Prayer, Questions and Gabriel

Prayer, Questions and Gabriel by Randolph Jason for Gospel News Network

My prayer is that God sees that I am not questioning Him, His authority or any aspect of His sovereignty or dominion. Simply reviewing His Word to help me better understand His Word and move closer to Him.

Yesterday we looked at NJKV Luke 1:13 through 1:22 in which Zacharias questioned the ArchAngel Gabriel. Today I want to step back and look at these passages from a different perspective.

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

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Gabriel doesn’t identify himself when he first appears to Zacharias and the details of the prayer being prayed by Zacharias are not mentioned nor spelled out. I presume that Zacharias is, once again, praying for a son, specifically, or a daughter. As we have discussed previously it may be unsettling, and it is spelled out later in Luke, the family and friends of Jesus are questioning his mental stability. Imagine a person coming to you, like a sibling, a parent or a close friend, proclaiming to be the Son of Man, Son of God? Pretty weighty stuff. Zacharias has, in my opinion, just been confronted with something similar by someone he doesn’t know and has probably never seen before – Oh, and by the way, it’s an angel of God.

Gabriel materializes as Zacharias is praying at the altar where the incense is burned. I presume this is significant to identify as not just another altar, but one that holds more meaning and stature. Gabriel shows up and begins telling Zacharias your wife is going to have a child, but not just any child, a son that is going to prepare the people for the coming Messiah!

14 And 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 shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
17 He will also 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 a people prepared for the Lord.”

WOW!! Nothing says good morning quiet like being told your son is going to “…make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

This is where Zacharias shows his humanness, his flaws and he questions what is happening. God, and probably Gabriel, must have understood that Zacharias was not questioning God or placing doubt on his faith, he was attempting to get, or so it seems, clarification of what was happening. I say this because punishment is only for the time of the pregnancy and doesn’t extend to the remainder of his life.

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.
20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple.
22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.

What would you do, how would you handle such a situation? Would you accept that your heart, mind and spirit were aligned with God to the point of a messenger angel, not just any messenger angel, but ArchAngel Gabriel shows up while you’re praying and drops this on you? Now what? What is your response? I am NOT questioning God, I am pointing out this scenario could impact a person in a variety of ways, not the least of which was the response by Zacharias.

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