Monday, April 29, 2013
April 29 - Monday - Luke 1:56-66 ~ Tiffany
Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ruth 3-4, Psalm 85, John 17
Today's scripture focus is Luke 1:56-66
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 1:67-80
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Samuel 1-2, Psalm 86, John 18
Have you ever thought about the meaning behind your name? If you have kids, did you think about it while naming them? My husband and I did. The Mr. is very serious about names, their meaning, and the effects they have on people. We have three children, and their full names mean the following: "Life-giving Faith", "Jehovah is My God", and "Strong Gift of God." Most people don't blink when we tell them we have an Evelynn, or Ethan. But when we mention Elias, we get wrinkled foreheads. "Where did THAT name come from? What does THAT mean?"
I imagine Elizabeth felt much the same way I did when I first had to begin explaining Elias's name (meaning: Jehovah is My God, and the fact that it is Greek for Elijah) "It's my kid - leave me alone!" She's trying to name her child what she had been commanded, and everybody says "But, wait, we haven't heard that one before!"
But Zechariah had been commanded by an angel to name John, John (as we read in Luke 1:13). So, because this name had been commanded by an angel, much as Jesus's name had been commanded, and because John's birth was somewhat of a miracle (due to barrenness and advanced age) I decided to research just exactly what John means.
According to behindthename.com, John, in the original Hebrew, means "Yahweh is gracious."
Isn't that beautiful? Not only was God showing His graciousness to Zechariah and Elizabeth by giving them the gift of a child in their old age, but He was showing His graciousness to the world. He wasn't just putting Jesus there to a world who had no idea about Him. John was to be "filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb" and to "make a people prepared for the Lord." (Luke 1:15-17). God was showing His graciousness to an old couple who desperately wanted a child, and to a world that needed to know Him better.
So in this simple passage of naming a baby, we learn once again of God's mighty grace.