Monday 25 June 2018

Bible Book:

“But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’” (v. 60)

Luke 1:57-66, 80 Monday 25 June 2018

Psalm: Psalm 80:1-7


Today is the day when the Church celebrates the birth of John the Baptist.

This passage speaks powerfully about breaking with tradition and how God’s kingdom challenges us to think differently.

Zechariah, a priest, had been silent for nine months after he had failed to trust in the promises of God (Luke 1:5-20). Here we see the community celebrating the birth of a son to Zechariah and Elizabeth; they are at the Jewish ceremony where their son is to be circumcised and named.

The gathered community assumed that in keeping with tradition he would be named after his father. Names held great significance in biblical times – traditionally children would be given family names and it would be the father that named children. There had been occasions when God had changed names in the past to signify God at work in their lives (eg Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:1-5), Jacob to Israel (Genesis 32:22-28)).

Here Elizabeth is shown as a strong and faithful woman by her obedience to God’s word to Zechariah that they would have a son and that he was to be named John. By not following in the tradition of being named after his father, it would have implied that this child was not to follow in his father’s footsteps. But from birth God had marked John out as someone called to be a herald of the kingdom.

To Ponder

  • When do you need to have courage like Elizabeth?
  • What traditions do you need to break?
  • Where in your life do you need to think differently?
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