How great was the sin of Adam and Eve, the father and mother of all mankind. Their choice of disobeying the word of God caused the great separation between God and man. But when the fullness of time came to reveal the only way of reconciliation back to Himself, He sent word to His servant Zachariah by an angel, saying:
“…your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John…he will be great in the sight of the Lord… and he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him [the Messiah]… so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13,15-17).
When the promised child was born, his father rejoiced with gladness, and prophesied saying:
“You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give His people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76,77, emp. added).