Advent Scripture Calendar

22) To turn the hearts of the parents to their children

Rev Henk Poot - 19 December 2021
Sunday 19 December  

Luke 1:5-17

‘To make ready a people prepared for the Lord’
Luke 1:17

The birth of John shows that it is important to approach the coming of the Lord Jesus consciously. The son of Zechariah and Elisabeth must call God’s people to repentance. The people must be ready when the Messiah comes. John the Baptist will be like Elijah, the prophet from the time of Ahab and the wicked Jezebel.

The prophet Malachi had foretold this: before the coming of the great King of Israel, God would send a messenger in the spirit of Elijah, for who else can ‘endure the day of His coming’? (Malachi 3:1-2 and Malachi 4:5-6). When the angel Gabriel explains the calling of his son to Zechariah, he also says that he will ‘turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous’ (verse 17). What does Gabriel mean by this? Some say he means that people should have love for one another, starting with families. Let each family await the coming of the Prince of Peace in unity. But there is also another explanation.

For just as John will resemble Elijah, so his parents resemble Abraham and Sarah. Two elderly people without children. The Lord, in His grace and power, did not only give Abraham and Sarah a child, but Abraham would also become the father of many other unexpected children of the nations. Eventually, the Gentiles would also be blessed through the Son of Abraham, Jesus. ‘Father of many nations’ is also the meaning of the name Abraham (Romans 4:16-17).

Some commentators say that this is the deeper meaning of this promise. That this is about the fathers, Israel, and the children, the believers from the nations, finding each other and looking forward together in love to the coming of the Son of God. What a wonderful welcome it would indeed be when Jesus returns, when Christians and Jews will have found each other as children of God.

Let us pray for unity in our families, also with regard to our faith in God. And we pray that Christians and Jews will grow closer and closer to one another.

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