Luke 1 is jammed packed full of truths for the believer. One of those truths is seen in the reactions two people have to an Angel of the Lord appearing to them to tell them they will be having a child. In this chapter we see Zacharias and Mary being told they will be giving birth to John and Jesus respectively. When we read the account here in Luke we see they had completely different reactions.
When the angel appeared to Zacharias in the temple as he was doing his priestly duties, he was told the Lord has heard his prayer and will granting his request of receiving a son. Zacharias said, “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” (1:18). The Angel, Gabriel, declared he would be punished for his unbelief by being made dumb and unable to speak. We can glean a life application to Zacharias’ response. If we’re going to pray for something, why would it be so unbelievable that God would answer it? Zacharias was a spiritual leader who was serving in the temple who had been praying for God to send him a son, yet his status as a priest did not increase his faith. When we ask God to do the impossible, wait and expect great things to happen.
The response Mary had to the angel telling her she would be with child, was completely different. Yes, she asked a biological question, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” but the Bible does not seem to give any hint she was unbelieving. In fact her response was one of humility. I believe one of the biggest lessons we can learn from this chapter in paralleling the two responses is that one had humility and faith and one had unbelief. One was a simple handmaid and one was a priest in the temple. One was younger and one was older. It doesn’t matter your status in life. If you have humility and faith, God can use you.
Choose today to pray and ask God to increase your faith. Pray for the impossible.
“Nothing is impossible when you put your trust in God,
Nothing is impossible when you’re trusting in his word;
Hearken to the voice of God to thee,
“Is there anything too hard to me?”
Then put your trust in God alone and rest upon his word,
For ev’rything, O ev’rything!
Yes ev’rything is possible with God!” -Eugene Clark