Mary and Zechariah share much on common in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Both are visited by the angel Gabriel. Both receive blessed news from him. Both learn they will have a child through miraculous or out of the ordinary means—Zechariah and Elizabeth are greatly advanced in years (1:7, 18) as the narrative constantly reminds us, while Mary is a virgin as the narrative also reminds us. Both children fulfill a significant Old Testament prophecy (John – Elijah and Jesus = Davidic Messiah). Both question God’s message from Gabriel.
At this point, a chasm of difference arises. One the one hand, because of Zechariah questions how he can have a child, he is silenced until God fulfills his word. On the other hand, when Mary questions how she can have a child, she is re-assured that God will work through his Spirit to make it happen.
What’s the deal? Is God arbitrary in how he treats his people? Not at all. Listen to these questions: Continue reading