Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

Luke 1:11-20

In these Sacred Scripture verses we meet one of the seven archangels of the Bible, Angel Gabriel. The archangels were messengers of God, higher ranking angels. This angel was called the angel of announcement or glory. The angel appeared to Zechariah on the right side of the altar, because the Jewish thought the right side is always the side of blessing. As in Matthew 25:33, Jesus separates the human race on Judgment Day, the blessed go on his right and the cursed to the left. What is miraculous about this story is that Zechariah and Elizabeth were “old and well along in years”, but even still were being told by the messenger of God that Elizabeth will bear a son to be named John. John the Baptist, their son became known as, was filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth and he baptized anyone who repented of their sins, who were truly sorry. The most significant part of this story is that they were both “upright” or sinless, moral, obedient, honest and good and God blessed them for their righteousness with a child in their old age. Their blessing happened after many years of patiently waiting. However, even though Zechariah was perfect in God eyes, he still needed a lesson. After Angel Gabriel announced to Zechariah that his prayer has been heard, Zechariah did not believe the angel because of their old age. Although Zechariah had faith, he did not trust God enough, and the angel told him he would not be able to speak until the birth of his son. Because of this test of silence allowed by God, his faith increased. So let us not be discouraged when tests and trials come into our lives, for it may be a blessing in disguise and one of the blessings may be that our faith increases. If our faith is increased, our trust in God is increased. May you experience the presence of angels and God in your lives.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”