Zacharias and Elisabeth: They Were Good

In our series eyewitness to Christmas, we viewed the events of Christ birth from the view point of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and his earthly father, Joseph.

But, there were many others that witnessed and lived these events.  This group included an older, mature couple that was related to Mary.   This couple gave birth to the forerunner of Christ and through them, God showed His power and might.

Zachariah and Elisabeth were righteous before the Lord

So, for the next few weeks during this Christmas season, we will take a look at the story of Elisabeth and Zacharias.

Before we turn to the scripture for their story let’s take a look at the meaning of their names.

Elisabeth is a Hebrew name which means the oath of God or God is satisfaction.  Another common form of this name is Elizabeth.

Zacharias is a Hebrew name that means the Lord has remembered.  Another form of this name is Zachariah.

As we will see in the story of this couple, God definitely remembered and satisfied this couple’s desires.

Zacharias and Elisabeth were barren

When we first meet Zacharias and Elisabeth, we are given information on their family, including the fact that they have no children.

Luke 1:5-7 (ASV)
5  There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

“Elisabeth also was of a priestly family.”   {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

We know from this that these are the days of Herod.

6  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

“that is, truly righteous, or righteous in God’s judgment, and not in mere appearance…

Zacharias and Elisabeth

Strictly construed, commandments would refer to moral, and ordinances to ceremonial laws. The two words include all the positive and negative precepts”  {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.} defines righteousness as “the quality of being morally right or justifiable.”

7  And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

“They had no children, and it could not be expected that Elisabeth should have any in her old age.”    {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

Zacharias and Elisabeth were faithful to the Lord

“this fact was a reproach and shame to her, barrenness being considered even a punishment for sin by many.”    {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

As someone that always longed to be a mother and circumstances never worked out for this possibility, I can tell you that her heart longed for a child. I’m sure there were days that she questioned why.  As the couple grew older, they may have even worried about who would take care of them.

However, this was also a time when a woman’s sole purpose was to have children.  As Sarah and Hannah before her, she would have felt shame at not having children and asked God what was wrong with her.   She had no idea that she would become like Sarah and have a child in her old age.

God was about to prove through Elisabeth and Zacharias that he could accomplish the impossible.

How has God accomplished the impossible in your life?


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