“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because he has come to help and has redeemed his people. For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago,that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us.” – Luke 1:68–71

 

 

The story of Elizabeth and Zacheriah is a favorite of mine. There is something beautiful about the way it calls back to Sarah and Abraham in the Old Testament, with a child promised to a couple who had given up hope. There is something encouraging in the way it intersects with Mary and Joseph’s story, as both women experienced life-changing pregnancies and were able to support one another. And there is something incredibly kind in the way God chose to use John’s birth to remind us that He is a promise-keeping God who never fails us, never goes back on His word, and is always there to help us. 

 

Our SOAP verse today comes from Zechariah, a prophecy spoken after the birth of his son, John. Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, because he has come to help his people. Unlike the king that was expected, or the military leader that was hoped for, Jesus came to lead His people as a helper. 

 

I think of the myriad ways I parent my daughter. In some moments it is best for me to do something on my own because it’s beyond her skill or ability, or it’s not an age-appropriate responsibility. Other times, I expect her to complete a chore on her own, having taught her how to do it and knowing that she is fully capable of finishing the task independently. And then there are the times where we help one another, working alongside other family members to accomplish something, learn something new, or simply use our strengths to support each other’s weaknesses. 

 

A helper doesn’t take over or run the show independently. A helper walks alongside us, teaches us, encourages us, listens to us, supports our weaknesses with their strength. When Luke shares this account of Elizabeth and Zecharaiah, we get a glimpse into the side of Jesus that came to lead as a Helper. Jesus loves us so much that He knew we needed help, not a military takeover or a political force. 

 

Luke also shows us, through Zechariah’s words, that God helps us as our redeemer, by offering us the free gift of salvation through Jesus, and by saving us from our enemies. John’s birth is celebrated as the fulfillment of a promise that God made and kept, to rescue His people and provide them with a redeemer—a Redeemer and Savior that John would serve as he prepared the way for Jesus.

 

Jesus, the Son of God, came down to us to be our Helper. He left everything in heaven to spend time on earth with humanity, living with us, working with us, dining with us, traveling with us. He sees you, He knows you, and He wants to be your helper, too. Whatever you’re carrying right now that feels too big, whatever you’re facing that feels impossible, Jesus is here to help you. You don’t have to do it on your own.

 

 

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Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine is the author of Holy Hustle, Quieting the Shout of Should, and the Holy Hustle Planner. She serves as the Communications and Online Director for her church and has a passion for using social media as a mission field to reach as many as possible for Christ. You can connect with Crystal online at crystalstine.me, get a sneak peek of her first books through several YouVersion reading plans, or find her on Instagram @crystalstine. Crystal lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.

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