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Read Luke 1:76-80. TEXT: (Zechariah said) "And you, child,
will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go
before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of
salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins"
(Luke 1:76-77).

Advent     Now Zechariah turns to his little son John. In
excited tones he sets out God's grand purpose for his young
life. John's mission is to teach people why they need the
Savior to come for them. He will teach what they need to be
saved from. As chapter one of Luke's Gospel concludes,
John is growing, preparing for the day when his ministry will

It's hard to enjoy the full celebration of Christmas and the
coming of the Christ Child if you have no idea why you need
Him to come. John made that clear years later when he
began preaching in the wilderness around the Jordan River.

"... 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the
wrath to come? ... Even now the axe is laid to the root of the
trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut
down and thrown into the fire'" (Luke 3:7b, 9).

All the evils that happen in the world clearly show mankind
has failed God's perfect plan. And our own sins and the hurts
we have inflicted on others shout out to God for vengeance.
But the Christ Child has come to step into the breach and
take the full impact of that wrath in our place.

That's why His earthly life, which begins in a lowly feeding
trough, will end on a rough wooden cross. But as John points
out--there is salvation from that wrath in the forgiveness of
sins Jesus wins by that sad suffering and death.


Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us sufficient warning
of the wrath to come. We flee to Your Son Jesus for
protection and salvation. Thank You that for His sake we
need fear no evil. Amen.

( Wayne Palmer Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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