Elizabeth and Zacharias were unable to have children, but with the Lord they are blessed with a very special child. The mighty angel Gabriel visits a woman in the town of Nazareth and shares the greatest news of all time...
Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came on him.
He took up his parable, and said, "Balaam the son of Beor says, the man whose eye was closed says;
he says, who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down, and having his eyes open:
How goodly are your tents, Jacob, and your tents, Israel!
As valleys they are spread forth, as gardens by the riverside, as aloes which Yahweh has planted, as cedar trees beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his buckets. His seed shall be in many waters. His king shall be higher than Agag. His kingdom shall be exalted.
God brings him out of Egypt. He has as it were the strength of the wild ox. He shall eat up the nations his adversaries, shall break their bones in pieces, and pierce them with his arrows.
He couched, he lay down as a lion, as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Everyone who blesses you is blessed. Everyone who curses you is cursed."
Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, "I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have altogether blessed them these three times.
Israel stayed in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab:
for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods; and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods.
Israel joined himself to Baal Peor: and the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel.
Yahweh said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up to Yahweh before the sun, that the fierce anger of Yahweh may turn away from Israel."
Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Everyone kill his men who have joined themselves to Baal Peor."
Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand;
and he went after the man of Israel into the pavilion, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
Those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.
An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zacharias, because your request has been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth.
For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God.
He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to prepare a people prepared for the Lord."
Zacharias said to the angel, "How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.
Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things will happen, because you didn't believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."
The people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marveled that he delayed in the temple.
When he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple. He continued making signs to them, and remained mute.
Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
Having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!"
But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be.
The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name 'Jesus.'
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom."
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?"
The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God.
It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, that the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
She called out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Much like present day, when other tribes would rise against Israel they would fail. People such as Balaam, once inclined to be against Israel, now sees clearly and does what regarding Israel?
Over time some the Israelites began take part in religious ceremonies with the daughters of Moab who worshiped idols. What did God do?
Zacharias and Elizabeth could not have children. What did the angel of the Lord say to Zacharias?
Did Zacharias believe what the angel had told him? What happened to Zacharias?
The angel Gabriel appeared in the town of Nazareth and spoke to a woman saying ,"The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women." Who was this woman?
What did Mary say to the angel Gabriel when told she would conceive a child?
What did Elizabeth's baby (John) do, while still in Elizabeth's womb, when Mary told Elizabeth the great news?