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Bible Story: The Birth of John the Baptist
Bible Text: Luke 1:5-25, 57-80
- God fulfilled His promise to give Zechariah and Elizabeth a baby.
- John was born to prepare the way for Jesus.
Story: All babies are gifts from God, but this baby was a special gift. Elizabeth and Zechariah, who was a priest, had prayed for this baby for years, but that isn’t what made the baby so special.
One day, an angel appeared to Zechariah. The angel almost scared Zechariah to death, but the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son. You will call his name John.”
Now back then, most first born sons were named after their fathers, so when Zechariah was told to name this special baby “John,” that was unusual, but the angel went on to say, “…he will be great before the Lord.” His greatness, the angel said, would be because God had a special job for John.
As the angel described how special this baby would be, Zechariah had doubts. So, the angel gave Zechariah a sign. Zechariah wouldn’t be able to speak until the special baby was born. His silence would be a reminder of his doubt.
The long months of waiting must have been hard for Zechariah, but when Elizabeth gave birth to this special baby, all of Zechariah’s doubt was gone. When it was time to name the baby, everyone expected the parents to name him Zechariah, so when they wrote that the special baby would be called “John,” everyone was very surprised.
But they were even more surprised when Zechariah’s tongue was loosed, and he was able to talk again. Zechariah said, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways…” This baby would grow into the prophet that God would use to prepare Israel for Jesus.
And he did just that. They would call him, John the Baptist, because he baptized people as a picture of repentance. He was not just a special baby; John was a special man.
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