Zechariah v. Mary

Had such a wonderful discussion at CG last night, where we studied the passage of Luke 1:5-38, looking at the comparison between the angel Gabriel’s visitation to Zechariah first, and then to Mary. We also examined in depth both Zechariah’s and Mary’s responses to their respective angelic encounter, and found interesting parallels and differences between the two.

I think that one of the most interesting insights that came up for me was our desire to dig a bit deeper in the Word and to go beyond the simple dichotomy of ‘Zechariah’s response = disbelief; Mary’s response = complete faith acceptance’. While not wanting to condemn Zechariah’s response outright and not wanting to accept Mary’s response as simply acceptance, I think what we were trying to do was to make their experiences (which we can only imagine) a bit more in line with our own personal faith journeys (which we know). I suspect that for most of us, if an angel appears to us right now, our reactions lie somewhere between Zechariah’s and Mary’s responses. But of course, my prayer is that I will be more able to move closer to Mary’s beautiful reply in Luke 1:38, “May it be unto me me as you have said.”

I also learned answers to two other issues after re-reading the passage again in my Quest Study Bible. Firstly, why did God make Zechariah mute? The Quest Study Bible writes:

“This was apparently a mild rebuke for his lack of faith. Since he could not grasp what God was doing, he was given a period of silent reflection that lasted until the child was born. Zechariah, though a righteous man, still needed to learn to trust God more.”

And this is the part I like:

“His inability to speak, a supernatural sign, undoubtedly increased his faith, causing him to believe that God’s promise of a child would come to pass.”

"How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."

The other question which was raised at our session last night was, what does it mean that Mary was highly favoured? And the Quest Study Bible writes:

“God chose Mary for a special assignment, and Mary humbly accepted the call. She knew her assignment was based on God’s grace, not merit.”

And this is the important part for us to take note:

“Later, Jesus said that those who hear God’s Word and obey it are even more blessed than Mary herself (Luke 11:27-28). In that respect, we are all highly favoured by the Lord, because he calls each of us to a special purpose in His kingdom. We are blessed when we, like Mary, surrender to His will and obey His call.”

"How will this be since I am a virgin?"

 

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~ by irwin on February 11, 2012.

4 Responses to “Zechariah v. Mary”

  1. […] 1Zechariah v. Mary « Prince Irwin’s blog SUBMIT […]

  2. Wow, my blog post got linked in this website called ‘Believers’ Resource’! =) http://www.believersresource.com/bible/luke-11-27_28.html

  3. I think Zechariah needs a PROOF while MARY was simply asking the Angel for the PROCESS with which it will come by

  4. Thanks Nathaniel for your comment! =) Yup, I agree with what you said because I think in both cases, what the angel Gabriel said was just too unfathomable by human wisdom: one woman was past her childbearing age while the other was before her childbearing possibility – so how can these things come to pass? So the Bible reminds us in Luke 18:27 that “what is impossible with man is possible with God.” =) Keep reading! =)

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