As I read today’s scripture I had a thought I’ve never had before.
I wonder if Zechariah and Elizabeth were disappointed in the way their son turned out?
John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel. –Luke 1:80
That’s certainly not every parent’s dream. Come to think of it, even when John the Baptist came out of the wilderness and began his ministry he was still weird by the standards of the day.
I wonder if Zechariah and Elizabeth wondered if God’s prophesy would ever come true?
Zechariah and Elizabeth were old, way beyond childbearing years. Only couples who’ve always wanted a child and never been able to conceive can fully understand the pain and shame (it was a disgrace not to have children in those days) they must have endured.
God heard their prayers and Elizabeth got pregnant.
And right after John was born Zechariah proclaimed this prophesy about his young son:
And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. –Luke 1:76-79
God fulfilled that prophesy through John the Baptist’s life; it just wasn’t in a way that the religious world of the time, or Zechariah and Elizabeth, for that matter were expecting!
I’m sure Zechariah and Elizabeth suffered many sleepless nights. As we continue to read through the gospels we will see their son ultimately lose his life because of the bold way he proclaimed the salvation message (Mark 6:17).
It’s so easy to plan our children’s future, but our plans aren’t always His plans. We need to be careful that we don’t work against God’s plan for our children. The most important thing we can do for our kids whether they’re two or twenty-two is to love who they are not what they do.
In Matthew 11:11, Jesus told us what He thought of the way John the Baptist “turned out.”
I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
Heavenly Father, help us to be the kind of parents that will help our children to thrive as they grow into Your plans for them. Forgive us for wanting our will above Yours. Holy Spirit, give us discernment to know how to guide, encourage, and mentor our children. We give our children to You, Lord! We know You love them more than we do! We trust you with our children.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:41-52; Mark 1:1b-8; Matthew 3:1-12; Luke 3:1-18; Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22