Read: Luke 1:8-25
And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar. (v. 11)
Zechariah asked a logical question. A bit later in this chapter the virgin Mary would ask a similar question of the same angel, Gabriel. But whereas Mary receives a tender answer, Zechariah gets zapped! “How dare you question me who serves in the presence of Almighty God!” And just like that Zechariah’s voice is taken away from him for the better part of a year. In the passage, there is no explanation for Gabriel’s different reactions to essentially the same question.
Perhaps, however, Gabriel expects more from Zechariah, a priest and an adult. As it was, Zechariah was entering the most Holy of Holies where he should have expected to be in God’s presence. Even so, he was shocked to find an angel there. Probably we are not much different. If in church some Sunday morning we encountered an angel, we would also be shocked.
Very soon we are going to find out that Zechariah used his months of contemplation fruitfully. He pondered anew the things of God and received more revelation as to who his son would be. Consigned to silence, Zechariah deepened his relationship with God. Maybe by the time it was all over, Zechariah could confess that having his voice taken away was the best thing that ever happened to him! God’s ways are mysterious indeed! —Scott Hoezee
As you pray, seek to silence the many distractions that prevent your meditating on God’s goodness.
About the Author
Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.