In Luke 1, God through Luke records the announcement of John the Baptist’s birth, the announcement of Jesus’ birth, Mary’s visit to Elizabeth (John’s mother), Mary’s praise to the Lord for choosing her to bare the Messiah, the birth of John and Zacharias’ (John’s father) prophecy. The thing that stood out to the most to me as I read this chapter this morning was the emphasis on God’s Mercy. The word ‘mercy’ is used 5 times in the chapter (vv. 50, 54, 58, 72, 78). Mercy presupposes a need in the recipient. Mary speaks of the help God had given Israel based on His mercy. Israel had a need of a savior and in His mercy provided that need in Jesus. Elizabeth was unable to bare children until children, but God saw her need and had mercy on her by giving her a son who would announce the coming of the Messiah. Zacharias speaks of how John will prepare the way for Jesus and give His people knowledge of salvation and the forgiveness of sins. He says this is “because of the tender mercy of God.” God’s people had a need for someone to point to the Messiah and to teach them about His salvation and forgiveness, so God in mercy met that need. I am so thankful for the mercy of God, who sees me in my need and meets my need according to His mercy. Thank You, LORD, for Your abundant mercy toward me – may I be merciful to others as a result of Your mercy toward me?
– Bryan McKenzie