Patching Cracks

In Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, the reader is introduced to John the Baptist early in the story. John the Baptist was a popular preacher in ancient Israel whose messages prepared the ancient Jewish people for Jesus’ coming. In Luke’s gospel, John’s birth is an important part of the story of Christmas and includes some interesting elements. My favorite is a prophetic speech from John’s father that was probably adapted as a first century church hymn. In it, he describes the coming of God’s chosen deliverer in phrases and terminology that an early Jewish person would certainly have under...