He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Luke 1:63 NABRE
Luke is sharing the events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist. John played an important role in the gospels announcing the coming of the Messiah and then pointing to Jesus as the one they have been expecting. John’s conception and birth was a miraculous story. Elizabeth John’s mother was unable to conceive but an angel appears to her husband Zechariah announcing his wife will have a son and he is to be named John. Zechariah doubts this is possible as he and his wife are very old, past the point of child bearing. Zechariah’s doubt in front of the angel leads to him being stricken and unable to speak. Finally when the baby is born Elizabeth announces he will be named John and as we read in the quoted verse Zechariah, the father, confirms the baby’s name by writing it out. All are surprised because John is not a family name.
The announcing of the birth of John by the Angel Gabriel is God’s message to Zechariah and Elizabeth and His naming the child. In biblical language names are more than a label they declare a message and purpose. Often children are named after a family member, a grandparent or parent. But when God gets involved in naming, a name is given which is in line with the person’s call by God, their name announces who they are in God’s eyes. John in Hebrew means “the Lord Is gracious” (or merciful.) Called to go before the Messiah we hear the Angel say about John “… he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God” (Luke 1:16.) After John’s birth those present at the naming rejoice and see the Lord with him. John works tirelessly bringing people to God making a significant contribution to the preparation of people to accept God and be open to the Messiah.
Do you bring people to God? What is your mission?John works tirelessly bringing people to God making a significant contribution to the preparation of people to accept God and be open to the Messiah. Click To Tweet
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