The Angel Gabriel Visits Zacharias and Mary Luke 1:18 - 30
Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 1:18–1:30
18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 But 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. 23 When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.
24 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.”
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.
Last week we stopped sort of mid story. We considered fairly carefully what the angel announced to Zacharias. Incredible revelation and incredible joy! A son! And not just any son, but a miracle son who would come in the spirit and power of Elijah.
He it is who would preceed the Messiah of Israel. Let's just quickly read through the angel's words to Zacharias for a quick review to set the context; “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14“You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. 16“And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17“It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
A son. Joy. Gladness. Rejoicing at his birth by many. He will be great. In God's sight. Filled with the Holy Spirit. And he will be the forerunner who will prepare the nation to receive their Messiah by national repentence.
But we did not get to Zacharias response to all this good news. He's speechless with ecstatic joy . . . right.
No that was his problem. He'll be speechless later, but his immediate response is; I need some proof. I think you must have me confused with a different Zacharias and Elizabeth.
It's a bit comical for all of us with 20-20 hindsight who have never had an angel show up and speak to us. We would never pull this blunder. Or would we.
18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”
How will I know this for certain? Let me translate. I'm not convinced. I hear the words. But; how can it happen. I happen to know it's impossible.
The single greek word translated as the phrase know-for-certain in the new american standard translations text is ginosko. And it is the word that describes experiential first hand knowing.
It's the same word we'll see for example in Lk 1:34, "And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, 'How will this be since I do not know (gin