His name is John…that caused a stir—and then it got even more interesting.
Nine months of silence had been very good for Zechariah’s soul. And when he opened his mouth, his words had not a trace of doubt left in them. He blesses God. “And fear came on all their neighbors.” It would be the the normal response to this newly named son. What then would this child be?
Zechariah’s song swept across large swaths of time. The Lord God of Israel has visited us, that we might be saved from our enemies, and saved to serve Him. According the oath he swore to Abraham…”I will make of you a great nation, and through you all the families of earth shall be blessed.” And you, child, will be the last Old Testament prophet; you will come with the Spirit of the Prophets—straight up before God, calling out sin, proclaiming righteousness, preparing the way.
The Spirit that would fall on Zachariah’s son would like a storm, straightening crooked paths and bringing mountains to their knees. No wonder the neighbors were filled with fear. Yet in the midst of the judgment’s storm, mercy. The tender mercy of our God, the sunrise that shall visit us from on high, the light to shine in our darkness and in the shadow of death…even for this son, this child named John.
And we, tonight, watch and wait with Zechariah, and listen, like the neighbors who laid up Zechariah’s words in their hearts. Who is this child? Ah, the New Testament has begun.