The Expository Files


Luke 1:5-7

Luke Chapter 1

5 "There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of
the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

In a time when the word of God was scarce, and the rulers of the world were violently wicked, there lived a man whose life was of uncommon value in the sight of God. His name... Zacharias. Zacharias was the kind of man that you get excited about when you hear he is moving to your town to work with the church in your community. A man whose name preceeded him as having come from a family of faithful men. But not only did Zacharias come from a good family, his wife, Elizabeth, also came from among the daughters of Aaron. That is to say that she also was a Levite and of a family with a great reputation for honoring God. Proverbs 22:1 states "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches," Zacharias and Elizabeth were among the wealthiest people in Jerusalem according to this proverb.

Beyond having a good name, Zacharias and Elizabeth were good people. Notice again in verse 6 the praise given them in respect to God's law. When it came to their marriage partnership, this couple was on track. I write this with great confidence just having read the circumstantial evidence. A good marriage relationship is implied in this passage in that together they loved God. Notice the statement one more time and meditate upon its implications: "And they were both righteous before God." In other words, according to God's judgments, they each did what was right. Now how can a marriage dissolve when both partners do what God says is right? It cannot. This passage of scripture states clearly that both Zacharias and Elizabeth walked in all commandments and all ordinances blamelessly. There was no command of God that they did not strive to obey, and there was no ordinance that they had willfully transgressed. It would seem that theirs was the ideal life, but look again.

"They had no child" We can understand by the text that this was not the choice that Zacharias or Elizabeth would have made. In  fact we can understand by Elizabeth's words in verse 25 that she had lived in reproach for many years because she had no child to call her own. Being now "well advanced in years" it would seem that our couple had probably resigned themselves to the sad fact and then carried on with life. Often in life our situations are not what we would have them to be. Circumstances arise that teach us to know sorrow, something that none of us want to learn. But please be advised of why Elizabeth had no child: It was  not because she had some great sin in her life that God was punishing her over, remember, they were both "righteous before  God." God is not of a cruel nature, teasing the innocent and taunting the just. The bible clearly states the reason they had no child; "because she was barren." That is it. No jinx, no punishment, no hex, no spell, just a plain fact of nature controlled by the loving hand of God.

My friend, will you question the love of God? In life, we all have our burdens to bear and some of those burdens seem to eat at you in a way that causes you to think that nobody in the world can understand what you are going through. Perhaps that is true, but Jesus Christ can and does understand your sorrow. You who are laden with a heavy load of sorrow, have you not heard the words of the Master "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"? Zacharias and Elizabeth were truly burdened with a heavy load of sorrow for a great many years, yet none of those burdens kept them from being faithful to God. Likewise, none of your burdens are great enough to cause you to falter concerning the Law of Christ. The greatest achievement of your life should be that you have been found blameless in Christ Jesus. And one more thing, in heaven your sorrow will not be diminished, it shall be destroyed! For "God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more
death, no sorrow, no crying." Revelation 21:4


By Kenneth R. Peden
 From Expository Files 10.8; August 2003