The Bible is a treasure. The more I read it, the more I marvel God’s perfect plan. Just take the prophecies of Jesus. Every single one of them came through.
Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14, CEB)
Also there are so many parallels between the Old testament and the New testament. Just think of Abraham and Sarah, a childless older couple, and Zachariah and Elizabeth, a childless older couple. Or the 4o years in the wilderness of the Israelites and 40 days in the wilderness of Jesus. The same temptations, only Jesus passed the tests and fulfilled the law of God. I could go on and on but you get the picture.
Yesterday we talked about how readily Mary said yes to God. Today I want to talk about Zachariah who doubted God when Gabriel visited him. Mary did ask questions, too, but she never doubted God’s power. But Zachariah did.
When Zechariah saw the angel, he was startled and overcome with fear.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to your son and you must name him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many people will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the Lord’s eyes. He must not drink wine and liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. He will bring many Israelites back to the Lord their God. He will go forth before the Lord, equipped with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and he will turn the disobedient to righteous patterns of thinking. He will make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? My wife and I are very old.”
The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in God’s presence. I was sent to speak to you and to bring this good news to you. Know this: What I have spoken will come true at the proper time. But because you didn’t believe, you will remain silent, unable to speak until the day when these things happen.” (Luke 1:12-20, CEB, emphasis added)
Even though Zachariah doubted he was used by God. Even when Jesus was commissioning the disciples (Matthew 28:17, CEB) some of them doubted. Yet Jesus can use us. Because it’s not about us. It’s about God. When we try to rationalize too much we get into trouble.
We can’t explain God.
We can’t put God in a box.
We can’t force God to act the way we want.
Because God is God.
And we are not.
What Gabriel told to Zachariah is still valid today: What has been promised in the Bible will come true at the proper time. This advent season we are preparing our hearts to have room for Jesus. Not only this Christmas but also at the proper time when Jesus is coming back (as promised in the Bible).
Do we doubt God’s promise like Zachariah? Or do we welcome God’s plan as Mary? No matter what is our response, God will fulfill his promises at the proper time.
Meanwhile we are called to prepare our hearts and minds for his coming. Do we fill our hearts and minds with trivial junk? Or is our heart filled with the Holy Spirit? Are we ready for Jesus? Or do we pretend the Bible is not true? After all, it is against all human wisdom, right? But it’s not about us. It’s about God and his divine wisdom. Come, Lord Jesus!
Thank you for preparing the Way for us.
Enable us to walk unwaveringly home to you.
Fill every nook and cranny of our hearts
with your Holy Spirit!
Strengthen our faith to be always ready for you.
Come, Lord Jesus!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How are you preparing your heart and mind for Jesus?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you make sure there is always space in your heart for Jesus!
Image “Annunciation of the Angel to Zecariah” by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1940), courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Linking up today with One Word at a Time: Come Blog Carnival & What’s on Your Heart Tuesdays & Soli Deo Gloria& Hear it & Use it.