The gospel of Luke tells of the birth of John the Baptist, Jesus’s cousin. Elizabeth’s relatives are going to name the baby Zachariah after his father, but Elizabeth says his name will be John. They look to Zachariah for confirmation and he writes “John is his name” on a tablet. At that same moment, he is able to speak since the angel Gabriel made him mute for doubting God’s will. Surprisingly, John praises God for his blessings rather than express his anger for what he had to endure. The praises of Zachariah are compiled into a prayer called The Benedictus.
This gospel passage also foreshadows what great things John the Baptist will go on to do. He will precede Jesus’s coming and speak to great crowds about the Messiah’s coming and how he will save us all. Although some mistake him for the Savior, he continuously denies these claims and reminds them that One greater than him will come. Eventually, those promises are fulfilled when Jesus comes to the Jordan River to be baptized by him.