Zacharias and Elisabeth;
a Portrait of a Godly Family
There is an undeniable rarity found here in Luke chapter one exclusively. It is the family of Zachariah and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. I have found it necessary to consider them that we might be challenged in the area of our families. How desperately we need godly families!!! It was to the custodial care of this dear couple the Lord placed His messenger, the “forerunner” of the Messiah!
I. Faithful in Service vs. 5-9
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,
9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
Zacharias was a faithful priest while Elisabeth was a faithful WIFE!
II. Followers of the Scriptures vs. 6
…Walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless…
A. Dealing with Direct Commands “all the commandments”
Lived a Life in obedience to the direct commandments of God
from 1781; injunction, i.e. an authoritative prescription:—commandment, precept.
(Commandments) *Obvious to the casual observer*
B. Dealt with Discernment of God’s will “…and ordinances…”
Lived a Life through godly Discernment of His will
from 1344; an equitable deed; by implication, a statute or decision:—judgment, justification, ordinance, righteousness.
(Ordinances) *Only for the obedient seeker*
Ezr 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. 22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. 23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
*Note what Ezra led the people to do as the travelled to Jerusalem
III. Fervent in Prayer vs. 13
*Last message we considered the past prayer of this couple for a child… That prayer had no expiration date! This would have been that particular prayer they prayed as a couple for a child.
Matthew Henry says also:
“If he means the prayers he was now making, and offering up with his incense, we may suppose that those were according to the duty of his place, for the Israel of God and their welfare, and the performance of the promises made to them concerning the Messiah and the coming of his kingdom: ‘This prayer of thine is now heard: for thy wife shall shortly conceive him that is to be the Messiah’s forerunner.’ Some of the Jewish writers themselves say that the priest, when he burnt incense, prayed for the salvation of the whole world; and now that prayer shall be heard.”
Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. John = “Jehovah is a gracious giver”
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
The Answer to the overwhelming Harvest
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Asked by the disciples of the Lord
Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Assumed by the Lord as normal Christianity
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Expected by the Lord that men pray
Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Luke 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
The Answer to the sin problem of our lives
IV. Filled with the Holy Ghost
This is significant, in that it indicates their individual Devotion and Surrender to the Lord!
vs. 67 Zacharias
“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,…”
vs. 41 Elisabeth
“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:”
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
The issue here is not content, but control! It’s not how much of the Holy Spirit the Christian has, but it’s how much of the Christian the Holy Spirit has!
V. Their Faithful Son
Christians can choose to live their lives in a flippant way, blindly believing their children and lives will all turn out all right in the end, but this is not the reality. God give us godly families!
A. The “Occupation” of a godly family
The previous four points of our study show us the occupation of this family. They occupied their lives in the love, obedience, and service of the Lord.
B. The “Cultivation” within a godly family
The occupation of this family created the environment that God worked in! The hand of the Lord was with the son without hindrance of his family!
Luke 1:66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
Luke 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
C. The “Expectations” of a godly family
John would become the greatest man “born of women” yet in an earthly sense he was not wealthy, nor did he have possessions, in fact, he would be killed by a wicked ruler! His family’s expectations were indeed high for their son… They were “Heavenly high!”
Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.