57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. 58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari'ah after his father, 60 but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John."
61 And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled.
64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.
Are you surprised to see the relatives of Zechariah and Elizabeth quibble over what to name their newborn child? Don’t we do the same thing? This child, however has been named from above! And Elizabeth is firm in her faith and determined to see that God be glorified through this child. The name John means "the Lord is gracious."
In the birth of John and in the birth of Jesus the Messiah we see the grace of God breaking forth into a world broken by sin and death and without hope. John’s miraculous birth shows the mercy and favor of God in preparing his people for the coming of its Lord and Savior, the Christ.
When God acts to save us he graciously fills us with his Holy Spirit and makes our faith "alive" to his promises. Do you make your life an offering to God, along with your family, and all that you possess? God wants to fill us with his glory all the days of our lives, from birth through death. Renew the offering of your life to God and give him thanks for his mercy and favor towards you?