So it was that I happened to take a particular notice of Luke 1:16-17. In summary, Zachariah (a wise old dude) was being visited by the angel Gabriel, whom was telling him that he and his wife (Elizabeth) would become pregnant with a child. This child would be the one to prepare the way for the Messiah. Of course, this child was to be John the Baptist (JTB)
Anyway, Gabriel is telling Zachariah all about what his son is going to be like and do...
"He will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people" - Luke 1:16-17Cool stuff, right? Well I've read that countless times before, but this time I noticed something I had not considered before. Yeah, I understood that JTB was coming to prepare the way for the Messiah (Jesus) and would have the power and spirit of Elijah. But what/how is he going to do it?... turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of disobedient to the understanding of the righteous!
So it stood out to me that out of all the important things one would think are necessary to hear and be prepared for the Messiah, there were only two simple items. Turn fathers' hearts towards their children, and turn disobedient hearts towards understanding.
Then it hit me. God must place a premium value on the heart a father has towards his children. Perhaps there's some fundamental design of the heart of a father that when properly aligned with God's purpose has a preparing effect on people. Perhaps it's not just on the father, but on the society and culture in which fathers dwell? Maybe it's even fair to say that to be prepared to hear the Messiah, fathers need their hearts directed to their children?
I have many new questions now to pursue...
What were/are the things that captured the hearts of fathers so that their not toward their children?
How did JTB's message impact fathers to turn their hearts? What did he say?
What were the "disobedient" disobedient to? Who were they disobeying?
Are the disobedient synonymous with the fathers whom needed their hearts changed?
So, I am looking forward to how the Holy Spirit reveals some of these answers and further things to seek out.
Any insights on the matter? Feel free to comment.