He will go before (the Lord) in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared (Luke 1:17).
Read Luke 1:14-17.
The angel tells Zechariah his son "will be great before the Lord." That's high praise for any of our children-that God looks upon them as great. But John's greatness is not because he is the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, but because he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. The Spirit will equip him to accomplish his great God-given mission.
Zechariah is instructed to keep his son from drinking wine or strong drink. John will live like a Nazarite of Old Testament days. Nazarites were Israelites who were set apart from the Israelites with their lives dedicated to serving God and His people. They demonstrated that separation by letting their hair grow long and refraining from eating grapes or drinking wine and other alcoholic drinks.
As the angel tells Zechariah, "He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah ... to make ready for the Lord a people prepared" (see Luke 1:16-17).
John will expose our selfishness and show us why we need a Savior, so we will trust in the promised Son of God. It is He alone who will work out our salvation in His perfect life and innocent suffering and death. Clearly, it was worth waiting all those years to have such a son as John.
THE PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for sending Your Son into our world, and preparing people like Zechariah and Elizabeth to be parents of His forerunner John. Give me courage to walk with You in faith as You order my steps. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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