• Barb Peil

Day 3: Zecharias

Updated: Nov 20, 2018

The Man who Doubted an Angel

(Luke 1:8-20)

It's easy to be hard on Zecharias.

His disconnect wasn’t that an angel showed up with him in the Holy Place. For sure, that paralyzed him with fear, but it didn’t convince him. Neither did Zecharias doubt who this Gabriel said he was or that an angel knew his name or what he had been praying about.

Where Zecharias drew the line was believing that his old body could produce a baby. The first time God broke His 400 years of silence, and He chose to talk to an old man with virility issues.


God did a kind thing to help Zecharias believe. Since he had long given up hope for a child, perhaps also hope of a Messiah, God gave him a sign. “You won't be able to speak until the day when these things take place.”


Not a sound more. Graciously, the consequence of his doubt had a time limit. Zecharias didn’t mind much—he had asked God to prove it and God met his demand. In those quiet months, God met Zecharias in the silence and strengthened his faith for this new mission of raising a son.


And not just any son, but one who would “go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah . . . to prepare a people for the Lord.” His son would play best man to the Messiah. This double blessing flooded the empty place in Zecharias’ spirit where his long unanswered prayer had carved a canyon.


So, the time came for his sweet Elizabeth to deliver their son and everyone in the family wanted to name the boy after him, Zecharias. Scribbling on his tablet, he wrote, “His name is John,” (as Gabriel had said) and that word of faith broke Zecharias’ silence. With a voice crackling with joy, he burst into worship—not just praise for the new baby boy in the family, but for God remembering the whole family, the family of God.


You have to wonder if Gabriel was in the room for the celebration, a silent witness to the great plan now set in motion. Was he smiling at these “grandparents” cuddling their newborn? Or was he happier for us, glad for the hope it gives everyone, who, like Zecharias thinks God has forgotten them. That God is limited. That our prayers go unheard.

Gabriel tells us now what’s been true through the ages: God does the impossible every day.

Tomorrow's One-on-One: The Girl Who Said Yes to God
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