John the Baptist
The world didn’t know it, but our King was about to come. Shouldn’t a kingdom get ready? Shouldn’t someone tell everyone important news like this? Don’t worry. God thought so, too. Announcing the King was a special job, and God needed a special messenger. His eyes roamed across the earth and settled on a man and woman, the parents He had chosen long ago to have a son named John. John would be His special messenger to share the news: the King is coming!
God had always known that Zacharias and Elizabeth would be John’s mommy and daddy. These two people loved God a lot, but they were old and childless, even though they had prayed for kids year after year. Their hearts were sad and they wished their house wasn’t so empty. But God had waited all this time because He wanted to give them their special child at the perfect time, right before He would give the world His Son.
Zacharias walked up to the temple to give an offering to the Lord. Once inside, he quietly stepped up to the altar and nearly jumped out of his robe! An angel was stand- ing there! “Zacharias!” Gabriel said gleefully.
“God has heard your prayers. Your wife will have a baby and he will be special. Your son, John, will tell people to get ready because the King is coming!” Zacharias shook his head. “Surely not. My wife—she’s old! I’m old! How can we have a baby now?” Gabriel smiled a sad smile. “You can because God said so, and His words are always true. Be- cause you did not trust me, your lips will be shut tight. You won’t speak until your son is born.” For nine long months, Zacharias waited in silence. As he watched his wife’s belly grow, the hope in his heart grew as well. Finally, the day came that a screaming baby boy entered the world. Zacharias held his precious son and his mouth burst open with praise. “This is my son John! He will get everyone ready! The King is coming!”
Imagine being Zacharias, holding this great secret inside of you. Imagine looking at your family members, at your friends, at the strangers you passed on the street, and not being able to speak the most exciting thing you had ever known. What if you knew that the King of the world was coming, but you couldn’t say it? What if you had a son that would be born and would get everyone ready, but you couldn’t shout it to the skies? That must have been the hardest secret that anyone ever had to keep, but you and I don’t have to be silent about God’s Son. God says to us, “Go! Tell the world! Tell everyone in every place about My Son Jesus!” Every day, our mouths can burst open with praise to our mommies and daddies, sisters and brothers, neighbors, friends, and strangers.
“Jesus has come! He is King!”
Today we aren’t telling people that Jesus is coming the first time but that He is coming back. How can we tell people to “get ready” for this?
God has said that He wants His people to go to the ends of the earth to tell people about Jesus. Who do you think you might be able to tell about Jesus, our King?
This Advent devotional resource was produced by The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. The original resource can be found here.