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Saturday, September 10, 2005
The Life and Teachings of Jesus—The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold (Part III)
Topic: John the Baptist

Have you asked God an awkward question about why this and why is that? Have you refused to listen to someone and you miss the opportunity? We all had experienced some rejections or miss the opportunity in our own life. From Luke 1:18-20, we will see how Zechariah misses the opportunity and needs to face the punishment until his son’s birth.

From the last two studies, we looked at John the Baptist’s family background and what an angel of the Lord had spoken to Zechariah. In Luke 1:13-17 says, “But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord. And he will go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteousness—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’”

Remember Malachi prophesied that there was going to be a messenger before the Lord (Mal 3:1). The angel prophesied that this messenger will be a joy and delight to Zechariah, and many will rejoice because of his birth (Luke 1:14). Also, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit and power of Elijah to make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:15-17). But there was a conflict in the heart of Zechariah. Let’s read in Luke 1:18.

Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.

In this verse, Zechariah asked the angel a good question, but he blew it by adding how old his wife and he was. Let’s begin with his question: How can I be sure of this? When Moses climbed up to the burning bush and met the Lord, he asked Him how he could bring the people of Israel escape from Egypt. “How can I be sure of this is You, Lord?” Moses would ask. As we read in Exodus 3-4, we see that God gave Moses some of the signs He made. In Luke 1:13, an angel of the Lord said to Zechariah that his prayer has been heard. God will answer your prayer if you put your faith and trust in Him.

But we cannot argue against God. Paul asked us a question of arguing against God, “Does not the potter have the right to make out the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:21.) It is hard for us not to argue against our families for what is the best for us as individual. As in Luke 1:18b, we find some excuses not to obey our parents. But do not mix with Matthew 10:34-36 on gaining God’s messages to our own life and obeying our own people. As God said, we need to honor our parents (Deuteronomy 5:16).

Do you know why the American families have created many problems? One of the reasons is that they do not have the relationship with the One who created of this world. We could worship Buddha or Hindu, but does he give the answer to our problems? How is our material thing? Do they give the solution to our financial issues? Buddha, Hindu, or other gods from any otherworld religions can’t answer the prayer of our needs. Even some Christian denomination groups worship the idols, such as the Mother Nature of the creation, rather than God, by misinterpreting the Scripture. Only Jesus can answer to our requests, because He proved Himself to be our God by showing us His resurrection and His love and justice. The only way He can answer to our prayers is that we don’t need to excuse ourselves from Him.

Read Luke 1:19-22 and see why Zechariah can’t speak. He rejected the Word of God’s promise by excusing himself. In this text, Zechariah saw a vision—a vision from God. We do not know how long he was in the Temple, but we understand that he saw a messenger of the Lord.

Now he can’t speak to his people for days rather than making signs (Luke 1:22). But look when Elizabeth became pregnant. “When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and five months remained in seclusion. ‘The Lord has been done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.’” (Luke 1:23-25.) Are you the one of them, who wants doing God’s favor in your life? Take a break time from your regular hours and give your time to Jesus Christ.

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.”

Posted by MGJC Web Ministry at 12:01 AM EDT
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