God Has Remembered-Luke 1:8-17

Luke 1:8-17 “Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 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. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on 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 righteous — to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Luca 1:8-17 Mentre Zaccaria esercitava il sacerdozio davanti a Dio nell’ordine del suo turno,secondo la consuetudine del sacerdozio, gli toccò in sorte di entrare nel tempio del Signore per offrirvi il profumo; 10 e tutta la moltitudine del popolo stava fuori in preghiera nell’ora del profumo.11 E gli apparve un angelo del Signore, in piedi alla destra dell’altare dei profumi. 12 Zaccaria, vedendolo, fu turbato e preso da spavento. 13 Ma l’angelo gli disse: «Non temere, Zaccaria, perché la tua preghiera è stata esaudita; tua moglie Elisabetta ti partorirà un figlio, e tu gli porrai nome Giovanni. 14 Tu ne avrai gioia ed esultanza, e molti si rallegreranno per la sua nascita. 15 Perché sarà grande davanti al Signore. Non berrà né vino né bevande alcoliche, e sarà pieno di Spirito Santo fin dal grembo di sua madre. 16 Ricondurrà molti dei figli d’Israele al Signore, loro Dio; 17 andrà davanti a lui con lo spirito e la potenza di Elia, per volgere i cuori dei padri ai figli e i ribelli alla saggezza dei giusti, per preparare al Signore un popolo ben disposto».
     Of the four Gospel writers, it is Luke who gives the most information on John the Baptist. John has been called the last of the Old Testament prophets and a type of Elijah. It is the angel of the Lord who tells Zechariah, whose name means ‘God has remembered’, that his son will be named John (literally Johanan). What is unusual about this name is that it was not a name from Zechariah’s family. The name John signifies “God is gracious”. When most people think of the preaching of John the Baptist, “gracious” would not be a word that comes to mind; rather, images of a hard line preacher with little mercy and less than gracious would be more likely!
     But John brought hope and grace to the people who felt that God had stopped sending the prophets because the people would not listen. Notice the specific descriptions given by the Angel Gabriel surrounding John and his mission: he would be a joy and delight, many would rejoice because of him, he would be great in the sight of the Lord, submit to a Nazarite vow and be filled with the Holy Spirit. His mission would bring people back to God and prepare the way for the Lord. It certainly appears that this was a man of grace! Zechariah understood after his time of reproof from the Lord, that God remembered and John would be the messenger prophesied in Malachi 3:1, “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.” 
     In the great plan of God for the salvation of all mankind, these two men set the stage by showing us that God remembered us and that He is a gracious God.
Pray with me: Lord, as I reflect on your great plan of salvation, I am in awe of every detail that was set in order by Your divine design. I know that You are my God who has remembered and been gracious to me.  

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