Archive for May 12th, 2010

Luke 1:20-38

Today we read Luke 1:20-38 and see a couple of very exciting things happen.  You will recall that Zechariah has been serving as priest in the temple and has an encounter with the angel Gabriel telling him he would have a son.  He doesn’t believe and there is a price for that: “you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place”.  So because of his unbelief – which seems pretty normal actually – he is struck mute.  Scripture is clear why that happens – “because you did not believe my words”.  God sends an angel with truth and Zechariah struggles to accept it.  He never really says he can’t believe it – he asks for a sign to know for sure.  But God’s expectation is that we know and accept truth when it is delivered to us.  That applies to His Word which is truth as well – we need to know it and accept it as such.  Zechariah comes out of the place of worship and can’t speak and the people figure out he has seen a vision.  It didn’t take God long to be true to His word as “Elizabeth conceived and for five months she kept herself hidden”.  Can you imagine the talking that would go on about this news?  Old lady becomes pregnant – husband is mute – oh the rumors that proably were flying. 

Gabriel now six months later is sent to “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph”.  He comes with news again of a super natural event.  Gabriel explains to Mary that she has “found favor with God” and will bear a son who shall be named Jesus.  Mary questions: “How will this be, since I am a virgin”?  And Gabriel answered that “The Holy Spirit will come upon you”.  Gabriel also tells her about Elizabeth being with son and states this truth: “For nothing will be impossible with God”.  Do you believe that?  Nothing, absolutely nothing, is impossible for God.  That doesn’t mean He will do everything we want or wish for.  If does mean He absolutely can do anything He wants.  There are no limitations.  Mary asked a simple question of the angel – how can this be?  Zechariah had a similar question – how shall I know this?  The outcome was very different as Zechariah was struck mute and Mary just went on with life.  Why the difference?  I think it is in Mary’s response to the angel.  Check out what she says: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word”.  She couldn’t have really known what she was signing up for.  An unwed girl becoming pregnant and bearing a child in those days was not acceptable.  But she trusted God and knew He would be faithful to His Word and she said I am all in.  Zechariah never really says the same.  He actually would logically be the one who would recognize and know God was at work – after all he was a priest.  But Mary puts her trust and faith in God’s message and says she is ready to be used.  That is how God wants us to respond.  Complete faith and a willing heart to go and do whatever He calls us to do. 

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