One more Christmas mystery: John the Baptist PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 December 2017 15:10



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied… `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,  to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins’… (Luke 1:67, 76-77, the Holy Bible).


ONE MORE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY: JOHN THE BAPTIST: Did you know that there was a time when the commemoration of Christmas, or the birth of Jesus, our God and Savior, was not deemed a complete celebration if there was no mention of John the Baptist—or the son in very old age of Zechariah and the barren Elizabeth?

John became a very significant part of the narrative about the coming of Jesus to the world during the first Christmas, because it was he who was mandated to make Jesus known to the world, guiding people to repentance, turning themaway from their sins.

John was commanded by God, according to the prophesy, to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus. He was considered by God as the new Elijah, filled with the Holy Spirit and with power from the heavens. The truth is that, John’s work was proclaimed by both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible.


JOHN THE BAPTIST: MAKING PEOPLE READY FOR JESUS: This is John’s story, in a nutshell: his parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, were both very old. Elizabeth was even incapable of bearing a baby. But they were righteous before the Lord. One day, Zechariah was at the temple discharging his duties when the angel Gabriel appeared to him.

As Zechariah and Gabriel were talking, the angel said God consented to giving what Zechariah and Elizabeth had been praying for all their lives, a son. According to Gabriel, a son would be born to them, whom they will name John.

Gabriel also announced: John is going to make his parents happy. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he would be born. He would guide and lead, in the kind of power earlier given to Elijah, many people towards righteousness. He would be making ready a people for the coming of Jesus.


THE BIRTH OF JOHN WAS A SIGN FOR MARY: Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s having a baby was one of the signs given by Gabriel to a virgin named Mary, to prove to her that she was to be the “mother” (or the “vessel”) by which God Himself will come to earth, in human likeness and form, with flesh and blood. This was the reason why, when Elizabeth was on her sixth month of pregnancy, Mary went to visit her.

When Mary arrived at the house of Elizabeth, the baby in the latter’s womb leapt. Elizabeth told Mary that she, Elizabeth, and her child, were filled with the Spirit. At that time, Zechariah was still unable to speak after his ability to talk was removed by Gabriel when Zechariah initially did not believe what the angel told him about John.

On account of the joy that her soul experienced, Elizabeth exclaimed to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” When John was to be circumcised eight days after he was born, Zechariah named him “John”. Immediately after, Zechariah regained his speech and praised God. After all these things happened, Mary returned to her own village.


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