Luke 1:16-20

Luke 1:16 (KJB)
And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

Many of the children will be led to the Lord for salvation. He will have a ministry of repentance where he will bring the people face to face with their sins. For a person to be saved, they first must know they are sinners or else they will think they are fine. This was the attitude of the scribes and Pharisees. Israel was sunk deep in sin because of the false teachings of the religious leaders and the fact that they were under Romeís authority. Israel had been this way for hundreds of years but soon the light of the Gospel will break through for many. (Isa 60:1-2 KJV) Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. {2} For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Not everyone will welcome John, only those who are predestined for salvation. The rest will oppose Jesus and John so vehemently, that they will both be put to death.

Luke 1:17 (KJB)
And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

John shall go before the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah. He will even look like Elijah and have the same stern message which Elijah carried. Just as in the days of Jezebel where she persecuted the prophets of God and promoted Baal worship. Elijah comes on the scene and challenges the 450 prophets of Baal in front of Israel and proves that Jehovah is the true God. John will also have a similar message where as he will show that Jesus is the true Messiah and the religious leaders were nothing but vipers. (Mat 3:7 KJV) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

John shall also turn the hearts of the fathers to the children which was also prophesied by Malachi. (Mal 4:6 KJV) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. The fathers in view are the patriarchs who all looked for a coming Messiah and had great faith. John will turn the dead religion of the children of Israel into the living faith of the patriarchs. Those who become saved will have as much zeal for the Lord as John and the patriarchs had. Along with this they will possess the wisdom of the just. Those who become saved in Christ will have the indwelling Holy Spirit within them and this will give them the wisdom of the just who are the saved. Those who become saved will be those who are prepared to meet the Lord. Just like those who are saved at His second coming, there will be a group of believers at His first coming which will eventually grow and spread throughout the entire world.

Luke 1:18 (KJB)
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

Unfortunately, Zacharias responds to the angelís message with an air of doubt. He was looking at the physical aspect of his surroundings. He looked at himself and saw he was old and his wife was also passed child bearing. It is surprising that he did not recall the same situation of Abraham and Sarah. They had to wait another 25 years before Isaac was born but here the miracle of John was about to take place. We as Christians make one fatal mistake in our Christian walk. We tend to equate Godís abilities by the natural laws which govern this world. Godís abilities are infinitely higher than the laws which govern this world and we just have to realize that God will work even through impossible situations. (Gen 18:14 KJV) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Luke 1:19 (KJB)
And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings.

This is the angel Gabriel, the same one who met with Daniel. He reassured Zacharias that he stands in the presence of God and this message came from God Himself to Zacharias. He was sent to him for the purpose of telling him what was about to happen and that these were glad tidings. His son was to be the forerunner of the Messiah. Gabriel was simply a messenger sent by God to tell Zacharias that things were going to start happening.

Luke 1:20 (KJB)
And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

Since Zacharias had asked for some type of sign as to how these things would take place, he was literally showing unbelief. All throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus the religious leaders were always asking Him for a sign. (Mat 12:38 KJV) Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. Zacharias should have known that if this information was being brought to him explaining how things were going to unfold, then he should have trusted God to work out the details and he should not have asked for some type of sign. There is always consequence in not obeying God or trusting His words. As a result of his unbelief, Zacharias was now to remain dumb until the time of Johnís birth. This would have denied him many months of personal testimony about John. The striking of his voice also had a prophetic value. Just as there was no prophet from the time of Malachi, which means over 400 years of silence from Heaven. That silence will be broken when John is born and at that time his father will be able to speak again.