First place is the goal in a competition or race. It is an objective to aim for in academia, sports, and list like Forbes. Pharmaceutical companies were racing to be the first to produce a vaccine for COVID-19. So why is being first so important? Coming in first place means you beat all competitors to the finish line. You finished ahead of the crowd. You hit the target before anyone else. You did something groundbreaking, innovative and original.
First place gets you the prize, but let’s go behind the scenes in the life of Elizabeth and Zechariah and explore how being first starts.
The Birth of the Prophet John
57 When Elizabeth’s pregnancy was full term, she gave birth to a son. 58 All her family, friends, and neighbors heard about it, and they too were overjoyed, for they realized that the Lord had showered such wonderful mercy upon her.
59 When the baby was eight days old, according to their custom, all the family and friends came together for the circumcision ceremony.[an] Everyone was convinced that the parents would name the baby Zechariah, after his father. 60 But Elizabeth spoke up and said, “No, he has to be named John!”
61 “What?” they exclaimed. “No one in your family line has that name!”
The birth of John the Baptist was a miracle announced by the Messenger Angel, Gabriel, before he visited Mary to announce about Jesus. He advised Zechariah that the baby’s name was John, Jehovah has been gracious.
The people were shocked when they heard that the elder couple had not named the baby after his father or anyone else in their lineage. They had expected it because it was the naming convention of their time period. Being of priestly lineage they held tradition in great regard. But, they were called to do something different because God was changing everything!
John would be like no one else. He was born to be the forerunner of Christ! A trailblazer, unorthodox, a pioneer. His parents had to break tradition because John was a mold breaker!
Zechariah means God remembers. While it is true, God was looking forward with the birth of John the Baptist and his name stated the new dispensation to come!
When you are called to do something unprecedented that deviates from the norm do not question it! Get excited that change is on the horizon!
Refuse to take on concern about what others will think. They do not know what God has planned. Be obedient and be proud to be the first. Take a seat and watch what God does with what He’s placed in your care. Prepare to be amazed!