What's in a Name?

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, open my heart to the treasures waiting to be uncovered in Your Word.

 

Read:LUKE 1:57-66

[57] When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. [58] Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. [59] On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, [60] but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” [61] They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” [62] Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. [63] He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” [64] Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. [65] All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. [66] Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. 

 

Reflect:ARE YOU WILLING TO "MAKE WAVES" IN FOLLOWING THE LORD?

Most cultures have customs and practices such as naming, which everyone knows and understands. Here, the naming took place when the baby was circumcised (59). So when the eighth day came, the people thought that they knew what would happen. But they were wrong!My dad is called Emlyn and it’s also my son’s middle name. We would have gotten on well in Palestine–we have copied their naming custom of the oldest son being named after his father or grandfather. But now Elizabeth and Zechariah were faced with a hard choice. Should they follow custom and do what everyone expected? Or should they do what God had said through the angel Gabriel and call the child John (13)? Zechariah had already had to face the consequences of not obeying (20). He wasn’t going to do it again (63). When have you been faced with the choice between doing what people around you expect and what God expects? You may even be facing that choice now. After obeying, Zechariah was released from his silence (64). Like Mary, his immediate response was praise. The people were astounded. What did this child’s future hold (66)?

 

APPLY

Do you know anyone facing a difficult choice to obey God? Can you support them? You can certainly pray.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, help Your people to obey You and not the customs of humans.

 

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