Luk 1:76 And so you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will go on before the Lord to prepare his ways,
Luk 1:77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins,
Luk 1:78 because of the merciful heart of our God by which the dawn will visit to help us from on high,
Luk 1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct our feet into the way of peace.”
Luk 1:80 And the child kept growing and becoming strong in spirit, and was in the desert until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
knowledge and light
Zechariah himself prophesied about the prophetic role of his son, John. John’s function was that of prophet of the Most High. The Lord was going to make an appearance, and John’s task was to get the people ready for his presence. To do this, he was to impart two things: knowledge about the forgiveness that God offers the repentant, and the light of guidance so that the people could reform their ways. They had to stop learning the unhealthy ways of and be directed toward the way of peace.
Our witness to the world today needs to contain both elements as well. We need to preach repentance, but we also need to facilitate reform. Just saying “the sinner’s prayer” is not real repentance unless it is followed by a changed life. Churches full of unchanged people are not ready for God to make his appearance. He is coming, and we need to get our churches and communities ready for him.
LORD, show us how to reach our generation with both the knowledge of your gospel and guidance in how to allow the gospel to transform them.