Zechariah clearly recognized that this was an angelic visitation. The angel tells him that God has heard his prayer! Now maybe it had been a long time since that prayer had been offered up, but God was waiting for His time, the right time, to answer it. The angel goes on to tell him how great his son will be and what great purposes God has in store for him. Zechariah is faced with a decision we all face who should he believe? His common sense and everything the world has taught him says that there is no way what the angel is saying can be true. How many times are we faced with similar circumstances; minus the angelic visit? I have seen people miraculously healed only to question how the healing could be possible after they had prayed for it! It reminds me of when the believers were praying for Peter to be freed from prison. The Bible says they were "praying earnestly" for it. Yet when Peter is delivered from prison by God and appears at their door, here was their reaction:
"You're out of your mind!" they said. When she insisted, they decided, "It must be his angel." Acts 12:15 (NLT)
We can be such doubting Thomases; even about things we earnestly pray for! Zechariah was in a position to believe God or believe the whisperings of the enemy in his ear. Could God be the deliverer he always professed to be? Could He shatter the worldly wisdom? It was a matter of faith or doubt for Zechariah that day and Mary would be faced with a similar visitation and challenge.
Later in the same chapter, the angel Gabriel would also visit Mary, a virgin betrothed to Joseph. He would tell her that the Lord was with her and address her as "favored woman." Here was the reaction of the teenage girl:
and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. "Don't be afraid,
Mary," the angel told her, "for you have found favor with God! You will
conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very
great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him
the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over
I am sure that this decree from Gabriel did little to assuage her confusion. Nevertheless, Mary is now at the same point that Zechariah was at. Standing before the Angel Gabriel and having to decide to believe God by faith, or the world and the doubt it sells. First, here is the answer of Zechariah:
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." Luke 1: 18 (NLT)
How can I be sure? I know God has sent one of His angels to me to tell me what will come to pass...but how can I be sure? I mean, there is no way this could happen look how old my wife is! I am no youngster either! I want to believe God...but how can I be sure?