Sharpen Your Sword.
Topic: The Gospels.
Birth of John the Baptist– Lk. 1:57-66.
The next two series of study is on the birth of two great personalities that laid the foundation of the New Testament era. God had chosen to use two cousins to lay the foundation and implement His redemption plans for mankind.
Only Matthew and Luke noted this stage of the development of the modern Christian era as Mark and John had no record of the events. Even then, only Luke took a record of both births as Matthew chose to limit his records to that of the birth of Jesus Christ only. The following highlights stand out;
1. The fact that John was born approximately six months before Jesus Christ is well known amongst Christians but equally worthy of mention is the relief from a curse that his birth brought to his family as his father had been under curse for reasons of unbelief until he was born – Lk. 1:64-66. Would you consider your entry into both your biological and Christian families a blessing?
2. The need to give divinely directed names was also highlighted as the name John was not one that was associated with the family before Zechariah through Elizabeth under the directives of the Holy Spirit gave that name to their son – Lk. 1:57-63.
3. The grace to reveal the purpose of the coming of the child was also given to his father who identified that his coming was to lay the foundation of the promise of salvation that Jehovah, made to their ancestors – Lk. 1:67-79. Was there any revelation before or since your birth that has revealed the purpose of Jehovah for your life? Are you living that purpose?
4. The steps John took to make adequate preparation for the fulfilment of a destiny role by living a spartan life was also presented by Luke – Lk. 1:80. What divinely directed and approved arrangements have you put in place to ensure that the purpose of Jehovah for your life is fulfilled? Can your present lifestyle aid destiny fulfilment?
John the Baptist and The Christian Today.
1. Jehovah did not mind bringing the total salvation package to mankind through one family. To Him it is more of an individual issue than the family they belong to. Similarly, Christians in their approach to spiritual matters must also administer the Church from the perspective of what matters to Jehovah and not earthly relationships such as marital, parent-children, siblings, friendship or any other form of earthly relationships – Matt. 22:23-30.
2. The need for the name of a new baby to be divinely sourced was emphasized in both cases though, this is not the first time that Jehovah took actions that emphasized the link between name and destiny of an individual, and sometimes even locations. To think that a name by which one is called on a daily basis has no effect on one’s destiny is to live in a fool’s paradise. Many destinies have been re-designed because the bearers were given names that were completely averse to their destiny. There can be nothing better than allowing the one who designed the destiny to announce the appropriate name that will enhance destiny goals. That Jehovah used John, whose name means “Graced by Jehovah” to announce His Grace to mankind is well known while the fact that Jesus, whose name in Hebrew means “to deliver” or “to rescue”, was the sacrificial lamb that brought salvation to mankind is a well established fact. Both bearers no doubt fulfilled destiny is not arguable. A wrong name may not necessarily truncate destiny goals but will definitely not enhance efforts at achieving them. You may need to ponder a bit about how much of the battles of your life today are traceable to the name that you are being called. Think!
3. The purpose for both children coming to the world was revealed before or on the day of their being announced to the world. Do you have any revelation about the purpose for which you were created? The battles you are presently encountering may be due to you working at cross-purposes with the planned purpose of your life. You are not an accident in creation and the one who created you did so for a purpose. Discovering that purpose today and choosing to accept and walk in it, may just be the beginning of your journey into victory.
4. Both of them lived their early lives along a path that prepared them for their destiny roles when the time eventually arrived. Out of ignorance or completely mis-direction many lives are experiencing challenges that were the product of wrong actions taken earlier in life. Some are reversible but others seem irreversible. However nothing is impossible with Jehovah so a quick acknowledgement of such missteps and a willingness to retrace such steps with total submission to the directives of the Creator may just be the beginning to the promised victorious life.
It will be wrong to reject the above highlighted points and expect to be victorious in life battles. It is not that those who walk in them do not encounter life challenges, but it is that they are better armed and assured of victory. You should consider towing divine paths no matter how far you have gone on the wrong path as insisting on going along that same route that has not yielded victory will remain a pure waste of your life times. Do a rethink and do the needful where necessary and you can have assurance that you will be a victor.
References: Gen. 17:1-19; Gen. 35:10-11; Gen. 32:22-32.