Luke 1:67-80 (NIV)
67 “His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us — 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant,73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.”
As Zechariah’s tongue is released he bursts into prophetic praise! This was still a few months before Jesus was born. Zechariah clearly understands that his son John is not the messiah but God’s prophet to begin the process of salvation for the Hebrew nation. And beyond.