Here is a beautiful passage, spoken by Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, addressing his son, John the Baptist:
“you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,”
[and so John did, sent by God for stirring up the people’s desire for righteousness.]
Luke 1:77 “to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,”
[This was a new truth, for the Jews thought that through the keeping of the law they could be saved. However, as it says in Romans 3, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.” This is a mystery revealed in Christ; it is the perspective of God, different from the tradition of the Jews.]
Luke 1:78 “because of the tender mercy of our God,”
[And this new way, the costly way of Jesus, is opened because our God is gracious, tender and merciful towards His enemies. We exalt you, O Lord, our God, for your kindness, your grace, your loving goodness towards us when we deserve the opposite.]
“by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven”
[Praise you, Lord Jesus, that you, as the Son and the Sun, the Dayspring and Morning Star, came down to us from heaven to be with us in our desperate, depraved and deceived state.]
Luke 1:79 “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death,”
[We are born in darkness, unable to find our way without revelation; we were under the curse of death, living in the land of the dying, walking in fear, stumbling through life, unable to understand, for: “…the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble” (Prov. 4:19). But then you, Lord Jesus, the bright and shining Son, came to open our eyes. You are “The true light that gives light to every man….” (John 1:19).
Because you have come, Lord Jesus, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (Prov. 4:18).
You have given us sight, and we can choose to use it. As we walk with you, you give us more light every day, for “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD” (Ps. 89:15). Help us to walk in the light of your presence today, Lord, that we may be light carriers to all those around us.