And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Luke 1:16-17
John the Baptist would turn many to the Lord. He will go in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, the disobedient to the wisdom of the just and make ready a people prepared for God.
Luke is referring to an Old Testament passage found in Malachi 4:5-6.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers,..” Malachi 4:5-6
John the Baptist, empowered by the spirit of Elijah would be the messenger that would bring in the “awesome day of the Lord” when Jesus, the Messiah would appear before the people of God. As a result of his ministry, he would prepare the people of God to be received and led by their Lord.
Twice Luke mentions to “turn”. Turn is a sign of repentance when a person changes direction from away from the Lord to the Lord. In this passage we see that many will “turn” to the Lord and the hearts of the father would “turn” to their children. These changes of direction would prepare the people of God for God’s purposes.
John’s ministry would also turn the father’s hearts to their children. How does a father turn his heart toward his children? I believe many fathers fall into a life of passivity when it comes to their children. They leave the guidance of his children and the next generation to the care of others. This is a radical turn for a father when he has a heart for the next generation and provides necessary guidance and direction.
Lord may I turn my heart to you and turn my heart to the next generation so that we may be prepared to be the people of God.