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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.’”—Luke 1:13 (NKJV)
Here’s an interesting fact about me: My parents had me when they were older—my dad was 50 and my mom was 48. Yes, you read that correctly, my mother gave birth to me at 48 years old. Needless to say, when they announced they were pregnant, people were . . . surprised. In fact, I’m sure some people believed they were joking. I mean, it’s silly to think about, isn’t it? A 48-year-old woman having a child is likely an absurd thought to most. At the very least, it’s unexpected . . . but not to God.
In Luke 1, we read of a similar story. Here, Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth were old. In fact, the phrase “advanced in years” indicated that they were at least sixty years old (some believe they may have been in their late seventies or eighties), well past childbearing years. But unlike my parents, these two faithful servants of the Lord had no children. This brought great shame to them, particularly to Elizabeth—it’s likely people gossiped about them, assuming some great secret sin that God was punishing them for had prevented them from having children.
But in Luke 1:13, Zacharias, a priest, was in the temple when an angel came to him and announced that he and Elizabeth would have a child, and he would be named John. We’re told “he will be great in the eyes of the Lord” (1:15 NLT), “he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God” (1:16 NLT), and that “he will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord” (1:17 NLT).
Isn’t that amazing? The one who would “make straight the way for the Lord” (John 1:23 NIV), the “Elijah who was to come” (Matthew 11:14 NIV) was an answer to prayer, a miraculous work of the Lord. He was unexpected and impossible to logically conceive of for many people (including Zacharias) . . . but not to God.
What’s my point here today? Simple: With God, there are no accidents. We’re all fearfully and wonderfully made, part of His great and grand plan, with a purpose and a calling. And as we approach Christmas this week, and the celebration of another miraculous birth, I pray we remember and embrace this powerful and comforting truth!
DIG: Read Luke 1:5–25; Isaiah 40:3; John 1:23; and Mark 1:3.
DISCOVER: What miraculous and unexpected things has God done in your life?
DISPLAY: Today, as you pray, thank God for your life, and for the purposes and plans He has for you.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.