Luke 1:68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
Luke 1:69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
Luke 1:70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
Luke 1:71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
Luke 1:72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
Luke 1:73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
Luke 1:74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
Luke 1:75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
Luke 1:76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
Luke 1:77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
Luke 1:78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
Luke 1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
After hundreds and hundreds of years in the promised land, the Jewish people were severely oppressed. Some historians believe that they were taxed as much as 70%–90% by the Roman occupation forces. King Herod was a twisted mockery of a Jew. He had killed and murdered and married into the religion even though he was an Edomite.
The religious leaders of the day were as corrupt and ruled over the people with an iron fist of law that wore rings of shame, judgment, and hopeless condemnation. Only the most well-off could afford to follow all of the laws they created around the Law of Moses. There were 1,500 laws about the Sabbath day alone.
Righteousness seemed hopeless.
God’s favor was unobtainable.
But then came the promise of the Messiah in the birth of His promised forerunner. Malachi prophesied it:
’ “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”’
That is the exact thing that Gabriel said about John the Baptist to his father Zechariah!
So, here He comes, the Messiah. He’s going to deliver people from their enemies (they thought it was Rome, but it was bigger than that – it was SIN) and enable His people to serve Him.
These people loved God and desired to serve Him, but it felt impossible in the current age. This boy, John, is going to prepare the way for the Messiah that is going to make it possible. He’s going to make a way for God and His people to be together again.