Maybe It’s Not about You

We don’t know much about the life of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. We do know he was a priest and that he was married to Elizabeth. But Zechariah was already an old man when Gabriel appeared to him in the temple, and by the time we read about John’s ministry, Zechariah is nowhere to be found. He likely died years earlier. So, while we don’t know how long Zechariah had with John before his passing, the thing Zechariah’s remembered for, most of all, is being a dad to the Baptizer.

This is just one prominent example from the New Testament, but the Bible is filled with men and women whose greatest contribution to the unfolding story of redemption were the sons and daughters they raised. And, in many cases, because they’re not named, we don’t know even know who these fathers and mothers were.

Have you ever thought that, perhaps, the greatest mission God has for your life is to be the kind of parent who raises godly children in an increasingly hostile world? That the seeds you’re sowing today and tomorrow and next week won’t bear fruit until long after you’re gone? Of course, this is no small task, and it goes against so much of what we hear today in popular culture about the importance of living in the moment and finding our own unique versions of happiness.

In God’s kingdom, living for the moment is silly, because we have an eternity to look forward to. And under Jesus’ rule, the greatest acts are those that put others first. Jesus Himself shunned glory for shame, and He calls us to do the same. So, the next time your kids are driving you up a wall, pause and remember: you just might be raising the next John the Baptist.

“Train up a child in the way he should go—but be sure you go that way yourself.”

Charles Spurgeon

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