Investigation & petition – Lk. 1:57-66


1. “The reader of Luke may be surprised at the amount of attention given to John: after all, this unit contains 24 verses [vs.57-80], while the parallel account of Jesus’ birth contains only 21.” (Craddock, 31)

2. “The brief account of the birth echoes the OT account of (barren) Rebekah’s delivery (Gen.25:24); Lot’s experience of mercy (Gen.19:19) is the pattern after which Elizabeth’s is described in vs.58; the rejoicing with Elizabeth reflects (barren) Sarah’s expectation, should she miraculously give birth to a child (Gen.21:6 LXX). (Nolland 1:81)

3. “According to an ancient Jewish custom the child was circumcised upon a chair called ‘the throne of Elijah’ with the hope that he might be the long-awaited prophet (Mal. 3:1; 4:5).” (Ellis 78)

4. “The custom of combining the naming with circumcision perhaps arose with Abram being changed to Abraham when circumcision was instituted.” (Plummer 36)

5. “Naming after the father was common among the Jews.” (Plummer 36)

6. “Even before the ceremony the kinsfolk doubtless ‘were calling’ the child ‘little Zechariah.'” (Ellis 77)

7. “John is a shortened form of Jehohanan, which means ‘God’s gracious gift’ . . . cf. John 1:6: ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.'” (Caird 57)

8. “‘Made signs’ . . . was Zechariah both deaf and dumb?” (Ellis 78)

9. “The twofold reaction is very human: they were awed and they gossiped.” (Ellis 78)

10. “A totally unlikely pregnancy, a strange insistence on a completely unexpected name, and the subsequent instantaneous recovery of Zechariah combine to produce that involuntary response of fear in the presence of the divine activity which Luke is so fond of noting (cf. 5:26; 7:16; 8:37; etc.).” (Nolland 1:81)


God alone worthy of praise, you are the Lord who shows mercy on the aged, protection to the young and joy to all. Rightly I should stand more often aware and in awe of your works as you make all things possible and wonderful. If it something as simple as words and speech, you are the giver. If it is something as remarkable as pregnancy and childbirth, you are the maker. May what I allow you to work through me only lead to more and more people talking about you, ever and always in Christ Jesus. Amen.