Posted by / Tuesday 28 March 2017 / No comments

The birth of John the Baptist

There was a man known as Zechariah with his wife, Elizabeth. The two obeyed the commandments of the Lord and walked blamelessly before the Lord but there was a problem. They did not have any child and they were both advanced in age.

One day, as Zechariah was serving as a priest, at the time his division was on duty, the lot fell upon him to burn incense in the Temple. As he was doing so, an angel appeared to him near the side of the altar of incense. Zechariah was frightened but the angel told him not to. The angel informed Zechariah that his prayers had been heard by God. The angel told him that Elizabeth, his wife was going to give birth to a child. The child shall be called John.

Since he was an old man and the wife was also old and passed the age of giving birth, Zechariah doubted what the angel was prophesying. He reasoned that it was not possible. For doubting what the Lord had planned to execute, the angel pronounced him dumb until the prophesy had come to pass.

There were people waiting outside for Zechariah to return but the encounter with the angel delayed him. The people outside were wondering what might have kept him for that long in the temple of the Lord.

When Zechariah finally came out, it was realized that he could not speak and the people concluded that he must have seen a vision in the Temple. Zechariah could only speak to them in sign language. When his time to serve had come to an end, Zechariah went back home. Three after that, his wife became pregnant and for five months, she hid herself. She was happy that the Lord had counted her worthy to take away her reproach among men.

When Elizabeth was due, she gave birth to a son. The kinsmen were happy for her and they wanted to name the child after his father but Elizabeth said the child should be called John. The kinsmen said there was no such name in the lineage of the father’s family. The people decided to ask the father what he wanted the child to be called. In a sign language, Zechariah asked for a slate on which he could write the name. They gave it to him and he wrote that the child should be named John.

Everybody there was surprised that Zechariah also wanted the child to be called John. Immediately after this, Zechariah’s tongue loosened and he could speak again.

1. a. Describe the circumstances surrounding the birth of John the Baptist.
    b. What two lessons are in this account for childless couples of today? 

2. Give a vivid account of the birth of John the Baptist.

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