Luke 1: 5-23 (selected passages) … Zechariah.

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood…..And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him….. your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John…..
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, …..And when he came out….. he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home….After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived,

Comment: The unabridged passage is quoted at the end of my comments, if you wish to read it.

Gabriel steps into Zechariah’s world and shatters it! Old, childless and beyond the age of parental hope, Zechariah is told that he is not only going to be a father but the father of the forerunner of the Messiah! I guess being struck dumb had some very negative sides but on the positive side everyone knew that something had happened while he was in the temple service. And they would have been surprised again when they heard that his elderly wife was, after many years of trying, pregnant. Christmas is proving to be an era inundated with angels! And there are more to come yet! It isn’t possible to hear what the two old people communicated to each other, but it would be interesting to find out!

Prayer: I wonder how I would have reacted Father God to a message like that. Help me to trust You as a child trusting his father.

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
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.” And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

One thought on “Luke 1: 5-23 (selected passages) … Zechariah.

  1. Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. I used to wonder about the reason why Zechariah was made mute, but in reading and studying the passage more closely, I see that he and Elizabeth were obviously praying for God to give them a child, because Gabriel says, “God has answered your prayer.” Then Gabriel goes on to give Zechariah a very long and involved message regarding their son, John, and what he would do as God’s messenger. Zechariah should have believed immediately, and realized that Gabriel was speaking the truth and that this was God’s message from God’s messenger. So I now see why Zechariah was struck dumb, or mute. It was because of his unbelief. So 9 months ensued of he and Elizabeth having to communicate by other means than by Zechariah’s voice. That must have been a trial for them, but also a learning curve for Zechariah. God bless you.

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