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the benedictus
Bible Passage Luke 1:68-79
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Luke.

The Benedictus

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached January 12, 2023

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel! He has taken care of his people and has set them free.

69 He has raised up a mighty Savior for us from the family of his servant David,

70 just as he promised long ago through the mouth of his holy prophets

71 that he would save us from our enemies and from the grip of all who hate us.

72 He has shown mercy to our ancestors and remembered his holy covenant,

73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham. He granted us

74 deliverance from our enemies’ grip so that we could serve him without fear

75 and be holy and righteous before him all of our days.

76 And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, because you will go ahead of the Lord to prepare his way

77 and to give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins.

78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, his light from on high has visited us,

79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and in death’s shadow, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”


Zechariah became dumb when his wife Elizabeth conceived John the Baptist. After the birth and the naming of the child as John according to the instructions of God through the angel, Zechariah’s dumbness was removed.

Today’s text is the praise hymn sang by Zechariah for God’s grace. This is called the Benedictus, which means blessed or praised. Verses 68-75 are a song of praise to God for the Messiah. God rescues His people and keeps His promises. Verses 76-79 describe the work of John. The song is a message of hope for the future.

Zechariah broke forth in this hymn to praise God. His first praise was not for his son, but for the Saviour whom his son would announce. This Saviour was the Davidic Messiah and the redeemer of His people. In accordance with the covenant God made with Abraham, the Messiah would deliver God’s people from bondage so that they might serve Him in reverence, holiness, and righteousness (verses 67-75).

The promise that God gave to Abraham is in Genesis 22:16-17.
“16 and said, “I have taken an oath to swear by myself,” declares the LORD, “that since you have carried this out and have not withheld your only unique son, 17 I will certainly bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in heaven and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies”.

Zechariah begins to speak to his son in verse 76 and describes him as a prophet. There had been no prophet in Israel for hundreds of years. God sent John to prepare the way for the Messiah (Malachi 3:1).

Zechariah was reminded that John’s task was to lead people from darkness to light through repentance of their sins. In this way, he would correct the false ideas people had of the Messiah and prepare the way for them to welcome him. A new age would dawn (verses 76-79).

In the dark, people cannot see what is real. They cannot see where they are going. The words ‘the shadow of death’ in verse 79 suggest that they have no hope. When the sun rises at dawn, the darkness disappears. Like the sun, the Messiah would bring light into the world (John 8:12). People would then really understand right and wrong. Light makes people able to see where they are going. Jesus is the light of the world. So, He will guide people in the way of peace.

This peace does not mean freedom from trouble. It means that we feel quiet in our spirits. It means that we have peace with God because He has forgiven us. It means that we can be confident of God’s love in all circumstances. We shall not fear death. Christians are confident that they will live with God forever.

🔷 There is no other way to God than the Saviour Jesus Christ who enlightens our path and forgives all our sins

🔷 The prophet’s foremost role is to show the way to Christ and call the people to repentance

🔷 Obedience to God will lead to the providence of our heart desires and God’s plan and will

💥 Thank God for keeping His promises
💥 Pray that you will always remain in the light of Christ

God, through His Son Jesus Christ, will save all those who obey Him from their enemies and show them mercy.

In series Bright Morning Reflections