The Hebrew people had prayed for a deliverer to be their long-promised King. While living under Roman rule, they looked for the answer that God would bring.
Then it came to pass that two little babies were born in the same time span. The lives of each one of them would be major in God’s great redemptive plan.
One would be a prophet named John, the baptizer, and was the son of Zacharias, the priest. The other was Jesus, who would be the focus and celebration of God’s greatest Passover Feast.
John’s mother, Elizabeth, had longed for a child and rejoiced at the birth of her son. And Jesus’ mother, Mary, told the angel who came that God’s will for her should be done.
The angel, Gabriel, had first appeared to Zacharias and told him what to name his son…John, “The Lord is gracious,” a preparer of the way for the Messiah, God’s Anointed One.
When betrothed, Mary’s Joseph had gained assurance from God, by having been visited in a dream too. Mary stayed with her cousin, Elizabeth, for a time, before her own baby would become due.
These four parents realized, through faith, the significance of those entrusted to their care. A messenger of God, and Immanuel, “God With Us,” were birthed in answer to prayer.
P. A. Oltrogge
(from Luke 1 and Matthew 1:18-25)
“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
God’s words in the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve disobeyed Him, to the serpent (Satan) about a Redeemer: “And I will put enmity (open hostility) between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall (fatally) bruise your head, And you shall (only) bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15 AMP (the promise/prediction of Jesus’ birth, His redemption for us through the shedding of His blood on the cross, and His victory over Satan)
“…for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” from 1 John 3:8 AMP
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:19-20 NKJV
Written of Jesus:
“And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father, David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:30-38 KJV
Written of John:
“And his father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying… ‘And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’” Luke 1:67 and 76-79 NASB
…poetry from Christmas on the Porch….