There is an account in the bible where the Lord sent angel Gabriel to give Zacharias and Mary a message.
From the account both Zacharias and Mary asked the angel a question however; and each got a different response.
The Lord does not mind us asking the right questions. In this account; Mary asked a fair question as she had never known a man and it had never been heard before so Marys question was genuine. The angel answered her question and even went on to tell her about her cousin Elizabeth to encourage her. The angel concluded by telling Mary that with God nothing is impossible.
Luke 1; 28 – 30 & 34- 38
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
We have to also remember that this encounter happened to Mary suddenly, God initiated this and not Mary so her question was sincere and right. She got a good answer, the angel proceeded to tell her about her cousin and told her that with God “nothing is impossible”. Mary responded in faith “Be it unto me according to thy word”.
Now lets us have a look at Zacharias.
In the case of Zacharias, the angel came in response to his prayer. The first thing the angel said to Zacharias is that “thy prayer has been heard”,
Luke 1: 1 - 13
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
So we can see that the angel came in response to Zacharias prayer. His prayer has been heard and his wife shall have a son and call his name John.
So what further evidence did Zacharias need? God send him an angel to say his prayer had been heard.
The angel proceeded to tell him more about the child.
Luke 1; 14- 17
And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
After all this; Zacharias then asked the question!
Luke 1; 18- 20
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
Now have a further look at Zacharias question. The angel had already told him that his prayer had been answered. Was the Lord no aware that he was old? Once Zacharias heard that he did not need to ask any further questions.
The reason why he was made dumb is stated by the angel “because thou believest not my words”.
Brethren; we can learn a lot from these two accounts.
When God says it, He will do it. Our God is well aware of the natural circumstances. They are no match once the Lord has spoken.
Zacharias was looking at his natural circumstances just as Peter began to look at the waves. That is what the difference was. We must stay and walk by faith once we know what Gods will is. For with God nothing shall be impossible. Remember He is the God that parted the Red sea and closed the lion’s mouth when Daniel was thrown in.
What is also interesting is that Zacharias was a priest and Mary was a young women. Believing God has nothing to do with titles.
So let us learn from these two accounts and stay in faith.
©Bisi Oladipupo 17th January
19/1/2021 12:42:56 pm
Amen! What a timely message! Loved it. How encouraging and at the same time admonishing. Faith is more than a verbal expression of agreement that God can. It is the assertion that He WILL! May we never doubt the written and spoken word of the One who knows us better than we know ourselves. And may our trust in Him grow as we spend more time in His presence and in the Scriptures. Thank you, Bisi!
19/1/2021 08:26:39 pm
Thank you Joe for your comment and for stopping by.
19/1/2021 08:27:55 pm
Thank you Britta for the comment and for stopping by.
21/1/2021 02:54:30 am
Nice post, Bisi. I agree with your take on the difference. Like Zacharias, we sometimes pray the words according to faith while not actually praying in faith. We can't fool God because he looks on the heart. Accordingly, the angel knew that Zacharias did not believe him.
28/1/2021 06:04:47 pm
Thank you Pastor Frank for the comment and for stopping by.
28/12/2022 05:15:02 pm
Thank you bro G for the comment and for stopping by.
22/12/2022 08:55:47 am
Hi Bisi, your response on this subject is truly apt. I picked up one explanation while reading the bible but i decided to view other opinions and I'm happy i read your article. Thank you and God bless
28/12/2022 05:14:23 pm
Thank you Enitan for the comment and for stopping by.
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