Luke 1:18-22 – Struck Dumb For Disbelief
LK1:18 Now Zechariah said to the angel: “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” LK1:19 Then the angel answered him: “I am Gabriel who stands in the very presence of The God! I was sent to speak with you and to bring you this good news. LK1:20 Now, look, you will be unable to speak or say anything until that day when these matters will be fulfilled, because you did not believe my words that will come to completion at the proper time.” LK1:21 Now outside the worshippers waited for Zechariah and began to wonder because he was taking so long in the temple. LK1:22 And when he did come out he was unable to speak to them – and as a result the people realized that he had seen a vision in the temple – because he could only gesture to them though he remained speechless.
 How can I be sure of this: For this question the angel strikes the priest dumb.
 For I am an old man and my wife is well along in years: An echo of Abraham and Sarah. The Levitical priestly assistants had to retire at the age of 50 while the Aaronic priesthood could serve throughout their lives.
 I am Gabriel: The angel of Daniel 9. His name means “God’s Able One.”
 He was taking so long in the temple: The service with prayers took about thirty minutes.
Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
Nazarene Commentary to Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary
Nazarene Commentary to Mary Visits Elizabeth
Nazarene Commentary to Mary Magnifies God
- Mary Did You Know? (devotionsinmotion.wordpress.com)
Six months after Zechariah and Elizabeth conceived, the angel Gabriel came back to earth and appeared to a young girl named Mary. She lived in Nazareth and was betrothed to a young man named Joseph. Gabriel spoke to Mary, saying, “Greetings O favored one, the Lord is with you.” God’s messenger told Mary not to be afraid. He immediately launched into the message sent from God. She was going to conceive and bear God’s only begotten Son.
- Deafening Silence (ubicrux.com)
Nine months. Can you imagine being unable to speak for nine months? Especially when your whole life’s purpose — in Zechariah’s case, his Temple duties — required you to speak? Why did God eliminate Zechariah’s ability to speak for so long? I think it’s because God understood that Zechariah needed a “time out.” Zechariah seemed like he had everything in order. He was a priest, a righteous man, a good man. But underneath, Zechariah had a certain hardness of heart that even he did not recognize. When his lifelong prayer was finally answered, he did not react with happiness but with incredulity that God answered the prayer in His way, and not in Zechariah’s way.
- Advent Figures: Zechariah (encourageandteach.wordpress.com)
His question demands that God fulfill our requirements, meet our standards. It puts God on trial. This is what it means to disbelieve: to reject the messengers God sends us, to insist that God meet our demands. Rather than bow down before the divine messenger and conform his mind to the message, Zechariah demands that God conform Himself to his earthly way of thinking.And the punishment fits the crime – because if we do not believe, we have nothing to say. Nothing, certainly, in the sense of having no supernatural view, no divine voice to bring to a world turned in on itself. But disbelief makes us mute also in the sense that once we cut ourselves off from the divine message we become a mystery to ourselves. We can no longer speak coherently about who we are and why we exist. In the words of Vatican II, “When God is forgotten, the creature itself grows unintelligible.”
And so for us in a culture of disbelief, Zechariah is an apt figure. The modern world has heard and rejected God’s messenger – not an angel but Christ Himself speaking through His Body, the Church. And having rejected faith we now know little about ourselves and our purpose.
- 19th December, Gospel Reading (Luke 1:5-25) (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
Listen! Since you have not believed my words, which will come true at their appointed time, you will be silenced and have no power of speech until this has happened.
- God Answers Prayers We Have Given Up On (ckisler.wordpress.com)
When do you think Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up hope for a child of their own? When do you think their last prayer for a child was uttered or even fleetingly crossed their minds with any genuine hope of conception.
And Yet, Gabriel clearly told Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard.”
- Celebrate Week 2 (gracenazarene.org)
As we walk in the light that God gives us, we are growing in the Lord and in obedience. Everyday God gives us new instruction as He guides us along the way. He shines His light in the dark so we can follow the path that He has for us. And the more we walk in the light, the closer we are drawn to Him. What a great reminder this Advent season that the Christ Child came to be a light in the darkness and His blood that was shed for us not only cleanses us from sin but keeps on cleansing us as we walk in obedience.
- Clean and Clear (gracenazarene.org)
Remember our definition for envy is resenting God’s goodness in others’ lives, while simply ignoring God’s goodness in our own lives. Resenting His blessings in others, while ignoring His blessings in our own lives.