18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
Zechariah's response to the angel's announcement that they would become the parents of the prophet John in their old age was questioning. I've always found that a bit interesting. I mean, if I saw an angel, I'm pretty sure I'd believe anything he said, no matter how crazy I thought it sounded. After all, seeing an angel seems crazy enough!
I wish the Biblical account included an indication of what tone of voice Gabriel used in his reply to Zechariah.
Was he shocked by Zechariah's disbelief? "I am Gabriel! How can you even think to question my message?"
Was he angered? "I am Gabriel! And I don't know how God puts up with you humans"
Was he authoritative? "I am Gabriel, and here's a list of my credentials and why you should believe me"
Was he sympathetic? "I know you think you might be dreaming right now and this is all a bit much to take in, but I am Gabriel..."
Was he amused?
But no matter Gabriel's reaction, the truth was this was an amazing day! After 400 years of silence from heaven, FINALLY there was word that the Messiah was coming. And it would be pretty hard to take in that your family would have anything even remotely to do with it.
John's role was to prepare the way for the Messiah.
Really, that's our role too. We need to proclaim Jesus. We need to tell others about Him. We have been given an immense privilege that God entrusts us with that responsibility. What will we do with it?
Tomorrow: Catch up Day
Monday's Bible In a Year Passage: Deuteronomy 25-27, Luke 1:39-80