Then they made signs to his father (Zechariah), to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
I was touched when a friend told the story of her husband’s death, killed by a 17-year-old driver in a car accident. She asked for permission to speak to the young man in court to tell him of her forgiveness and of Jesus taking our mistakes to the cross with Him. The young man gratefully wrapped his arms around her and declared his sorrow. He thanked her for forgiving him. Because of my friend this young man realized God is gracious and was able to express his regret. God gives us the gift of righteousness, taking away terrible, even fatal, mistakes.
Zechariah declared his son to be named, John, meaning God is gracious. Zechariah knew in his heart he would name his son, John, before he declared it. However, it wasn’t until after his public declaration that God rewarded him by returning his speech, letting people know God was with him. When we know God is gracious, willing to forgive anything, it makes it easier to express our regrets. Therefore, it is the first step in the repentance process. Because if the person we’ve wronged can’t forgive us immediately, God will. It is vital to let others know God is gracious, all-forgiving. When we do, God will bless us as he blessed Zechariah. Knowing, God is gracious, is the first step in the repentance process. Let’s give praise to God for His plan.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKSU9Dbxvrw (watch the video)