Luke 1. Forum Discussion

Luke 1 contains 80 verses and could be the subject of several blog posts. Today, I’d like to focus on the story of Elizabeth and Zacharias (the parents of John the Baptist).

Elizabeth and Zacharias are described in verses 6-7 as follows, “They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.”

They had been praying for a child. An angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias and Zacharias was gripped with fear. The angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.  You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.  And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zacharias was a man who was, “Righteous in the sight of God.” However, when God sent word through the angel, Gabriel, that their prayer had been answered, Zacharias responded with doubt. Luke writes in verse 18, “Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.  And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” – Luke 1:19-20.

The bible is full of great examples of faith. This, however, is a story about doubt, which I believe is the opposite of faith. The angel was not happy with Zacharias’ doubt, and Zacharias was punished by not being able to speak until their baby was born.

For me, the key takeaways from this story are:

  • Zacharias was righteous in the site of God.
  • God sent an angel to Zacharias to let him know that their prayers for a child were answered.
  • Zacharias doubted the angel.
  • Zacharias was punished for his doubt by becoming unable to speak.
  • Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist.
  • They were instructed to name the baby, “John”.
  • Zacharias and Elizabeth were being pressured to name the child after one of their relatives rather than obey the angel of the Lord’s direction to name the child, “John.”
  • This time, instead of doubting, Zacharias obeys the angel of the Lord by asking for a tablet and writing, “His name is John.”
  • At once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.
  • Zacharias’ faith had made him whole!

I believe there are times in our lives where God is ready to answer our prayers if we will just believe in Him. If we will listen to the voice of faith and ignore the voice of doubt. The voice of doubt can come from within our own head, or it can be the negative influence of the people around us. As we have just seen, doubt gets punished and faith gets rewarded. We can increase our faith by studying the bible.

When we pray to God, do we have faith that He can answer our prayers, or do we let the voice of doubt creep in? Faith is something that we can work on and build up in our lives. It all starts with reading from the Bible.

Romans 10:17, “So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Amen