Before Gabriel appeared to Mary, He came to Zechariah when he was serving as a priest in the Temple. Gabriel both promised and prophesied to Zechariah about the coming of John and his role in preparing the people for God. But this prophecy wasn’t just about John or even Jesus another member of the Trinity was revealed–the Holy Spirit!
Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and 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 make ready for the Lord a people prepared. Luke 1:13-17
When Mary came to visit Elizabeth, the first part of Gabriel’s prophecy came to pass. John was baptized in the Holy Spirit even from the womb. We know from the Gospels that the rest of Gabriel’s prophecy was fulfilled. In fact John went on to prophesy not just about repentance and Jesus but also about this mysterious member of the Trinity–the Holy Spirit.
I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Matthew 3:11
Just as his infilling with the Holy Spirit had been prophesied by Gabriel, so the disciples’ baptism of the Holy Spirit was prophesied. We tend to see Jesus as the end, but for Jesus His earthly life as a necessary stage to get to the Holy Spirit.
I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Luke 12:49-50
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak of his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:7,12-13
The Trinity is this dynamic interaction of creative Love. Christ did not just come into the world to save us from our sins, He came to bring us into that dynamic of Trinitarian Love–to make us family.
If all you know is Jesus then ask Him to reveal the Holy Spirit, it is why He died and returned to Heaven. Before Gabriel even announced the coming of Jesus to Mary, he had announced the coming of the Holy Spirit to Zechariah. Before Jesus preached a word, John had prophesied that Jesus would bring us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s will for you.
Many of us received a gift at our confirmation, that has been lying unopened in our hearts. Advent is a season for the Holy Spirit. It is how Mary prepared for Jesus, and how John prepared the world for Christ. It is the one present you are allowed to open before Christmas.
#trcot #tcot #Holy Spirit #Gabriel #John the Baptist