Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Contrast from Luke 1

In my reading of Luke 1 this morning, something jumped out at me - the contrasts between Mary and Zechariah. One young, the other old. One female, the other male. One a commoner, the other a priest. One betrothed, the other married. Perhaps the biggest contrast between the two of them, though, is Mary's faith and Zechariah's lack of faith.

After the angel Gabriel told Zechariah that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son (a child they had been praying for fervently), the priest said, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years" (Luke 1:18). Not exactly a faith-filled statement. Gabriel tells him, "you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time" (Luke 1:20).

Mary, on the other hand, had no such unbelief. Yes, she did ask Gabriel "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:34) But she obviously trusted God to do what He had promised through Gabriel, because of her reply - "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). The mother of Jesus trusted God and submitted to Him, even though she couldn't have fully understood what the rest of her life would entail.

A postscript: Zechariah didn't continue in his unbelief - read Luke 1:57-79.

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