Before the angel Gabriel announces the birth of Jesus, he announces the birth of John the Baptist. How does what Gabriel tell Zacharias relate to what the prophecy of Isaiah? Read Luke 1:11-17 and Isaiah 40:3.
Read Luke 1:13, 14 again and then verses 59-66. Why was it so important that the child should be called John? Could it have something to do with the fact that the name means “Yahweh has been gracious”. How has God been gracious to the people of Israel in blessing Zacharias and Elizabeth with a son? How does Zacharias show that he has faith now in what the Lord had promised through the angel (verses 13-17).
John grew and became strong in spirit. He lived in the wilderness until it was time for him to begin his ministry (Luke 1:80). What was John’s message to the people of Israel? Read Matthew 3:1,2 and Luke 3:3. What was he saying to them? How was he preparing them for what was to come? See Luke 3:7-14.
As Christians how can we be like John the Baptist in preparing others for Jesus’ second coming?