Unlike many god-figures who are worshipped today, the true God has a remedy for failure: mercy.
Mary's faith had given her an understanding about what really matters, because she knew what was important to God.
Mary, like every Jewish child, would have been taught that the Messiah would come one day; because God had promised in His Word.
Wise people schedule time to prepare.
Everybody has a name: it is their most precious and personal possession. Their name is their external identity and reflects their parents' choice and family bonding.
Zechariah, the elderly priest, had not believed the angel Gabriel.
After 9 months of silence, Zechariah could speak again (see Luke 1:59-64).
Zechariah now believed that God's Word was true: he had moved from doubt to faith, from silence to open confession. He was filled with the Holy Spirit who put God's words into his mouth.
Fathers should feel a responsibility to guide their children. But Zechariah's prediction about his son's future ministry was different. It was not a parental idea, but God's.
John the Baptist is absent from the Bible between his circumcision-naming ceremony and the beginning of his public ministry.
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