A father’s duty
Luke 1:65-80 The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. (66) Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. (67) His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: (68) “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. (69) He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (70) (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), (71) salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us– (72) to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, (73) the oath he swore to our father Abraham: (74) to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear (75) in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. (76) And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, (77) to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, (78) because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven (79) to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (80) And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.
Earlier is this gospel of Luke, we read how an angel had appeared to Zachariah, telling him that he would have a son in his old age. And now the words of the angel have been fulfilled and John – who we know as John the Baptist – has been born. Due to the supernatural significance surrounding his birth, people wondered what would come of him, what his purpose was going to be. Clearly God was with him and going to be with him.
In a time of Roman oppression and with a few failed coups speckling the past, maybe it was that the people were thinking, were wondering, if this child – John – was the one whom had been prophesied would come to set the captives free, set Israel free and restore her to her rightful inheritance. Maybe it was that the people were thinking, were whispering, “Could this be the Messiah?”
And when we read Zechariah’s prophecy, we nearly want to say yes! For he speaks of God now having come and redeemed His people; and he speaks of being saved from their enemies; and he speaks of God remembering and restoring His covenant. For a moment, people might be forgiven for thinking that Zechariah was indeed speaking, prophesying, about his son John.
But he’s not! You see, verse 69 shows us that the first portion of this prophetic utterance is related to a descendant of David. And Luke 1 vs. 5 shows us that both Zechariah and Elizabeth were descendants of Aaron the priest. They are thus not of the line of David. So, the first half of Zechariah’s prophecy is not related to his son John.
The second half of Zechariah’s prophecy is however related to his son. Zechariah has remained faithful to what he believes, knows, John’s calling to be as given to him by the angel in Luke 1 vs. 17. He prophecies over John in vs. 76, that he is to “go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him.” THAT is John’s call of duty. THAT is going to be his work. THAT is what his father will be preparing him for.
And that is Zechariah’s duty – a father’s duty: to remain faithful to what God has laid upon his heart for his children and to help prepare them for what God has called them to be.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
Posted on August 7, 2013, in Christianity, Living the Word, Practical Faith and tagged Calling, Duty, Fatherhood, Luke, Luke 1, Luke 1:65-80, Parental Responsibility. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on A father’s duty.