Come, Lord Jesus. Be born anew in me. Live in my heart. Abide in my life. I await Your coming.
Read LUKE 1:67-80
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5). A good example for us all of Christian parenting.
At his son’s birth, Zechariah bursts into Spirit-filled prophetic song, the second song that Luke records, known as the Benedictus after the first word of the song in Latin. Mary’s song spoke of the reversal that Jesus would bring. Zechariah’s prophetic song is a hymn of blessing to God for his salvation of Israel, the fulfillment of promise and God’s faithfulness. He also foresaw his son’s future as a prophet preparing the way for the Lord who would bring light in the darkness.
No doubt Zechariah’s parenting was shaped by this prophetic experience. Young John would have spent hours in the Scriptures, memorizing, meditating, reflecting and preparing for the moment he would emerge as prophet. Godly leaders do not emerge by accident. God shapes them, often in their homes and religious communities. One thinks of Moses, raised initially by his mother and then within the home of Pharaoh (Exod. 2:1-10). Or Timothy, nurtured by his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Tim. 1:5). Or John Wesley, carefully instructed by Susanna Wesley, including learning Greek and Latin from the age of 5. John is no exception. He was raised by faithful priestly parents to be the new Elijah who would prepare the way for the Christ.
Luke concludes, summing up this process: John “grew and became strong in spirit” (or “the Spirit,” 80). At adulthood, John spent his time in the Judean wilderness. This recalls Moses in the wilderness of Midian (Exod. 2:15–4:17), or Elijah by the Cherith brook (1 Kings 17:1-6). No doubt this time was spent in communion with God preparing for ministry. If we too wish to be effective, we must prepare well in quiet places. This is a special challenge for those in busy urban environments. What are you doing to meet this formidable challenge?
How are you helping the next generation, your own children or others, to be immersed in God’s story? How are you spending time with God in the wilderness? Both are essential.
Father God, I am thankful for these godly ones who surrounded the coming of Jesus, and his forerunner John. Teach me from their faithful living.