In yesterday’s post, I left Zechariah on mute, waiting for the birth of his son, John. I also mentioned how there is a lot of singing in the Biblical account of the first Christmas, as well as the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Both crop up a fair bit, but back to John’s story…
Being Jewish, not long after John’s birth took place – on the eighth day in fact – he was to be circumcised. Additionally, it appears that the eighth day was also the naming day. Those who came to enact the ritual, assumed that the child would be named Zechariah, after his father. His mother however, stated that he would be called John. Evidently, those listening didn’t believe her or wanted confirmation:
Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.”
It is at this point that Zechariah’s voice returns and he begins to speak and praise God.
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
It is noted by editors that this was the beginning of a song which Zechariah sang. However, here also is another who is ‘filled with the spirit’ and here it is clearly for the purpose of explaining who his son is and how he connects with God’s plans. That’s some naming day for a baby!
Zechariah sees in his son a connection to the salvation of Israel, the promised one, for whom they have been waiting. Zechariah knows that his son, John is the starting point of something special.
But more on that tomorrow.
Yours in mid-song,