Ordinary People: Zacharias & Elisabeth
Christmas is the record of God using a team of ordinary people to do extraordinary works for His Glory, and that is what we see first in the lives of the first couple we meet named Zachariah & Elisabeth as we open to Luke 1:5.
They were ordinary people, lived with ordinary problems, and faced with all the ordinary troubles, stresses and pains of life. When we meet them they even had an ordinary response to God—mixed belief and unbelief.
This Christmas we all need to pause and connect to God by prayer, and ask Him to do some extraordinary work through us also! Our focus today is to look at:
Ordinary People God Used
This couple also had an ordinary occupation in Jerusalem in the 1st century—we would call them religious professionals. Zacharias and Elisabeth were known as a priest and his wife. They lived and worked in the shadow of the Temple of God. They were of the priestly family, able to trace their family tree all the way back to Aaron and the Tribal genealogy of Levi.
From their earliest days they had known about the Lord. They had grown up much like many Americans of past generations—surrounded by the truth, seeing and hearing it in many ways and places. So in that sense we all are ordinary people. We all share the same struggles, trials, and pains through life.
But one thing about them was extraordinary—they actually believed all that truth about God. He was real to them and they loved Him and served Him as best they could.
As with each of the other members of the Christmas story—they are in contrast to other similar peoples of the same time period that did not internalize the truth.
Each ordinary person God chose to use in the story of Christmas—stands in extraordinary contrast to the others around them. Each of them—Zacharias and Elisabeth, Joseph and Mary, the Shepherds and the Magi, Simeon and Anna, are examples to us of how to see Christ clearly this Christmas.
Luke 1:5-7 “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.”
The sincere faith of Zacharias and Elisabeth in contrast to the lack of faith in the rest of the priests pointed out in the Christmas story, is so stark and distinct. I like to think of these distinctions between them as continental divides--junctures of monumental and of eternal proportions. That is what we will learn today as we look into their lives.
Little choices, little acts of obedience, little affirmations of consecration, little cries to a great God—these make big differences in the long run.
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