A Christmas Prophecy…about John
Often when parents have a new baby, “prophecy” is made about the child. Not really in the biblical term of the word but people will often say, “He looks just like…..” or “I hope he/she grows up to be a …..” It is natural for us to “look” into the future and make pronouncements. But these kind of pronouncements are just products of our own, human imagination. But that’s not the case here. Here, Zacharias is given a prophecy from God about his son, John. Here it is:
67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us, 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. 76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” 80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
This is an interesting prophecy. Part of Zacharias’ words speak to the far away future and some of them to the near future. When Zacharias speaks of the people being saved from their enemies I think He is speaking of a “far” future, when Jesus will one day return to earth as king. But when he speaks about his son, John, going before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, he is speaking about the near term future. John the Baptist did exactly what Zacharias said he would do. He went before Jesus. He preached the remission of sins. He got the hearts of the people prepared to hear the message of Jesus.
God has made many promises to us regarding this child, Jesus. We can trust those promises. Some of the promises are “far away” promises but some of them are “right now” promises that we can trust and that can make a difference in our lives today…and in the lives of others.