John Was Born

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Some of the last words of the Lord recorded in the Old Testament are found in Malachi 4—“Look, I am going to send you the prophet Elijah … he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (vv. 5-6). The Book of Malachi was written more than 400 years before Jesus was born. For centuries, God’s people did not hear from Him. They were back in their homeland but were subject to other ruling nations. Eventually, the Romans took over.

The Roman emperor installed Herod as a leader over Judea and surrounding regions such as Samaria and Galilee. To gain the people’s favor, King Herod replaced Zerubbabel’s temple in Jerusalem with a beautiful marble temple constructed by 10,000 workers. This was the temple in which Zechariah, a priest from the family of Abijah, served the Lord. This was the temple in which God, through the angel Gabriel, broke His silence after so many years.

Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, were both “righteous in God’s sight” (Luke 1:6), living by faith in God’s promise to send a Messiah. Like Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18, they were getting along in years and did not have any children. Elizabeth’s barrenness was a point of disgrace for her among the community (Luke 1:25) and God graciously answered this couple’s prayers.

An angel appeared to Zechariah in the temple sanctuary and delivered good news: “Your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear a son.” Echoing Malachi’s prophecy, the angel declared this son would “turn the hearts of fathers to their children” (Luke 1:17)

For his doubting, Zechariah was rendered mute until the promise came to pass. When Zechariah believed God’s word, he praised God. John was born to prepare the way for Jesus. John would point people to Jesus, and they would praise God for keeping His promise to send the Savior.

Check this session’s Activity Page for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ We can praise God for sending Jesus.
    • ○ There is no one like Jesus..
    • ○ An angel told Zechariah that Elizabeth would have a baby.
    • ○ John was born to get people ready for Jesus.
    • ○ Zechariah praised God for His plan to rescue people.
  • Preschool
    • ○ John was born to get people ready for Jesus.
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • Kids
    • ○ John was born to prepare the way for Jesus.
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? As the Son of God, Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 1:1-2 (Preschool: John 1:1)
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus Was Born” (Luke 2)