The Birth, Circumcision, and Manifestation of John the Baptist--Luke 1:57-80
After Mary spent three months with Elizabeth and went back home to Nazareth, Luke relates the story of the birth, circumcision, and manifestation of John the Baptist. This is found in Luke 1:57-80. It falls into three parts.
I. The Birth of John the Baptist. Luke 1:57-58.
a. Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist. 1:57.
b. Elizabeth relatives and neighbors heard the Lord had shown his great mercy on Elizabeth, and they rejoiced with her. 1:58. See Luke 1:11-17.
II. The Circumcision of John the Baptist. Luke 1:59-66.
a. On the eighth day [following the Law of Moses in Leviticus 12:1-3], appointed people came to circumcise John the Baptist and call him Zechariah after his father. Elizabeth said his name is John. But they replied that no one has called him name in Zechariah's family. 1:59-61.
b.They went to Zechariah [who was still unable to speak--see Luke 1:20-22] to learn the correct name for Elizabeth's son. Zechariah wrote the name JOHN on a writing tablet. The people were amazed. Immediately, Zechariah began to speak and to praise God. Fear came upon the neighbors of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and the entire hill country of Judah talked about this set of events. All the people were pondering what will this child become. 1:62-66.
III. The Manifestation of John the Baptist. Luke 1:67-80.
a. Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and uttered a prophecy. He proclaims that the Lord has greatly blessed his people throughout history. 1:67-75.
b. Zechariah declares that: (1) John will be called the prophet of the Most High; (2) John will go before the Lord to prepare his ways; (3) God will give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins; (4) the dawn will break upon God's people; (5) God will give light to those who sit in darkness to guide our feet into the way of peace. 1:76-79.
c. John the Baptist grew and became strong in spirit. He stayed in the wilderness until he appeared publicly in Israel. 1:80.
John the Baptist becomes a very important person in the story of Jesus. Following pericopes will reveals various truths about John the Baptist.
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