“Amazing Grace,” Aretha Franklin
“The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold,” cont’d, Luke 1:13) But the Angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy Prayer is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 1 Samuel 1:19. 14) And thou shalt have Joy and Gladness; and many shall Rejoice at his birth. 15) For he shall be great in The Sight Of The Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink, and he shall be filled with The Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. Genesis 12:2; Joshua 4:14. 16) And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to The Lord their God. Daniel 12:3. 17) And he shall go before Him In The Spirit and Power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the Wisdom of the Just; to make ready a people PREPARED FOR THE LORD. Matthew 11:14. 18) And Zacharias said unto the Angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19) And the Angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, That Stand In The Presence Of God; and Am Sent to Speak unto thee, and to Shew thee these Glad Tidings. Daniel 8:16. 20) And, Behold, thou shalt be Dumb, and not able to speak, until the Day that these things shall be performed, because thou Believest Not my Words, which shall be Fulfilled In Their Season. 21) And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in The Temple. 22) And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had Seen A Vision In The Temple: for he beckoned them, and Remained Speechless. 23) And it came to pass, that, as soon as the day of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
Quest Study Bible – v15, “Why was John suppose to abstain from wine?” This Act showed his Special Dedication To God. It did not make him more Spiritual or Holy, but was rather a sign that he Was Totally Focused On God. See “What was a Nazirite?” Numbers 6:2. v15, “How could a baby be filled with The Holy Spirit?” Zechariah would have understood this Promise from the Jewish point of view, not as we understand It in The New Testament point of view. We know that The Spirit Is Offered To Those That Repent And Turn To The Lord (Acts 2:38), and we wonder how this could be the case for a new-born baby. But Zachariah saw this as an Announcement that The Spirit Would Come As God’s Call To His Son, Anointing Him For A Prophetic Assignment. As with that of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5), John’s Ministry Was Sovereignly Directed By God Even Before his (John’s) Birth (vv. 41, 44). v19, “Gabriel,” He is one of only two Angels mentioned by name in The Bible. Michael (Daniel 10:13; 12:1) is the other. Gabriel’s name means God Is My Hero/Warrior. v20, “Why Did God Make Zachariah Mute?” This was apparently a Mild Rebuke for his lack of Faith. Since he could not grasp what God Was Doing, he was given a period of Silent Reflection that lasted until the child was born. Zachariah, though a Righteous man, still needed to Learn To Trust God More. His inability to speak, A Supernatural Sign, Undoubtedly Increased his Faith, causing him to Believe That God’s Promise For A Child Would Come To Pass.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v5-25, The father and mother of John the Baptist were sinners as all are, and were Justified and Saved in the same way as others; but they were Eminent (Distinguished) for Piety ( Reverent) and Integrity (Strong Moral Principles). They had no children, and it could not be expected that Elisabeth should have any in her old age. While Zacharias (Zachariah) was burning incense In The Temple, the whole multitude of the people were Praying without. All the Prayers we offer up to God, Are Acceptable and Successful Only By Christ’s Intercession In The Temple Of God Above. We cannot expect an Interest Therein if we do not Pray, and Pray (not), with our Spirits, and are not earnest in Prayer. Nor can we expect that the best of our Prayers Should Gain Acceptance, And Bring An Answer Of peace, But (or, Only) Through The Mediation Of Christ, Who Ever Lives, Making Intercession. The Prayers Zacharias often made, Received An Answer Of peace. prayers of Faith Are Filed In Heaven, And Are Not Forgotten. Prayers made when we were young and entering into the world, may be answered when we are old and going out of the world. Mercies are doubly Sweet that Are Given In Answer To Prayer. Zacharias shall have a son in his old age, who shall be Instrumental In The Conversion Of Many Souls To God, and Preparing Them To Receive The Gospel Of Christ. He Shall Go Before Him (Christ) With Courage, Zeal, Holiness, And A Mind Dead To Earthly Pleasures. The Disobedient and Rebellious would be brought back to The Wisdom of their Righteous Forefathers, or rather, brought to attend to The Wisdom of That Just One (Christ), Who Was Coming Among Them. Zacharias heard all that the Angel said; but his Unbelief spake. In striking him dumb, God Dealt Justly With Him, because he had Objected Against God’s Word. We May Admire The Patience Of God Towards Us. Even real Believers are apt to Dishonor God By Unbelief; and their mouths are stopped in silence and confusion, when otherwise they would have been Praising God With Joy And Gratitude. In God’s Gracious Dealings With Us We Ought To Observe His Gracious Regards To Us. HE HAS LOOKED ON US WITH COMPASSION AND FAVOR, AND THEREFORE HAS THUS DEALT WITH US. Amen.