The song of Zechariah is the counterpart of the song of Mary. Luke depicts Zechariah as placing the story of John within he context of the entire history of God’s actions among the people of Israel. There is a continuity between that history and what Zechariah and his kindred are witnessing. Yet there is something radically new, unparalleled. According to Zechariah’s prophecy, John will be called “the prophet of the Most High.” He will not be just one more among the prophets. He will be of singular significance, because he “will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.” With these words on Zechariah’s lips, Luke is stressing both the importance of John and his subservience to Jesus, whose herald he will be.