05 – Birth of the Baptist

When: October, 6 BC
Where: Judean hill country


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In early October, in ain Karim, Elizabeth went into labor. Mary had just recently left to go to Bethlehem to live with Joseph’s folks for the duration of her pregnancy. The early rains had just begun. As expected, Elizabeth gave birth to a son. By the next day the neighbors and relatives were stopping by to congratulate Zecharias and Elizabeth and to bring gifts of food, offers of help and prayers for the family.

On the 8th day after the baby was born, Zecharias and Elizabeth, being good religious people, took the baby to the Temple complex to be circumcised at the “gate of the first born” [model] and named (though it was not common practice to wait so long to name the baby) to fulfill the covenant that Abraham had made with God. Zecharias still could not speak, so when the priest suggested that the boy be named after his father, Elizabeth humbly said that the child should be called “John.”

When the priest appealed directly to Zecharias, he motioned for a writing instrument and wrote down his decision, “JOHN”. Then Zecharias could speak again. ‘He is John’, Zecharias said and John was circumcised.

Later, as the story of the birth of John spread and Zecharias was asked to explain the meaning of the event, Zecharias said, ‘Praise God who has been gracious to my wife, and to me, and to our nation. The LORD is once again moving to save his people as promised to David and as the prophets Micah and Isaiah said he would. All should follow the Spirit of God Almighty and obey His laws.’ 


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