Christmas Questions – The People

This week we will look at a third question found in Luke 1. The first two were asked by Zechariah and Mary. Today’s question was asked by the people at the time Zechariah’s son was born.

Remember, Zechariah wasn’t allowed to speak for nine months. When Elizabeth gave birth to a son, the people assumed he would be named after his father. Elizabeth insisted, “No! He is to be called John” (meaning “God is gracious). Everyone asked Zechariah for his opinion. He agreed and wrote on a tablet, “His name is John.” At that moment, Zechariah’s tongue was loosed and he immediately began praising God.

The people were pretty stunned, first that the child was given a God-inspired name, and second that Zechariah’s speech was restored miraculously. It didn’t take long for word spread throughout the countryside. The people’s response:

“What then is this child going to be?” Luke 1:66

Consider these questions:

  • When was the last time you looked at a new-born child (not related to you) and asked, “What then is this child going to be?”
    • What difference would it make in the lives of children if unrelated adults became more curious about their future?
    • What role can you play that you’re not currently playing in the life of a child near you?

Feel free to post your response and insights.





  1. I think this question can be read in two different ways… 1) the people were amazed at how different John was and were excited about what he was to become. Or 2) the people were disappointed in how different the parents were raising John and were questioning if there was anything successful for him in the future.
    So what was their tone when asking this question? Were they supportive of Zechariah and Elizabeth even though they did things differently than others? Or were they disapproving of those differences and doubting that John would amount to anything because of them?
    I know many parents who parent differently than I do. But now I’m questioning how I respond to that? It’s easy to gossip to my husband how ___ allows their child to ____ and how that child will end up ____. And it’s easy to blame parenting styles when that child does something wrong.
    But are these negative thoughts influencing my actions? And are my actions negatively influencing that child’s future?

    1. I never thought of it the way you did. Great point. Someone said people without children are experts in child-raising. Then, when they have kids, they realize how little they knew about parenting. All we can do as parents is invest our best for eighteen years. Then we release them to adulthood and pray they make the best decisions. Sarah, I’m sure your parents have every reason to be proud of you. And I’m sure you’re a wonderful mother.

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