“The babe leaped”Luke 1:41 KJV
Once upon a time in the land of Israel, two boys were born. These boys were cousins. These boys had been sent by God for a specific purpose.
Don’t let the once upon a time fool you. This is a true story about John barZacharias and Jesus of Nazareth.
John’s mother was too old to conceive (read: she was post-menopausal). Jesus’ mother was a virgin.
John’s father didn’t believe it was possible for his wife to get pregnant. Jesus’ earthly father didn’t believe his wife hadn’t cheated until an angel told him so. That makes Joseph a man of stronger faith than the priest Zacharias, who didn’t believe the angel’s message.
These boys might have known each other as children, but it’s unlikely. Scripture says John lived in the wilderness until he began his ministry in the region around the Jordan River.
After a short pilgrimage in Egypt, Jesus lived in the small town of Nazareth. Small and insignificant, this hilly village wasn’t highly esteemed by most Jews.
But John and Jesus met before that day a dove lit on Jesus. John baptized Jesus, as he baptized so many others, but that wasn’t their original introduction.
When Jesus was only a quickened ovum, his presence caused baby John, three months from being born, to leap with joy.
“Hello, Promised One,” that leap could have meant.
“Why does the mother of my Lord come to my humble house?” Elisabeth, John’s mother, wonders.
Because Jesus will always seek the poor and weak. His heart loves everyone, but he understands that the needy will listen to his message.
These two baby boys are at the heart of the Christmas message: eternal hope. And that is the only true happily ever after.