Birth of John the Baptist – Word of God “Double edged sword”
Rev. Mathew Varughese,
St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church,
‘…and you will name him John’ (Luke 1:13c)
- God Fulfilled His promise
The birth of John the Baptist is the fulfilment of the announcement to Zachariah. Every element of today’s Bible portion shows fulfilling of prophecies regarding the birth of John the Baptist. ‘Every aspect of these events occurred following God’s design and led to the fulfilment of God’s redemptive work in Israel and beyond’ (NIB Vol.IX: p.59)
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and succeed in the thing for which I sent it,. (Isaiah 55:10, 11. N R S V)
When the neighbours and relatives heard that the God had fulfilled His promise to Zechariah and Elizabeth, they said the Lord had shown great mercy to her (V.58)
Blessings are not accidental but an incident to praise God for His great mercy towards us. In a world of ‘taken for granted’ attitude, Zechariah and Elizabeth along with their neighbours and relatives exalt God for His great mercy and Lord’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promises.
2. They shared their joy-Neighbours and relatives rejoiced with her.
The birth of John the Baptist was of course an inestimable joy to the family but they shared this happy event with neighbours and relatives. This again the fulfilment of the promise we read in Luke 1:14 ‘…and many will rejoice at his birth’. Today we create a world around us where we are the centre of everything. No joy is shared and no pain is conversed. As a result a faith community is steadily diminishing. The Christian fellowship is a sharing fellowship. We share the joy and pain of our community and grow together with our Lord.
3. They Obeyed – Named him John.Traditionally Zachariah’s son will be named after him, but here he is named as John, though none of his relatives have this name. This is obeying God’s commandment to Zachariah, we read in Luke 1:13c ‘…and you will name him John’. Giving somebody’s name to our own child is a humiliation, but they obeyed the eternal plan of God. Our blessings should not distract us from the eternal plan of God. The things which are hard to understand today have an eternal plan. Our duty is to prayerfully wait for the Lord to reveal His eternal plan in our lives and our community and to the generations to come.
PRAYERLord, help us to believe that You will fulfil Your promise, help us to wait patiently for the fulfilment of Your promise and help us to surrender ourselves to Your eternal plan. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:"the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. "