Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: The narrative which this evangelist gives us (or rather God by him) of the life of Christ begins earlier than either Matthew or Mark. We have reason to thank God for them all, as we have for all the gifts and graces of Christ’s ministers, which in one make up what is wanting in the other, while all put together make a harmony. In this chapter we have, I. Luke’s preface to his gospel, or his epistle dedicatory to his friend Theophilus (v. 1-4). II. The prophecy and history of the conception of John Baptist, who was Christ’s forerunner (v. 5-25). The annunciation of the virgin Mary, or the notice given to her that she should be the mother of the Messiah (v. 26-38). IV. The interview between Mary the mother of Jesus and Elisabeth the mother of John, when they were both with child of those pregnant births, and the prophecies they both uttered upon that occasion (v. 39-56). V. The birth and circumcision of John Baptist, six months before the birth of Christ (v. 57-66). VI. Zacharias’s song of praise, in thankfulness for the birth of John, and in prospect of the birth of Jesus (v. 67-79). VII. A short account of John Baptist’s infancy (v. 80). And these do more than give us an entertaining narrative; they will lead us into the understanding of the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.
Here we have the final verses (-v.79) in what is known as Zacharias’s song or the Benedictus. Yesterday in our Sunda Sermon Series we looked at the beginning of this when Zachariah is told of his son’s birth. Today I want to focus for a moment on the role of John the Baptist.
Note what he will be called: Prophet of the Highest
His job: Go before the face of the Lord to prepare the way for Him
Doing what: Sharing the Good News of Christ’s Birth and Salvation of sins
We often think of the awesome responsibility that John the Baptist had in fulfilling that mission. How many of us consider the awesome responsibility that Zachariah and Elizabeth had in raising him up to fulfill that which the Angel of the Lord declared. Can you imagine what might have been if they had used the so-called modern parenting techniques of today? John might never have come out of the wilderness (Luke 1:80).