“And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.'” (Luke 1:63 ESV)

Against family tradition, but in accordance with the Lord’s instruction, Zechariah named his son John. The boy grew and became known as John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Christ. When Zechariah wrote the name, no doubt he wrote it in Hebrew: יוֹחָנָן (Yôḥanan), which means “Graced by Yahweh.” Since the New Testament is written in Greek, his name appeared as: Ἰωάννης (Iōánnēs) in Luke’s text. In English, the name “John” is derived from this Hebrew/Greek lineage and has become the most common masculine name in the Western world. According to Jesus, John was the greatest ever born up until that time. He truly lived up to his name, as the angel Gabriel had predicted. He was great before the Lord.