He Has Come to His People and Redeemed Them
The passage we are reading today is usually referred to as “Zechariah’s Song,” and it sets forth in poetic, grand language the significance of Jesus in the context of God’s promises to Israel throughout time. As you read, notice what Zechariah prophesies about Jesus’ identity and what He will do for people. Notice his references back to God’s promises—for example, the promise to Abraham.
[John the Baptist’s] 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.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
And the child grew and became strong in spirit and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.
- Why do you think Luke states that Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit before setting out his song?
- What descriptions in Zechariah’s song about Jesus and what God has done (or, at the time, what God will do) through Jesus stand out to you most? Why?
- Focus your attention on the last stanza of today’s passage. Of the descriptions of what Jesus now has done—forgiving sins, shining light into darkness and death, and guiding our feet into the path of peace—which do you need to hold onto right now in your life?
- What impact has studying these various announcements of Jesus had on your faith? What more do you want to know? What’s confusing or unclear?
God, thank You for all You have done through Jesus. Thank You for salvation, forgiveness, mercy, the defeat of sin and death, light and life, and peace. Keep these truths at the forefront of my mind this day and this season. Where I am prone to doubt Your goodness, provision, forgiveness, or presence, remind me again and again. Amen.
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