“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.” ~ Luke 1:20
Have you ever waited so long that you felt like God had forgotten about you? Are you being punished for a sin you didn’t realize you even committed? Have you ever thought you may be too old to experience a miracle? Zechariah probably asked all of these questions. Given his age and stage in life, I would expect that maybe Zechariah had given up on some of his lifelong personal dreams.
Luke 1 tells us that another child in Scripture miraculously conceived even before Christ’s birth. You see, Zechariah and Elizabeth were “well along in years” and had given up on the prospect of having a child of their own. When the angel, Gabriel, came to tell Zechariah that he would be a father, he argued with Gabriel. To this, Gabriel answered by rendering Zechariah temporarily mute. Gabriel said, “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” (Luke 1:20).
We do not know much about Zechariah and Elizabeth except that they were both from the priestly line. Elizabeth was a cousin to Mary (mother of Jesus), and Zechariah entered the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. They were “righteous in the sight of God” (Luke 1:6) and could not bear a child up to that time. Tradition tells us that Zechariah may have been martyred when John was very young, as Herod had sent out the order for young boys to be killed. Zechariah refused to tell where John was hidden and may have been martyred by Herod’s soldiers.
As we examine the gift of Christ’s birth at Christmas, we may ponder the other miracles performed during that marvelous season. This was no immaculate conception, as the Holy Spirit had conceived Jesus. But it was a miracle as Zechariah and Elizabeth were beyond normal childbearing years. They had given up on the dream of having children. Since, in the Jewish culture, barren parents were looked down upon by others, it is reasonable to assume that people might question if Zechariah or Elizabeth were as righteous and upstanding as they seemed. Was there a secret sin blocking the blessing? Were they being punished for some unknown sin? Had God forgotten them? Not at all!
In John 9:3, when Jesus encountered the man who had been blind from birth, He said the child was born blind so that God’s power could be seen and experienced by all who witnessed the miracle of healing. God’s plan is infinitely greater than anything we can think or imagine. God’s purposes may seem mysterious to us, but they are clear and evident to Him. If you’re waiting for a miracle, don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on prayer. Don’t give up on God.
Questions for Thought
- What miracle are you praying for today?
- Have you struggled with finding that perfect peace?
For perspective, try writing out, reading aloud, and memorizing Psalm 8. This short chapter helps remind us that God is worthy of praise. He is the universe’s creator, yet He cares for you and me. He is God, and we are not. Are you willing to accept our limitations in the physical realm so that He can receive all the praise, honor, and glory in the spiritual realm? Keep praying, stay watchful, and don’t miss the miracle!
Minister to Median Adults
Jeff loves the Sunday School environment at First Baptist Dallas because it is through Sunday School that a big church becomes small and people find community. Jeff and Sheri have adult children. In their spare time, Jeff and Sheri enjoy walking our dogs and cooking dinner for friends in our home.