Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent-Zachariah, High Priest, and Jesus' Earthly Uncle

Zachariah was a high priest. The Bible says Zachariah and his wife, Elizabeth walked blameless in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. Both of them had grown old without having children

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He, like Abraham, did not have a child for many years. In his old age an angel appeared to him with an interesting message. 

At the time of the appearance, Zachariah was performing high priestly duties. It was his turn to burn incense. The people stood on the outside praying while he performed his duty. 

An angel appeared to Zachariah standing on the right side of the altar of incense. Like any normal person, Zachariah gasped and was afraid. 

The angel told him not to be afraid and that his prayer had been heard. He would have a son.  The angel continued to give more information about the son he would have.

Zachariah's reply got him in trouble. He said, "How will I know this?  I am old and my wife is well advanced in years." 

The angel said, "You will be mute because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled."

Once baby John was born and Zachariah affirmed the baby's name should be John, he had his speech restored.

Zachariah and Elizabeth gave their son John, who is also know as John the Baptizer, and the one who would "make ready a people prepared for the Lord", a good home. He learned how to survive on little and did not have his strong spirit to speak his mind squelched. If anything, Zachariah may have encourage John's outspoken convictions.

Let's look at the time when Mary visited Elizabeth. Elizabeth was far enough along in her pregnancy that she could feel her baby leap. Zachariah no doubt knew of the visit and had heard the news about the angel's visit to Mary and the message that she was chosen to be the earthly mother of God's Son, Jesus.

My question is, do you think Zachariah immediately believed what Mary said?

Also, since he was a learned man, as a high priest, do you think he put the puzzle pieces together and understood his son, John would be the one to prepare the way for Mary's son, Jesus?

And last, do you think he realized he was chosen to be the earthly uncle for Jesus, the one who would save His people from their sins?

Yes, our answers will be our thoughts and opinions. The Bible doesn't answer these questions. But it is good to study those who God placed in the earthly family of our Savior and to think about what they experienced.

I hope you are having a blessed advent season. 



Janice said...

These are very interesting questions to ponder, Mary. I think as a priest that he would have known of all the seemingly impossible things God had accomplished in the past, He would have had the thought that nothing is impossible for the great God I serve. And yet, this was something new and different from all the past miracles. He may have felt like this is God coming at us from the inside, not the outside like He has done in the past with miracles. Maybe he even had a little bit of pride in thinking I am the human and God is God! That has been the order of things forever. Now God is really invading "our" territory. He is God and can do anything He wants, but this? What is He thinking?

I don't think he would have put together the puzzle about his son, John, in relation to Jesus, but rather I think he watched with awe as God put the puzzle pieces together in God's perfect timing.

I do think he would have realized and taken pride even at this early stage that he was the uncle of Jesus, God's son, as Mary had said. He would be delighted and yet afraid at the same time. Perhaps his tongue was held partly because he would not have been able to contain the secret?

Mary Vee Writer said...

Your thought about Zachariah being made mute partly to keep the secret about Jesus at the time is though provoking. I love these questions and the ideas they stir. Thank you!!