Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Verse for Today Blog - Luke 1:76-78 (click to read)

Luke 1:76-78

"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...."

Read all of Luke 1

Today's Verse is the conclusion of the Zechariah's prophetic song.  Zechariah is John the Baptist's father.  He had previously sung about the One greater than his Son, but is now speaking now of the work and ministry of John the Baptist.  He will be "a prophet of the Most High."  This reference to God is generally used to refer to God the Father, but here it's not necessarily exclusive.    As Christ is God Incarnate it may well refer to Him also.

John's ministry was preparatory.  He was calling the nation of Israel to repent...  to get real about their faith... to view themselves and their sin more accurately.  It's important to realize that the summary of John's ministry was, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."  Formality and traditions had been substituted to true and sincere religion.  John was preparing them to humbly receive the Christ.

The final phrase is most beautiful. "because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun (Dayspring) will come to us from heaven. In other words, God has shown us his compassion and let the light of His grace in Christ shine upon us.  How wonderful is that?  The song then concludes with these words, 

79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, 
      To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

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