By RA Mathews
Usually, you don’t want to drive an angel crazy. But that’s exactly what he did.
Honestly, it was so different from him. The Scriptures describe this old priest as “righteous.” So what went wrong?
It seems that the man was very keen on having a child. He has prayed sincerely for this year after year. And then suddenly an angel appears to Zechariah, saying, âYour prayer has been answered. The priest’s sterile wife will give birth to a son. “Give him the name of John,” continues the angel.
That’s where the trouble begins â the holy man disbelieved the angel.
It’s getting worse. He was not your ordinary heavenly host.
âI am Gabriel,â announces the angel. Can’t you see it arching its full height, spreading its massive wings as far as it can go.
âI stand in the presence of God. “
Ooooh. Now do you understand?
Can’t you hear these words echoing on the gold and marble of the temple. This old priest is in big trouble, he needs to know who he’s dealing with.
And there it is.
“Behold, you will be silent,” announces Gabriel. “Can’t speak until the day these things happen, because you didn’t believe my words …”
Gabriel leaves. Six months later, Gabriel receives the highest heavenly honor. It is sent with a message to a virgin. Mary is told that she will give birth by the Holy Spirit.
And his final answer? âI am the handmaid of the Lord,â says Mary. “Let it be to me according to your word. “Luke 1: 5-38
Many believe that when Mary hears that she is going to give birth, she is silent, only telling Joseph to whom she is engaged.
Not so. Scripture is clear about this.
âIn those days Mary arose and went in haste to the mountainous region, to a city of Judah. ” Where is she going ?
- To see the priest, Zacharie;
- To stay with his cousins;
- At the house of an old woman called Elizabeth; Where
- All the foregoing.
Look carefully and lock in your answer.
The verse continues: ââ¦[Mary] entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. They were his cousins; the answer is # 4.
When she enters this house, Elizabeth cries out, “Blessed are you among the women and blessed be the fruit of your womb!”
Obviously, Elizabeth knows that Mary is pregnant. The old woman’s words keep bursting forth from the Holy Ghost. âWhy is it granted to me that the mother of my Lord comes to me? “
Well, here’s why.
These two women are in the same situation. You see how?
One is too old to give birth and yet six months pregnant. The other is a virgin, but also pregnant. The impossible made possible.
Mary remains with her cousins, Elizabeth and Zacharie the priest, until the birth of John. Their baby will become Jean-Baptiste. Luke 1: 39-45
Six months after the birth of John â Jesus was born.
Many believe it was a scary time for Mary. You’ll hear sermon after sermon this holiday season describing her as distraught.
Not so. The Bible record for these months does not say this.
On the contrary, Luke paints a living image of Mary celebrating. He writes of his song: âMy spirit rejoicesâ¦ He who is powerful has done great things for meâ¦â Luke 1: 46ff.
And why not celebrate it?
The two women would have known the prophecies concerning John the Baptist and the Messiah. Seven hundred years earlier, Isaiah had spoken these words of God:
âA voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make a way for our God in the wilderness. ‘ “Isaiah 40: 3
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Mary and Elizabeth now know exactly when and where these famous prophecies will come true – what an exciting time!
Can’t you see them both cooking and singing, dancing and praising God, chatting happily?
And then there’s poor Zachariah â he can’t cry out because he didn’t trust God.
Don’t make the same mistake. To believe! When you pray fervently, believe!
Listen to the last words Gabriel says to Mary. Memorize them.
“Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
Reverend Mathews (BA, MDiv, JD) is a seminary graduate and religious columnist. Contact her at [email protected]
Copyright Â© 2016-2021 RA Mathews. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from “Reaching God”.