Daily Devotions

The How and the Disappointment

Mary said to the angel,”How shall this be?” -Lk.1:34. It is interesting that Zachariah, in Lk.1:18, asked “How?” also, but the question got him in big trouble!  Luke 1:18-20 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and ManWipeBrowmy wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” (RSV)

There were obviously some major differences in the two questioners.   Mary was a young girl with little experience in spiritual matters, but Zachariah was a seasoned spiritual leader. There is no indication Mary had prayed for a child, and there is definitely no evidence she had prayed to birth Immanuel.  However, Gabriel had come with an answer to Zachariah’s specific prayers for a son!  Mary was a virgin with no known means of approaching her mandate.  However, Gabriel did not bring a mandate that Zachariah did not know HOW to complete.  So, technically, Zachariah was asking, “How can I be sure it will be worth the effort for me, an old man, to pursue this venture?”  That really was not an innocent request for confirmation, rather a rebuttal gathered through undeniable years of “tried and couldn’t” disappointments. —Kathy

KC2020_K Preached

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