Is The Bible a collection of stories about hundreds of people… OR …does The Bible use the stories of people to tell the story of ONE Person?
It is the Story of God.
His Glory and His Grace.
TRUTH POINT: When we read The Bible, no matter who the characters are before us, we must look for God, because every passage is there to reveal Him in some way.
What do we see of God in today’s Passage?
SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 1:57-66, ESV
GOD KEEPS HIS WORD – VS57-58
God dispatched Gabriel to deliver an incredible message:
• Barren Elizabeth will conceive
• You will have a son
• Your son will be great in the sight of God because he has been chosen to usher in the Messianic age.
• Your son will bring you great joy and many will rejoice at His birth.
As we’ve discovered:
Elizabeth did conceive.
She gave birth to a son.
The joy promised, came.
But their story is NOT THE story. It tells God’s story.
TRUTH POINT: If this were simply a story about Elizabeth, Zechariah and baby John, then the rejoicing by others would be focused on them alone. But that’s not how it went down. See VS58
TRUTH POINT: The actual focus here is NOT the birth of a child as much as it is on Yahweh who is a God of Mercy, of which this child is a tangible manifestation of that fact.
TRUTH POINT: John’s arrival brought the final stamp to what God said would happen. His Word, once again, was proven true which reveals that God is Trustworthy!
Let there be no doubt, God Keeps His Word. Romans 10:13; Romans 8:1; John 14:1-3
Remember: the reason Luke is writing this gospel is to give Theophilus a well-researched, documented account of what God is doing to bring His plan of redemption into time and space.
GOD IS GRACIOUS – VS59-63
The graciousness of God is born out in this passage that records a struggle over what Elizabeth’s baby would be called.
Remember: Names mean something in Scripture.
• Zechariah = God has remembered
• John = God is Gracious
TRUTH POINT: Like Baptism for New Testament Saints, Circumcision was the identifying mark of those who were part of God’s chosen people.
As Zechariah was about to perform the surgery, the question was raised: what would the boy be called? It was common, if not outright expected, that he would be named after his father or grandfather, so the people gathered affirmed that his name should be Zechariah.
Elizabeth had a quick and adamant response… NO! He shall be called John! Literally translated it would equate to… by no means or No Way… w/attitude!
At this point they go over her head and ask Zechariah.
He asked for a tablet to write his response:
His name IS John
Why is his name John?
• because God Almighty gave him his name.
• because His name means something about the purpose of his existence.
John is not here to represent God as someone who remembers, that was the meaning of his Zechariah’s name. John came to represent the One who is filled with Grace.
Thus the meaning of his name, John = God is Gracious. See Psalm 103:1-14
TRUTH POINT: This is what John was sent to communicate. He was sent to call the people to repentance so they could receive the indescribable, incomparable, unbelievable GRACE of God.
John could have no other name, because his singular purpose was to prepare a people to receive The GRACE of God.
THE POWER OF GOD – VS64
Isn’t it amazing that God …by simple thought - an expression of His will… can bind something up or release it.
TRUTH POINT: Yahweh is The God of All Power! It’s the meaning of one of His many names: El Shaddai = God Almighty
That’s why Gabriel could say to Mary, when he visited her… Nothing is impossible with God.
• Genesis 1-2 record God creating all that is out of nothing material. Only the verbal expression of His will.
• Revelation 21-22 records how God will do away with the present creation and recreate the earth and the heavens.
That all sounds kind of frightening doesn’t it, but it doesn’t have to be. For those who receive the gift of FAITH in Jesus Christ, there is no need of fear with God.
In Christ, God is no-longer our Judge, but our Eternal Loving Father. We need not fear His power for it is only used to transform us into the image of Christ Jesus.
This is what John was sent for. To prepare the path for Jesus who through His redemptive work would bring peace with God to repentant sinners
Peace with God… do you have that today?
Is Jesus calling you to repentance and faith today? In this message has The Spirit born witness to:
• The Trustworthiness of God.
• The Grace of God.
• The All Powerfulness of God.
God invaded time and space, using Divine Power to bring Saving Grace to this world. You can Trust Him to save you from your sin, to make you a new person, to bring you into His family when you respond to Him in faith.
• Confess your sin.
• Trust in the work of Christ, His Cross and resurrection.
• Confess Him as your Savior and Lord.
• Receive God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ The Lord.