6 John, son of Zechariah, is born.

Luke 1:57–80

Why might we think relatives and neighbors didn’t know much about the circumstances other than that God had done a miracle in healing Elizabeth’s barrenness (Luke 1:57–58)?

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Why was John circumcised on the eighth day and not sooner (Leviticus 12:2–3; Luke 1:60)?

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What made “Little Zechariah” unsuitable, even for a nickname (Luke 1:59–60)?

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Why did relatives and neighbors not respect Elizabeth’s insistence that the baby’s name was John (Luke 1:61–62)?

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Why did people communicate with Zechariah using sign language (Luke 1:62)?

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What do you think people expected Zechariah to write on his slate (Luke 1:63)?

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Why was Zechariah able to speak immediately after he wrote John’s name (Luke 1:20, 64)?

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What might have happened to make Zechariah aware that he could speak (Luke 1:64)?

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How do you think Zechariah received the message that he gave (Luke 1:67–79)?

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Why would the people respect what Zechariah said (Luke 1:65–66)?

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How might the expectation of John’s parents have differed from what relatives and neighbors thought (Luke 1:65–66)?

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In what ways might John’s parents have anticipated something different from what God actually did (Luke 1:65–66)?

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What could have happened for John not to assume his father’s priestly duties (Luke 1:80)?

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When do you think John left his parents’ home and lived in the wilderness (Luke 1:80)?

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After Elizabeth gave birth to a son, relatives and neighbors who knew how God had been merciful and healed her barrenness came to celebrate with her. The baby was eight days old when they gathered for the circumcision ceremony. They called him Little Zechariah, but when Elizabeth heard them, she said, “No, his name is John.”

Eyewitness

Luke 1:57–60 After Elizabeth gave birth to a son, relatives and neighbors who knew how God had been merciful and healed her barrenness came to celebrate with her. The baby was eight days old when they gathered for the circumcision ceremony. They called him Little Zechariah, but when Elizabeth heard them, she said, “No, his name is John.”
King James

Luke 1:57–60 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.

“What?” they said in disbelief. “You have no relatives with that name.” Making gestures with their hands, they asked the baby’s father what he would name him.

Eyewitness

Luke 1:61–62 “What?” they said in disbelief. “You have no relatives with that name.” Making gestures with their hands, they asked the baby’s father what he would name him.
King James

Luke 1:61–62 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

Zechariah motioned for a writing slate. To everyone’s amazement, he wrote the name John. Immediately, his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.

Eyewitness

Luke 1:63–64 Zechariah motioned for a writing slate. To everyone’s amazement, he wrote the name John. Immediately, his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.
King James

Luke 1:63–64 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

Filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied, “Praise the Lord God of Israel, who has come to set his people free. From the house of his servant David, he has sent a mighty savior to deliver us from all those who hate us, as the prophets promised long ago. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant sworn with an oath to Abraham. We are freed from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness, for the rest of our lives.

Eyewitness

Psalm 132:11 The Lord swore an oath to David that cannot be revoked. “I will set one of your descendants upon your throne.”
Isaiah 9:7 His kingdom will keep growing, and its peace will never end. As judge on the throne of his ancestor David, he will maintain order and righteousness forever. With great passion, the Lord of the heavenly host will make it so.
Luke 1:67–75 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Zechariah prophesied, “Praise the Lord God of Israel, who has come to set his people free. From the house of his servant David, he has sent a mighty Savior, as the prophets promised long ago, to deliver us from our enemies and all those who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant sworn with an oath to Abraham. “We are freed from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness, for the rest of our lives.
King James

Psalm 132:11 The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Luke 1:67-75 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

“And you, my infant son, will be called the prophet of the Most High because you will prepare the way for the Messiah, who will offer salvation to his people and forgive their sins. In God’s tender mercy, heaven’s early light is about to shine on those living in darkness, in the shadow of death. He will show us the way of peace.”

Eyewitness

Luke 1:76–79 “And you, my infant son, will be called the prophet of the Most High because you will prepare the way for the Messiah, who will offer salvation to his people and forgive their sins. In God’s tender mercy, heaven’s early light is about to shine on those living in darkness, in the shadow of death. He will show us the way of peace.”
King James

Luke 1:76–79 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the Judean hill country, people talked and wondered about these things. They kept asking one another, “What will this child become? The hand of God is surely upon him.”

Eyewitness

Luke 1:65–66 The neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the Judean hill country, people talked and wondered about these things, and kept asking one another, “What will this child become? The hand God is surely upon him.”
King James

Luke 1:65–66 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

As John grew, he became strong in spirit.

Eyewitness

Luke 1:80 As John grew, he became strong in spirit. He lived in the wilderness until he preached to Israel.
King James

Luke 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

He lived in the wilderness until he preached to Israel.

Eyewitness

Luke 1:80 As John grew, he became strong in spirit. He lived in the wilderness until he preached to Israel.
King James

Luke 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.