After years of praying, weeping, and waiting, the elderly and barren Elizabeth rejoices at the birth of her son, John. His name means God is gracious and was chosen by the angel Gabriel. In response, John’s father Zechariah ends his nine months of muteness by blessing God in worship. The entire scene is one of great joy and life as the Holy Spirit fills Zechariah to prophecy over the life of his son who was chosen to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. A bit further into Luke’s gospel, and we hear Jesus saying that John was the greatest person (besides Himself) who has lived in the history of the world. His brief six months of public ministry literally changed the world because God’s power was at work in and through him.

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