John the Baptizer's Birth Prophesied
John the Baptizer’s birth was prophesied in Malachi 3:1; 4:5–6. Then, after 400 years of silence, during the time of Herod “the great,” in the city of Jerusalem, at the Temple, we meet Zechariah, a priest, and his wife, Elizabeth. They were old, barren, poor, and righteous. Zechariah wasn’t a big deal; he was no one from nowhere doing, in the sight of the world, nothing. He was finally picked to go inside the Temple and burn incense, representing our prayers to God. While inside, the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and told him that his prayer was answered and he would have a son who would be great. The baby, John (meaning “God is gracious”), is named by God and filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb. But Zechariah did not believe the angel, so he was made mute. The couple returned home, Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she stayed home, praising God for taking away her reproach, or shame and disgrace, among the people.