I am reading through the gospel of Luke and in chapter one we read about the angel Gabriel coming to Zechariah the priest and telling him that his prayers have been answered and his wife Elizabeth would have a child, and the name of the child was to be John. vv. 5- 14.
We also read that Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would have a Son and His name would be Jesus. vv. 26-35.
Well, we know the story what the angel said was indeed fact, for all he said was fulfilled in their time.
One of the many amazing things in this chapter is when Elizabeth gave birth, Luke says that her neighbors and and relatives heard that the Lord had shown mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. Luke continues saying that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, they would have called him Zechariah after his father. It was the custom in those times to name your children after a relative, we still do the same thing today, my father's name was William, my name is William, and my son is a William also, I even have a nephew who is also a William. So we can understand why they would question the choice of John, "there is no one in your family named John?, So their neighbors in their mood of joy in this ceremony of circumcision, named the boy Zechariah, we can only speculate as to what happened or what they were thinking, but we know that Zechariah could not talk, he was made speakless for not believing the message from God delivered by Gabriel, and because he couldn't talk they took it upon themselves to name the child, but, we read, that Elizabeth speaks up at this point, she says "No; he shall be called John." We have to also understand the customs of those days, the Man has the authority in the family, the Woman had very little, but this one, who was barren (it does not mean, she had not had children yet, it means she couldn't have children) speaks up, the one who was old and childless, a stamp of reproach in their community v. 25, who had experienced what the angel of God had said, she knew that the angel said his name will be John, she speaks up and says "No."
The people however would not settle for Elizabeth opinion, they turn to Zechariah and ask him what the child's name will be; Zechariah also, has felt the truthfulness of what the angel of God had said, he could not talk for the entire pregnancy of Elizabeth, but now that the child had been born, he had seen firsthand the power of God and the truthfulness of His Word, he ask for something to write on and he wrote "His name is John." In our computer age, he would have written it in all caps, shouting out, I will be obedient to the truth of God's Word spoken to me; "HIS NAME IS JOHN."
God then gives Zechariah his voice back, he is filled with the Spirit, he blessed God, and fear came on all their neighbors.
Zechariah's neighbor's meant well, but Zechariah and Elizabeth had the Word of God, what the neighbors wanted them to do, was opposite of what God wanted them to do. "His name is John."
His name is not Zechariah.
Romans 6:11 "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."
That is God's Word for us in how we are to deal with our sin nature. Sin's power has been broken by Christ on the cross. Sin's power over us is a spiritual power, we may do physical sins, but the power of it is spiritual. Christ broke that spiritual power when our sins were placed on Him on the cross, the penalty for them have been forever paid. That's why we should not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, sin doesn't have power to rule anymore. Our sinful nature does not have power to rule in our lives anymore, if we let a powerless ruler run our lives, we are in a position that by God's decree, power, and Word, we should not be in.
If we are in a position of letting sin rule ours lives. We must remember that we are not perfect, we can not, not sin. But we can not live a sinful live. If we need help, we are to run to Romans 8:32
"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all thing?
Those are precious words, precious promises, they are what we are to stand on. We take God's Word in our hand to Him in prayer, we plead that we want to live lifes that will bring Him the Great Glory He is due. Stand on His promises. Don't find yourself standing on what someone said, don't find yourself standing on something that is not eternal. Eternal live is where we all are heading, only those who are standing on the eternal Word of Jesus Christ as we are, we be with Him. Don't let sin rule your life, live a repentance filled life, place your sins under the blood of Christ, keep short accounts with God. Hunger for Christ, and the only way you will hunger for Christ is that you find out how wonderful He is in His Word, and you trust him for your day to day life. Christ's grace is sufficient.
Satan, the world, and our flesh are our enemies, they will never surrender. They all have been defeated by Christ, there purpose in your life now, is to help you, yes help you, help you build your trust in Jesus Christ more and more, they are going to continue to attack, and Christ is going to continue to grow you in grace through you trusting in His power (not ours) as He brings you through each attack. That doesn't mean everything will be rosy, in fact, it means the opposite, you just have to read the lives of the saints in the Bible, their lives had pain, suffering, greatly at times, but in the midst of them they were brought to the end of themselves and their power, their ability, and they found the matchless grace, power, love, comfort of God. Don't you feel that you can go through just about anything as long as you know, God will be with you, to comfort you in the tears, anguish. Lord be merciful to us.
O, the wonder and grace of Christ, sin can not defeat us, we have been purchased by the eternal blood of Jesus Christ. It is the power of Christ that holds the universe in its place and that means it is the eternal power of Christ that holds you and I in our place, each and every day. The Grace and Mercy of God are new every morning!!
So, remember His name is John - meaning we have seen the power of God in His Word, and have experienced it in our life, and we will say no to anything that is not in line with the Word of God.
Peace and Love from our Lord Jesus Christ to all of us.