I’ve started posting through the Gospel of Luke. In my last post we saw how the priest, Zechariah, was praying for a child. As he was ministering in the temple, he had an encounter with an angel from God.
The angel announced that he and his wife would have a child. This child, who would be John the Baptist, was destined to be a blessing to many people.
For today’s post, I’ll be looking at Luke 1:15-22. You may want to read this Scripture before continuing with this article.
Having talked about the blessing that this child would be, the angel goes on to talk about his ministry.
“…for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous — to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Yes, Zechariah was receiving an answer to prayer, but there was a bigger work God wanted to do. Zechariah was looking at his little situation, the need for a child. God was looking at preparing Israel for the Messiah.
We do the same things. We look at what we’re going through. God is looking at preparing His people for the coming of Christ.
Think about it. What can God do through you? NO! – think bigger!…NO! Bigger than that!!! We limit ourselves to what we think we can accomplish, instead of looking at God’s ability. We need to start thinking about the power of God working in us.
Now, having heard the Word of God from this angel, Zechariah does something that totally blows my mind. We sometimes miss it because of the language used in this verse.
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
When Zechariah asks this, it’s not really about how old he is. The word used for old man, is actually more about life experience than how long you’ve lived. It’s a tense of the word, elder.
He was really asking how he could be sure about this message before he told anyone. He was an elder in Israel. He had a reputation to maintain. It was more about pride than curiosity.
That’s why the angel got so upset with him. Knowing that, it’s easier to understand why Gabriel responded the way he did.
The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”
The angel basically said, “Hey Mr. Bigshot. You think you’re special because you stand as an elder before Israel? I stand before God Himself. If I lie to you, I’ve got more to lose than a little pride.”
Zechariah wanted to know for sure before he told this to anyone. So, Gabriel gave him a sign. He wouldn’t be able to speak until the child arrived.
We have to learn this lesson. Faith is about believing God’s Word without any proof that it will happen the way God says it will. If we knew for sure, then it wouldn’t be faith.
For the next nine months, Zechariah had to meditate on this truth. When God speaks, no matter how He gets the message to you, you need to believe it and walk in it. Faith is the fundamental attitude that it takes to please God.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Question: What are you trusting God for right now?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi