“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn[a] of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
In this passage, Zacharias talks about his son, John, and the part he will play in the plan of God. John will fulfill prophecies out of Isaiah and elsewhere about going before the Messiah to prepare the way for the Lord. It’s an important task to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. We can do the same – prepare the way for Christ’s return. We can prepare the way for others to meet the Messiah. Although He has already come, He is coming again, and He has called us to prepare the way for His second coming. How do we do that? First, by preparing ourselves. A lot of times, things in our lives are great stumbling blocks to people who would come to Christ. But if we repent of these things, it will go a long way in preparing the way for others to meet the Messiah. Some non-Christians have noted that the worst parts about Christianity are the Christians. They say they would become a Christian if it weren’t for all the Christians. Let us live for Christ, and therefore prepare the way for Him.
We can also prepare the way for the Messiah to return to earth by supporting missions through giving and praying. Jesus will not return to earth until every person on earth has heard the good news of eternal life. This will not be completed until the end of the tribulation, but we can be helping in the progress right now by supporting and praying for missionaries who are working among the unreached people groups.
Thirdly, we can also prepare for Christ’s coming by witnessing to friends and neighbors. Maybe that person you know you should share the Gospel with, but haven’t, is the one God is waiting for. Do you want to prepare the way for the Lord? Share Him with your friends and neighbors. Support missions work being done around the world, serve God in holiness and righteousness. These things will help prepare the way for His coming.
Luke 1:77-79 explains what the Messiah will do after John has prepared the way. I think it’s interesting that Zacharias doesn’t spend much time praising his son, John. Praising his son leads him to praise the Savior. There are three things he praises Jesus for. One, to give knowledge, two to give light, and three, to give peace.
Zacharias could have never said another word in his life except for this song, and it would have been some of the best words every spoken. They are full of tender truths and precious promises about Jesus Christ. Though he had been mute for nine months, he probably spent that time thinking of what he would say if he could ever speak again. And here he said it. It’s all to the praise and honor and glory of Jesus Christ.