Reflective Bible Study.
Focus Passage: Luke 1:5-25 (NIV)Probably the one thing Zechariah, the priest and father of John the Baptist, is known for the most is questioning the angel that appears to him in the temple while he was preparing to burn incense. The gospel of Luke shares what happened. Zechariah was chosen by lot to be the one to go in and burn the incense, and an angel appears to him with the promise of an answer to his prayer. But immediately following the angel’s message, Zechariah taints his reputation by asking, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (v. 18) Zechariah’s question is self defeating. By asking for more proof, he shows the lack of belief he really has. At this point in his life, he has given up hope for ever having a child, and the angel’s promise seems too unbelievable. Had the angel come ten years earlier, it would have at least been feasible in his mind, but Zechariah has already resigned himself to die childless. His question of doubt would be the last words he would speak until the birth of his child. In an unexpected turn of events, the angel does give Zechariah a second form of confirmation. He responds by saying, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” (v. 19-20) Zechariah probably thought the entire 10 months or so between when this happened and when his son was born about the foolishness of his questioning God’s promise. If Zechariah were alive to give us a message, it would likely be something along the lines of, “When God gives you a promise, you should simply believe it.” However, in Zechariah’s doubt, we also see an amazing picture of God. God gives Zechariah a very tangible sign that the promise would come true – and it is a sign that would stand out to everyone who knew this elderly couple. Zechariah’s doubt opened the door for God to draw more attention to the birth of the man who would prepare the people of Israel for the Messiah’s arrival. This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today! Read this article on the web on it's official page: Famous Last Words: Luke 1:5-25