Zechariah: Another role model
1. A righteous man who learn from his mistakes! (1:5-22)
2. A faithful man who breaks with tradition! (1:62-3)
Jewish tradition dictated that a child should receive a family name, honouring a parent, a grandparent or some other relative. Given Zechariah’s recent debilitating condition, the crowd would have expected the baby to be named Zechariah Junior. But Elizabeth gives her son the name John sending a shock wave of surprise through the crowd. Convinced an error had been made, since the name has no family precedence, the crowd asks the father through sign language as Zachariah can neither hear nor speak (v62). On a wood tablet probably covered wax, Zechariah writes the name the angel had given him for the child He breaks with tradition to be obedient to God. And receives his own healing as confirmation!
Two songs | One tune
1. Jesus: The one to whom John will point (1:76)
John will be a prophet for the Most High preparing the people for the coming visit of the Lord. His task will be to show how "salvation comes through the forgiveness of sins" (v76-77). This message of salvation and the forgiveness is not dissimilar from the great commission in Luke 24:43-47, except that her there is just a shadow of what will be clear following the resurrection. John is the bridge between the old and the new (7:26-35).
2. Jesus: God’s redeemer (1:68)
3. Jesus: God’s champion (1:68; 1 Sam 2:10; 2 Sam 22:3)
4. Jesus: God’s rescuer (1:71; Deut 7:9; 1 Kings 8:23)
5. Jesus: God’s servant (1:74; Phil 2:7)
6. Jesus: God’s light (1:79)
Jesus will be the "the rising sun" (v 79), actually the "morning star" (Num 24:17; Isaiah 11:1). He comes not only as a political figure, but also as a spiritual one. The Son is a bright morning light, comes from heaven and shines on a world of darkness and death, guiding it into the path of peace. Zachariah puts himself among those in darkness. As a spiritual man, he knows full well that the only way to walk righteously is to follow the path God.
A lesson to learn
Life long learning
Life long journey of faith
Why does this king, sent by God, rules by being like the morning star? It is because the way of life and the path to peace is not about force or power. It is about character. That is why John the Baptist addresses the issue of the forgiveness of sin. This king will lead people out of darkness and death. Though entry to the Kingdom takes but a moment, salvation is not a momentary matter.
Salvation is a life long journey. A journey guided by the Morning Star who not only goes before us but shows us that the way. The only road to righteousness and peace, even for a good man like Zechariah, is to be prepared to see the light and follow it!