The events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist were quite interesting and breath-taking. Be it the appearance of the angel to Zachariah, the visit by Mary and the baby’s reaction still in the womb, Zachariah’s dumbness and the naming of the baby; all these events were very peculiar.
But what I want to look at here is the particular incident where relatives and friends of the family showed up at the naming ceremony with a name for the child. “And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child: and they called him Zachariah, after the name of his father” (Luke 1:59). I do not doubt the good faith that characterised this action especially as everyone was rejoicing with this family. But I want to warn against the habit of naming people’s babies.
You know a few details about my life, my background and my family history. You saw me grow up and you know a little about my struggles; then you begin to think that you are qualified to name my baby, to determine where I should school, who I should marry, how many kids I should have and which car I have to drive. You do not care to ask me what name I want to give my baby because you already have one for him. He will be called Zachariah like his father; he will be called poverty like his father, she will be called harlot just like her mother, she will be called failure like her sister… and the list continues.
Thank God Elizabeth is a woman with revelation; thank God Zachariah has been in intimacy with God; thank God for their ability to say no to the suggestions of human logic and wisdom. Otherwise, they would have named their baby after public opinion and the child’s destiny would have been compromised. I don’t care whether there never was a John the Baptist in my family before, I don’t care if no one ever went to College, own a company, ride a car, buy a house…, all I know is that I have met God in the most holy place and He has told me some really ground breaking things. I may not be qualified for it but He said it and that settles it. My baby will be called John the Baptist and not Zachariah, period.