Topic: John the Baptist
From the previous message, we looked at Luke 1:57-58 and studied about why God allowed Elizabeth to have a baby in her old age. We also studied about why the birthday tradition was not important in the Jewish community. As we studied through these discussions, we found out that God does not care how old we are rather than to have a personal relationship with each of us. Paul said there is nothing will able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39).
In I Corinthians 13, Paul gave an explanation about why the “love” is so powerful tool to establish the relationship than anything else. If there is no love, how Elizabeth conceived a child and rejoiced with her family and neighbors? If we would so focus on our personal holiday, how the love of God effect in us? In I John 4:19 said, “We love because he [God] first loved us.” Because He loves us, He created the world and formed us to live in this planet to establish the loving relationship with us. Because of His love, God gave us the second chance to repent our sins and may have eternal relationship with Him. Because of His love, Elizabeth celebrated what God has done in her life.
As we continue to study about the birth of Elizabeth’s child, why she and her husband, Zechariah, gave the unique name to their child.
Read Luke 1:59-61:
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
The word “circumcision” means removal of the foreskin in males. Throughout the Old Testament, we see that every firstborn must be circumcising in the Jewish community. It is necessary do this, especially with males, to remind their convent with God. It is established by God to signify His relationship with the Israelites.
In Genesis 17:9-14, God made a covenant with Abraham to signify His relationship with Abraham’s future descendants. All male Jewish babies underwent circumcision, a sign their set-apartness as God’s chosen people. I Peter 2:9-10a said,”…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God…”
It is important to Jew that the only priest must do circumcision the child. Since the Jewish people released from Egypt, God specifically gave this law to the priests, Aaron and his sons, because it needed to be done property and holy by whom charged the Temple. God commanded that only eight-day old males to be circumcised to recognize that this child is belong to Him.
Then in the New Testament tells us that it is not necessary to be circumcised the child, because Jesus Christ has free us from the bondage of our sins (Galatians 5:1-12). Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
“Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. ‘A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.’ I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!”
Why do we baptize? The baptismal symbolizes that we born again in God’s family (John 3:1-8). It is the similar method as in the Old Testament. But, now, God let us to choose to come into His family. Circumcision and baptismal have nothing to do, but God would like to know what you would do after you have taken the first step of your new life.
Now, in Luke 1:59b, we see that the priest must name the child after the child’s father originally. But in this passage, Elizabeth refused to call her child after his father and named him John (1:60). This is strange for the priests (1:61), because she broke the tradition of family. But Elizabeth did just as an angel told her to do (Luke 1:5-25).
Elizabeth understood that her child will be special one as it prophesied in Isaiah 40:3.
What Zechariah would say about this? Did he agree with his wife about their child? If you have a child, what you would name her/him? Next week, we will conclude this study on the name John.
Are you saved? Are your love ones and friends saved in the grace of God through Jesus Christ? The purpose of this ministry is to share with you how much God loves you and me and wants to come in our own life to take us through any obstacles in our daily life. As Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3.)
If you are lukewarm in your relationship with Jesus Christ and want to know Him as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, please consider asking Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life. Paul says, "That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10.) If you have done in your private room or workplace, then you need to tell to your friends or love ones about what you have done, so they may rejoice with you and want to have that relationship with Christ in their own life. There are many occultisms in the world, which do not know the love of God and His great plan for those who believe in Him. As it is written in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."