Lesson One, Discussion D

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Lesson One, Discussion D

Post by Tara Bernard on Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:56 pm

D. How would the birth of his son affect Zechariah and Elizabeth? Describe the child's mission in your own words. Why would Zechariah doubt?

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Re: Lesson One, Discussion D

Post by Tara Bernard on Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:10 am

I'll tell you one thing, being "old" and having a baby around isn't all that easy! So, they would have been affected on a purely physical (and emotional) level at the sheer work involved. Secondly, whether longed for or not, I think there is a comfort level in having reached a stage, in their case, childlessness, and in having been in it a long time. Readjusting your thinking from being "the childless couple" to "parents" would be challenging. Thirdly, I think they would have felt blessed and overwhelmingly grateful. This, too, would have presented a challenge--balancing your natural necessity to raise and discipline a child with your total gratitude for having one. Something I think I, to whom children came easily, have a difficult time remembering. It makes me realize that every child is a miracle (I mean, I knew that already, but knowing and KNOWING are different things), every child is a blessing and a gift and I think it's sometimes easy to forget that. Or, at least I think I have a tendency to brush that aside. I've never wished I hadn't had mine, and I've always cherished them, but I'm not sure I consciously, deliberately, did so.

John's mission was to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus. Jesus was and is the embodiment of "the kingdom of God." John's mission was to start people thinking DELIBERATELY about the coming of the Messiah. For a long time, the Hebrew people had been "expecting the messiah", rather in the way that we cherish our children. They knew he was coming, they knew what they expected him to do, they knew they wanted those things to happen, but much like Zechariah and Elizabeth, they probably didn't devote much of their daily walking around time to thinking about it. John's mission was to change that mindset.

I think the most obvious reason Zechariah would doubt was their age. I think he would also doubt out of a totally human need not to challenge his comfort level. I think it is a reminder to me to stop and consider my prayers. Do I really WANT what I'm praying for, or do I want a certain outcome, a certain recognition, a certain comfort in saying, "Oh yeah, I'm totally down with wanting children, I pray for it daily"--secure in the knowledge that I don't really think it will happen and I can have the benefits of wanting it (I'm using children metaphorically here) without having to actually HAVE it. A certain "learned doubt" which is to my mental benefit, at least in my human understanding of it. And if I was suddenly told, "Okay, your prayers have been heard and answered. Here you go." I might quite conceivably go, "Say what?"
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Re: Lesson One, Discussion D

Post by Barbara Alexander on Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:12 pm

The affect on Zachariah was that his tongue was loosened at John’s circumcision. The affect on Elizabeth started even before he was born because he kept in her womb when Mary visited and told Zach. and Eliz. that she herself was pregnant.

John’s mission was to prepare the way for the Lord. He called the people to repentance and baptized them.

I don’t know why Zachariah would doubt.


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