Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 1:1a, Luke 1:1-4; John 1:1-18; Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23b-38; Luke 1:5-38
In Luke 1, two absolute, no-doubt miracles were announced by the angel Gabriel.
- Zechariah and Elizabeth were going to have a son— But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Luke 1:13-17
- Mary, a virgin was also going to have a son—Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:29-33
Two announcements, two sons, two miracles…
Two responses, similar, but oh, so different:
- Zechariah—Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” –Luke 1:18 (emphasis mine)
- Mary—Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” –Luke 1:34
Both asked how…
Both knew it was naturally impossible…
But Zechariah’s three additional words ———-> I be sure…
…caused him to be silenced for nine months.
You would think that the presence of an angel and the announcement of God’s Word would encourage Zechariah’s faith, but they did not. Instead of looking to God by faith, the priest looked at himself and his wife and decided that the birth of a son was impossible. (The Bible Exposition Commentary)
Mary believed what was much harder without a sign.
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant.
May everything you have said about me come true.” –Luke 1:38
But before we criticize Zachariah too much, we should examine ourselves and see how strong our own faith is.
When we need a miracle do we look to—
- Ourselves, like Zechariah, where the impossible is not possible?
- To God, like Mary, where nothing is impossible? (Luke 1:37)
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen.
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 1:39-80; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-40