Zacharias was a priest and married to Elizabeth. They were righteous
before the Lord, but they did not have any children.
One day Zacharias was burning incense in the temple while the people
were outside praying. While burning incense an angel appeared and
Zacharias became afraid.
The angel said: "Do not be afraid Zacharias. Your prayer has
been heard and your wife will bear you a son. You shall call his
name John and you will rejoice at his birth. He will be great in
the sight of the Lord and he will turn many of the children of Israel
back to God."
Zacharias and his wife were old and he asked the angel how he would
know that his wife would have a child. The angel said: "I am
Gabriel who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to
you. But because you did not believe my words, you will not be able
to speak until the day your son is circumcised."
Very soon after Zacharias finished serving in the temple, Elizabeth
became pregnant and bore a son. On the eighth day they took their
son to the temple to be circumcised. The people there would have
called the boy's name Zacharias, but Elizabeth said that his name
was John. The people did not understand so they used sign language
to ask Zacharias.
Zacharias wrote on a tablet: "His name is John." The
people all marveled and immediately Zacharias could again speak.
Many people heard about John's birth and knew that he was special.
And the hand of the Lord was with John all of his life.
1. Were Zacharias and Elizabeth good people?
2. Why was Zacharias afraid while working in the temple?
3. Did Zacharias believe the angel?
4. Why could Zacharias not speak?
5. Was John a special person? Why?