Christmas story - Zechariah and Mary

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Ravindran, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Hello everyone! I was reading the Christmas story in book of Luke yesterday night. First chapter of Luke. We see 2 very very similar events. Announcement of birth of Child for Mary and Elizabeth by Gabriel. The announcement happens to Zechariah and Mary (father and mother). The narrative is very similar. Reactions are also very similar. But we see Zechariah is struck to become dumb. Whereas Mary is blessed. Why do you think there is this difference? I will list down the similarities.

    1) both did not expect a baby
    2) Both feared - Zechariah was troubled, Mary was greatly troubled
    3) Zechariah asks - how shall I know this? Mary asks - How will this be?
    4) both had promises of a son
    5) both has promises of son who are going to play a pivotal role in history of how God dealt with mankind.

    Given the similarities of events, we see Zechariah's reaction got him so much trouble! :) Why do you think that was the case? I was reading some sermons and saw one by John Piper. he had a very nice scriptural backup to explain that. I will put that in another post. But would love to hear from everyone on why different outcomes for Mary and Zechariah.
  2. The first thing that comes to mind is it was Zechariah's job, literally, to be in tuned with God. When something happened, he questioned it rather than expecting it, with doubt in his heart because it didn't mesh with his religious beliefs, despite it happening to Abraham as an example.

    Mary was a humble girl who just loved the Lord and in humility questioned how it was to be. Also, she wasn't married and to become pregnant, she'd have to sleep with someone (in her normal, well established thinking) which would go against what she believed was wrong to do.

    I sense that Zechariah's response was in doubt whereas Mary's was in faith. Just my thoughts.
    Ravindran likes this.
  3. Amen brother! Right on target :) I completely agree.. I think it was a matter of faith. Mary had greater faith. Below verses support that. While Zechariah was blameless and righteous, he fell into his religious beliefs. Much like modern day believers. Who get caught in doctrines of their Church. Mary was humble and had greater faith. She received the message with faith.

    Verse 20 - and behold, 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

    Verse 45 - And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord
    Abdicate likes this.
  4. John Piper has a good sense of humor! Or rather he captured the sense of humor from Elizabeth :) Mary is visiting Elizabeth and may be she shouted that to Mary deliberately so that Zechariah heard the same! May be he was sitting in next room and hearing all this! :)After all, Zechariah was a priest and should have very well known the scripture. He had better knowledge of scripture to accept Gabriel's message than Mary.
  5. Amen! Many, and I include myself, can't seem to grasp the impossible and because we don't live in it, when the impossible is set before us, we forget God made the universe, everything visible and invisible, and we lose out of great blessings. May we all live in the impossible! :)
    Ravindran likes this.
  6. Hi @Ravindran,

    I appreciated this topic, so thank you for posting it. Never looked at those details before & it is good to think upon their/our motives.

    Ravindran likes this.
  7. How often do we "speak" words of doubt and unbelief that would cause the promises of God to be not fulfilled in our own lives? Leaving Zechariah 's tongue unbridled could have caused the words of the angel to be unfulfilled. God changing Abrams name to Abraham would have stop him (Abram) from annulling God's words to Abraham about him being the father of many nations.

    Heb 10:23.. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)

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