But they had no children, because Elizabeth could not have a baby, and both of them were very old.
One day Zechariah was serving as a priest before God, because his group was on duty.
According to the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to go into the Temple of the Lord and burn incense.
There were a great many people outside praying at the time the incense was offered.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah, standing on the right side of the incense table.
When he saw the angel, Zechariah was startled and frightened.
But the angel said to him, "Zechariah, don't be afraid. God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a son, and you will name him John.
He will bring you joy and gladness, and many people will be happy because of his birth.
John will be a great man for the Lord. He will never drink wine or beer, and even from birth, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
He will help many people of Israel return to the Lord their God.
He will go before the Lord in spirit and power like Elijah. He will make peace between parents and their children and will bring those who are not obeying God back to the right way of thinking, to make a people ready for the coming of the Lord."