A baby called John
There was a priest named Zechariah. His wife’s name was Elizabeth. They had no children. They were both very old.
One day Zechariah went to do his work in the Temple.
It was Zechariah’s turn to burn incense on the altar. So he went into the Temple.
An angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah. When he saw the angel, he was afraid. But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer.”
“Your wife Elizabeth will have a son. You are to name him John. He will be a great man in the Lord’s sight.”
Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know if this is so?” The angel answered, “Because you have not believed my message, you will not be able to speak until the day my promise comes true.”
The people were waiting for Zechariah, and were wondering why he was spending such a long time in the Temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. So he made signs to them with his hands.
When Zechariah’s work in the Temple was over, he went back home.
Mary was a girl form Nazareth. She was Elizabeth’s relative.
The angel Gabriel also came to Mary. He said to her, “The Lord is with you. He is going to give you a wonderful son, and you will name him Jesus.” And the angel left her.
Mary got ready and hurried off to visit her relative Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was very glad to see Mary. Mary stayed about three months with Elizabeth.
Later on, Elizabeth had a baby boy. Her neighbours and relatives all rejoiced with her.
When the baby was a week old, they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father.
Zechariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote: “His name is John.”
How surprised they all were! At that moment Zechariah was able to speak again.
Illustrations by Annie Vallotton © Bible Society of South Africa
Colouring in picture © www.lambsongs.co.nz