Something to Live Up To
When a famous athlete has a child it is almost never that the child lives up to the standard of the parent. The same thing is true for children of actors and famous scientists. Though there might be fanfare about their lives and people might think that the child should be like the parent, it rarely works that way. It must be sort of difficult being the son of Michael Jordan as far as basketball is concerned or Albert Einstein’s son (if he had one). In Luke 1:67-79 we read the words of Zacharias, spoken immediately after his son John was circumcised: 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.”
Now that is quite a burden to live up to. But this baby who grew up to be John the Baptist only had to “live up” to the burden that God had given him. John fulfilled the words of his earthly father only as he obeyed the will and voice of his heavenly Father. It still works the same way for each of us today. God has a plan for us to “live up to”. It begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ and goes from there. Unlike John the Baptist, we will probably not be written about or remembered two thousand years after our death, but we can make an impact right here and now. John’s impact was to prepare the way for Jesus. Perhaps our greatest impact is to show others “the way”, Jesus Himself. Our greatest opportunity is to work with God as His ambassadors to point people to Jesus Christ as we live, work and play. Like John the Baptist, followers of Jesus have something big to live up to….and we can only do it when we rely on God and His power.