As Anna did, many faithful Jews were actively looking for the Messiah's arrival. A priest named Zechariah was an expectant believer. He was awaiting the arrival of the majestic King, but he and his wife Elizabeth were also privately praying for a baby of their own. They received a double blessing.
The Messiah would be a relative, a baby born to Elizabeth's cousin Mary. And their own miracle baby. . .was on the way. As with all Nativity related announcements, an angel was sent to relay the message.
Listen to the angel's amazing announcement from Luke 1: Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous- to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
I love this entire description. It's every Christian parent's dream for their son. And if your son happens to be the cousin of the Savior, it would be even more important.
John, the Baptizer, was an answer to prayer for his parents. He lived a consecrated, Holy Spirit filled life. He preached a unique message of repentance and was a revival leader. John was a part of a family that supported their Messiah-cousin on a whole other level. God chose John to prepare the way for the Lord. What an honor to be a part of this family.
To be continued. . .