Wednesday, December 2
What then will this child become?
It’s a good question. These are unusual circumstances: Zechariah and Elizabeth have conceived in their old age after decades of infertility. Zechariah loses his powers of speech throughout the pregnancy and even eight days beyond. And when it comes time to name the child, Zechariah forgoes the family name and instead insists that the child be called John.
So the neighbors can’t be blamed for asking, “What then will this child become?” He will almost certainly be an extraordinary child.
Zechariah answers their question by identifying his son John as “the prophet of the Most High,” the one going ahead to prepare the way of the Lord.
As all the prophets have done, John will call people to God. He will “give knowledge of salvation” to God’s people.
But John’s role as prophet is special because he immediately precedes Jesus. The “dawn from on high” is not centuries away, as it was with the earlier prophets. By the tender mercy of God, that dawn is breaking now. Finally, the light is coming.
Prayer: Light of the world, we await your arrival.