the consequences can be immediate. Sometimes we have that inner sense of certainty like Zechariah did. It still doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be easy. Both Elizabeth and her husband had the knowledge of God’s ways and the faith to persist. And that is what we need too.
Is there anything in your life today that is stopping you from glorifying God or keeping you from following your calling? Ask God to show you how to get back into the center of his will.
Lord, your kingdom is on the verge of breaking through. I want to be a part of your kingdom, now and forever.
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