A Joy to Many

You will be very, very happy. Many people will be happy because of his birth. John will be a great man for the Lord (God). He will never drink wine or liquor. Even at the time when John is being born, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. John will help many Jews return to the Lord their God. – Luke 1:14-16

Babies usually bring great joy with their arrival. Kinfolks and friends are overjoyed for the family. This will be true of John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. However, the joy will be multiplied in this case, and not just because they are given John as a surprise blessing later in life. John has a crucial role to play in the coming of God’s promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. He will reach many hearts that the religion of the day could not touch. His life from the womb will be one that is dedicated to God’s Messiah. He will identify himself by his diet and his habits as one specially consecrated to the work of God. But unlike the ascetics of the desert who withdrew from sinful people, John spoke with the Spirit and fire of God and drew them to his message and made them ready to meet Jesus. With the birth of any child, let’s pray that he or she will bring glory to God and bring many others to come to know his Son. Dear heavenly Father, God of all the Universe, please look down on the little babies I know [list several by name] in my family and church family and do mighty things through them. Guard their parents. Nurture them in your truth. Bring the experiences into their lives that will make them most useful to you. Judges 13:3-7 – Luke 1:57-66 – Galatians 4:19