Read Luke 1:76-80. TEXT: (Zechariah said) "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins" (Luke 1:76-77).
Now Zechariah turns to his little son John. In excited tones he sets out God's grand purpose for his young life. John's mission is to teach people why they need the Savior to come for them. He will teach what they need to be saved from. As chapter one of Luke's Gospel concludes, John is growing, preparing for the day when his ministry will begin.
It's hard to enjoy the full celebration of Christmas and the coming of the Christ Child if you have no idea why you need Him to come. John made that clear years later when he began preaching in the wilderness around the Jordan River.
"... 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? ... Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire'" (Luke 3:7b, 9).
All the evils that happen in the world clearly show mankind has failed God's perfect plan. And our own sins and the hurts we have inflicted on others shout out to God for vengeance. But the Christ Child has come to step into the breach and take the full impact of that wrath in our place.
That's why His earthly life, which begins in a lowly feeding trough, will end on a rough wooden cross. But as John points out-there is salvation from that wrath in the forgiveness of sins Jesus wins by that sad suffering and death.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us sufficient warning of the wrath to come. We flee to Your Son Jesus for protection and salvation. Thank You that for His sake we need fear no evil. Amen.
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"