Day 8: The Faith of the Forerunner
Scripture to meditate on: Luke 1:57-66 The Birth of John the Baptist
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
“His name is John.” One of the things about John the Baptist that I love is that he was so obviously different. His parents did not name him Zechariah after his father, the common practice of the day. No, they remembered what the angel said to Zechariah and followed the Lord. Even if it was out-of-the-box. “His name is John.” Both his parents had strong faith – that was far from ordinary – and demonstrated that faith to their son.
The unusual aspects of John’s birth led the people around the family to say, “What then is this child going to be?” They saw that the Lord’s hand was with him. He grew up, became strong in the spirit, lived in the wilderness, wore odd clothes, ate unusual food. He had the courage to be the person that God called him to be.
John’s faithfulness to that call inspires me. The Lord’s plan for him was not really about him. It was about Jesus. John had an important part in pointing to the arrival of God’s own son. Then, his role diminished. Several of his disciples left him to follow Jesus. And he was fine with that. I cannot see what God’s bigger plan is, but I want to be a part of it no matter how unusual, no matter how small, medium or large it is.
Questions to ponder:
- What does this passage say about God?
- What does this passage say about me or my relationships?
- What should I do in light of this passage?