“Faith over Fear”, People of the Christmas Story: Zechariah

Welcome to today’s “Time in the Word”. Our scripture today comes from Luke 1:1-23. If you are reading this digitally you can simply click on the highlighted text, otherwise, I invite you to grab your bible and turn to Luke 1. In the coming weeks, we’ll discover how the people of the Christmas Story: Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, and Joseph chose “Faith over Fear”.

Our “Faith over Fear” Christmas bible adventure will focus on building our faith through trusting God. God fashions experiences in our lives to build trust. How was God building trust and growing Zechariah’s faith in the face of fear?

Zechariah Fast Facts: Reading Luke 1:1-10

  1. He was a priest- in the division of Abijah. Abijah had origins with King David. There are 24 divisions or “orders”, each division served at the temple 2 weeks a year. Serving in the temple was a great honor. You were chosen by “lots”. Lots were thought to be God choosing instead of man.
  2. Zechariah observed all God’s commandments, upright in God’s sight, and blamelessly followed all the regulations.
  3. Had no children.
  4. Was married to Elizabeth.
  5. “Well along in years.”
  6. Was drawn by lot the privilege to go burn incense in the Holy of Holies. Once someone drew a lot and served they never served again. That was a great honor and once-in-a-lifetime privilege.- The offering of incense was like prayers going up to God. While the priest did this, the other priests were out in the sanctuary praying as well.

We can conclude Zechariah was a man of God, earnest in following him and his commands. He was blessed with the honor of personally serving God by burning the incense in the Holy Of Holies. However, Elizabeth had not borne him any children. Being childless was considered a judgment of God, with Elizabeth bearing the greatest shame.

A few questions to ask

  1. How do you think having no children affected Zechariah both personally and “professionally”?
  2. What signs of “faith” did Zechariah exhibit in his life?
  3. Where do you find yourself in the character Zechariah?

As we continue to read Luke 1:11-23, we find Zechariah serving in the temple. He has entered the Holy of Holies to burn incense when an angel appears. Startled and fearful, Zechariah braces for what may happen when the Angel of the Lord tells him to not be afraid. The angel shares with Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth will become pregnant, bear him a son and he was to give him the name John.

Zechariah also learns that the baby will be a “joy and a delight”, the boy will “be great in the sight of the Lord”. The angel goes on to say John is never to drink wine or fermented drink and will be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth.

I’m sure you’d agree that the angel appearing before you would have completely un-nerved you, much less receiving such unbelievable news of a baby. Whoa! What!? And this is where Zechariah gets into a bit of faith “hot water” with the angel…

We’ll have to stop right here and I will continue next week. Till next time, thanks for joining me here in “Time in the Word”. CLick here for Part Two: Zachariah

One thought on ““Faith over Fear”, People of the Christmas Story: Zechariah

  1. Lisa Blair says:

    This stands out to me, Michele, “The baby will be a ‘joy and a delight,’ the boy will ‘be great in the sight of the Lord.'” Such an amazing proclamation!

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