You might think Zechariah would be talking about His own son in his song, but he is not. John would prepare the way for Jesus who is the promised Savior. After the visit by the angel Gabriel, Zechariah was unable to speak. Nine months of not talking leaves a lot of time for thinking. Mary came to visit during that time. Zechariah came to realize that Mary’s son would be the Savior. The promises God made through His Prophets were promises kept.
Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave praise to God for redeeming Israel. Zechariah’s song is prophetic about what God is doing. The prophetic voice had been quiet for over 400 years. The Prophet Amos called it a famine of the word. The famine was over. God was speaking to and acting for His people. God still speaks through His Word and acts to redeem us through His Son. Like Zechariah we should praise the Lord.
Elizabeth has a son. He is given the name John. Zechariah can speak and the story is told. The people are amazed and know that John will do great things because God is with him. You can almost hear the people saying WOW!!! Are we just as amazed at what God is doing in our world today? God is with us. He wants to do amazing things through us too. WOW!!!
Obeying the covenant, Elizabeth and Zechariah had their son circumcised when he was eight days old making him a child of the covenant. That was the traditional day to name a child. Elizabeth said his name is John. When the family protested, Zechariah wrote his name is John. That was the name the angel said to give him. The name is a reminder that John was a gift from a gracious God.
Elizabeth’s son was born at the right time and the family rejoiced. It was time to celebrate after the long wait. God is never late. When God acts for our good it is time to celebrate. What are you celebrating today?
God always remembers and keeps His promises. God remembered the Promises He gave to Abraham and the Israelites. God showed mercy to His people. Mary praises the God who remembers. After spending 3 months with Elizabeth, Mary was ready to return home. She knew God was with her and would help her. God promises to be with us and help us face the challenges of life.
Mary’s shifts the focus to God’s mercy that last for generations. God shows mercy to the humble who know they need His mercy. But the proud and mighty who think they are just fine without God are humbled. God isn’t limited by human standards. He is motivated by His love for all people. When God is at work, appearance can be deceiving. Faith looks beneath the surface to see God at work.
Mary has a new reality. She has been seen and blessed by God. She realizes that God is working in her life doing great things. Faith sees what others refuse to see. Faith trust when others doubt. Faith is God’s gift that transforms lives. God sees us, blesses us and is doing great things in our lives. That’s the new reality of faith.
Mary’s song of praise is called the “Magnificat.” Mary’s song begins by giving praise to God and rejoicing in God her Savior. Mary’s focus is on God. Her hope is in God. Despite the uncertainty of her situation, Mary gives praise to God. Like Mary, despite the circumstances we face at the time, we can always rejoice in God our Savior.
When Mary went to see Elizabeth, everything the angel told her was confirmed. Elizabeth was pregnant. Her unborn child leaped for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice. And Elizabeth blessed Mary as the mother of the Promised Savior. We may not always understand how God works, but God keeps his promises. When we put out trust in the Lord we will not be disappointed. We might be surprised when He confirms His Word for us.