Here we begin a new study on the life and ministry of John the Baptist.
A Father’s Prophesy
“76 “And you, my little son,
will be called the prophet of the Most High,
because you will prepare the way for the Lord.
77 You will tell his people how to find salvation
through forgiveness of their sins.
78 Because of God’s tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,[a]
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:76-79 NLT
As we begin this study on the life of John the Baptist, I think it is important to ask the question about how John knew who he was. As we will see through his life, he had a clear sense of purpose and direction for his life. I’ve often wondered how John the Baptist knew that he was going to be John the Baptist. How did he know that he was not John the carpenter, John the plumber, or John the electrician? How did he know he was not supposed to be John the police officer, John the farmer, or even John the preacher? How was he made aware of his calling? How did he know that he was supposed to be known as, “one crying in the wilderness”? How did he know that he was supposed to be a “prophet of the Most High”? Did he hear from God directly? While God may have spoken to John, the Bible never says that God told him that is what he would do. Did John read a Bible verse that spoke to him? The scripture never clarifies that either. This is an important question to answer for two reasons. First, it may help me to know whom God is calling me to be and second, maybe this can help me to shape the identities of my children.
I may have discovered the answer today.
Before John the Baptist was John the Baptist, he was John the baby; John the toddler. John the baby had a father named Zacharias who, from the moment John was born, began to speak God’s word over him. Before John could even speak, his daddy was speaking of God’s great plan for him. Before John could even walk, Zacharias was prophesying what John would become. Zacharias spoke words of life to his son! Maybe John the Baptist knew that he was going to be John the Baptist because his daddy told him so!
I don’t know how John knew his calling. Maybe God spoke to him in his quiet time or revealed it to him in the scriptures what his role would be. But from what I see in the scriptures, John, from an early age, heard encouraging words from his father as to what great things he would do for God.
Here are the lessons to me. Zacharias spoke God’s Word over his kid and it resulted in John clearly knowing who God created him to be. As a dad, I can learn from Zacharias to speak life and God’s Word over my children. Zacharias encouraged his kids in God. So must I. Zacharias expected to see great things from his kids. So must I.
How did John the Baptist know that he was going to be John the Baptist and do great things for God? BECAUSE HIS DADDY TOLD HIM SO!
What am I telling my kids they will do for God and be for God? When I speak to them, I may not just be speaking “nice words” to them. I may very well be speaking prophetic words for who they will become in Him! I must guard my tongue because what I speak over my kids today, very well could be who they become tomorrow.
Are you speaking life to your kids today?
Jesus I pray for Josiah and Gracie. Grow them into mighty followers of Yours. I pray that Josiah would be a much greater man of God than I ever could be and I pray that Gracie would be an uncompromising woman of faith. I pray that You would help them to fall madly, deeply, and passionately in love with You Lord from a young age and that they would be examples to those around them of the grace of God. I pray for their friends and their friends families. Have your hand upon those they will grow up with and Lord I lift up Josiah’s wife and Gracie’s husband. May they be passionately and deeply in love with You as well. Amen.