‚T@Benedictus

Luke 1:57-80
Isaiah @9:2-7

‡TIn the joyful faith

@It is from 1:57-80 this morning at John the Baptist birth. "Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she brought forth a son."(57)@It has been that about one month passed since Maria returned to Nazareth. There is it, "And her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her."(58). As for the granny birth, for we Japanese, it is a "shameful" sense in common, but even for the Jew, it doesn't have much difference, too; I think. Joy of Elisabeth (meanwhile, Zacharias stayed indoors all the time) would be transmitted through what neighbors are pleased with obediently. Because there is thus, "the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her", I want to hear "the joy" of Elisabeth and people in that place. The people came over to a house of Zacharias for a ceremony (a circumcision) that recognized a baby of the eighth day as a Jew. It would be a blessing to this aged woman. How it is beautiful scene!

@By the way, during these periods, this aged man and woman must have thought over and over about words of Gabriel many times. Because Zacharias has been already speechless when he came back from the shrine, Elisabeth emits a voice and he writes it in a tablet, it was inconvenient conversation, but all the more, their memory became more clearer, I imagine. Gabriel said, "you will give him the name John."(13). The people who came over to bless this aged man and woman were going to make the name of the baby "Zacharias". A father applies his name to the son; it is extremely ordinary in Judea. It will be a thing called "Ben Zacharias" (a son of Zacharias). The relative and neighbors decided child's name; it might have had the meaning that the child who was born was acknowledged by the local society. However, Elisabeth says that "he shall be called John" and Zacharias also insists on the name called "John", too. The people wonder with that, "There is no one among your relatives who called by that name."(61), and Luke adds it, "And they were all astonished."(63). Not having made it to the name of Zacharias was too abnormal. The embarrassment of people seems to be fraught with problems about the recognition of the child.


‡U To serve the Lord

@The name of John is the same name of Jphannan (Greece forms of old Hebrew name, and it is a meaning that God is benevolent), and some people of the same name appear in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and this is not an unusual name particularly. Therefore the name called John is not a problem, but it is a center point of here that they did not call his name "Zacharias".

@When a Jew inherits a name of father, it has a meaning to succeed to his father's land. When he inherits a name of relatives, not father, he succeeds to the land of that person; it is the same thing. The land, it was given from God originally, and defending the land and doing the management use, it was "the faith act" to show the loyalty to God. Adam plowed the Garden of Eden and managed it, and once, he was allowed that "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely", but perhaps, such contract thought with God would live here. By the way, in the case of priest, there is it; "For the Levites have no portion among you, because the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance."(Joshua 17:7), they don't seem to have had distribution of the land at the start. After that, they protested with "The Lord commanded through Moses to give us cities to live in, with their pasture lands for our cattle."(21:2), and got the inheritance place; so Zacharias came to hold land to leave for a descendant. However, originally, because "to serve the Lord was their inheritance place" for the priest, if they were conscious of it, they would be not concerned with the land, but I don't know whether they had such a consciousness in those days. However, it may be said that Zacharias was invited to such a consciousness.

@Therefore, it was his declaration of intention, that he did not let a born child succeed to his land. He was concerned with the name of "John" which was ordered by God; it is not "Zacharias" or somebody's name of relatives. Surely he thought out a meaning of it for a period of ten months while he lost a voice; and he would decide it. People said "What then will this child turn out to be?"(66) and Luke added it, "For hand of the Lord was certainly with him."(66); I hear these are suggesting the future of John.


‡V Benedictus

@"And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:"(67) Zacharias paean (68-79) begin. This is called "Benedictus" from Latin, like Magnificat of Mary. When he wrote "his name as John" in a tablet, "at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he began to speak in praise of God"(64). And, he was "filled with the Holy Spirit", and sang this in a loud voice, like Elisabeth and Mary were "filled with the Holy Spirit". This paean will be his confession of faith to God, too. He heard words of Gabriel, and he would be conscious "to serve the Lord was their inheritance place". He freed his child John from a duty of the land inheritance. Zacharias who lived in righteousness to protect law learned to hear from words of God, and after he was troubled, he abandoned such righteousness, and the thought to make John a successor of priest Zacharias. This would be his faith. He was "filled with the Holy Spirit" by standing that faith, and it seems that he stared at the plan of God. It was a plan of the Israeli salvation.

@"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant- as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from od old-..." Benedictus was sung. But this seems to focus on "the Israeli salvation" rather than his child John. Many races of Cannan around Israel are told as "our enemy" in many places, and it also says "In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days"; it still leaves constitution of the law dependence, and it is showing the face of quite old-fashioned sense of values, but let's overlook such a little things because he is an old man. Rather than, it seems that Zacharias will clarify a center point of salvation; the salvation of God is realized with an appearance of the Messiah. This Benedictus would be hear the declaration that the salvation of Jesus appears. Besides, he is conscious that the salvation is the salvation from sin. He heard the message of Gabriel from Mary, with Elisabeth; and he said thus, "To give to His people the knowledge of salvation"(77). He faced the One said "You shall name Him Jesus" is the Messiah himself. Therefore, he tells about Jesus earlier than about his child John, and besides, he exposes most of his pean about that One. The place where he mentions John is only in Verse 76, 77. "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by forgiveness of their sins, ..." John was a prophet / the pioneer who fixed the way for Jesus.

@"To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."(79) Benedictus is closed in this way. "Those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death"; and he considered all the Israeli people, including himself to be such a person. Now, it becomes a society where a poor person and a weak person do not live easily. The darkness that Zacharias watched seems to wrap us up. It does not show light desired. We who live in such present age want to pay more attention to the light of the pity of the Lord among other things. Like John, we may be invited to the time that the people who show the salvation of the Lord (He is the light) are demanded now.