December 7, 2019
And Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." (Luke 1:18-20)
Poor Zechariah! Doomed to go down in history as the man who could argue against God's promise, even at the very moment he was face-to-face with an angel. How embarrassing! How undignified!
But notice how God responds. He doesn't dump Zechariah and find someone else to be John's father.
Instead, with considerable patience, the angel says, "Hello! I'm Gabriel, an angel, yes? I stand in God's presence, yes? He sent me, yes? Got all that straight? Okay, let's move forward. This good news is really going to happen!"
Zechariah may pay a price for his foolishness, but God still chooses to work through him. The good news is still true. John will be born—the way will be prepared—and ultimately, Jesus will come to save us.
This can comfort us when we feel like poor excuses for Christians. Jesus has no pride. After all, He is the One who laid aside His glory and came into the world as a helpless human baby, naked and hungry. He is the One who hung on a shameful cross for our sake. He is the One who rose from the dead in power and glory—only to be mistaken for a gardener by the first person to meet Him.
Having done all of that for us, He will certainly take us into His kingdom, even if He has to drag us whining the whole way. He loves us that much.
THE PRAYER: Lord, teach us to trust in You when believing is a difficult thing to do. Amen.