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

Welcome back to today’s “Time in the Word”. We continue in our scripture study, which 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”.

We last left Zechariah serving the Lord in the temple. Zechariah was burning the incense in the Holy of Holies when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and gave him the wonderful news. After seeing the Angel of the Lord and hearing this incredible news, Zechariah speaks. Read Part One here.

Me and my big mouth

In verse 18, Zechariah speaks to the angel by asking ‘“How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Let’s just stop and give Zechariah a little bit of grace. Who can blame Zechariah for asking this question of “How will this be?” You’ve got an angelic visitation coupled with some incredible news! Who wouldn’t be a little flustered?

We already know that both Zechariah and his wife were “well along in years”. Zechariah was very aware of his biological “lack” and most likely keenly aware that his wife had passed through the obvious signs of “closure” within her reproductive abilities. So naturally, I’m sure Zechariah was curious as to “how” this would all be reversed, resulting in a pregnancy.

Whatever the intent, his words conveyed a lack of faith, and because of this lack of faith, the angel informed him he would not be able to speak till the baby was born.

Meanwhile, the rest of the priests are wondering what is going on. Just for reference, before a priest entered the Holy of Holies, they tied a rope to his leg. This rope served as a way to retrieve the priest in the unfortunate event that he sinned while burning the incense and was struck dead by the Lord.

I’m sure you can imagine what the other priests were thinking. What is taking Zechariah so long? Maybe they tugged on the rope to see if he was still alive, and Zechariah gave an impatient tug back.

Faith alone

Finally returning to the rest of the priests, Zechariah is visibly shaken and unable to speak. They surmise he had a vision and was left to gesture for the next 10 months.

The silent walk back home had to be peppered with awe in the Lord and disgust with oneself. You have the greatest news to tell your wife and because of your lack of faith, you won’t even be able to tell her. That had to be crushing.

What was something incredible God has revealed to you? Were you skeptical at first? Or, did you just accept it by faith? Return next week and we will discover Elizabeth’s equally incredible news and her five-month sequester! Till next time, thanks for joining me here in “Time in the Word”.

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