And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John…
And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I 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 take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” Luke 1:11-20
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God… And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God… And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38,
What the difference between Zechariah and Mary?
Both were visited by the same angel. Both asked questions after they received the divine message.
One was praised for her faith and the other was kind of punished.
Zechariah didn’t believe that God could do it. It was just impossible. Mary didn’t see how God would do it.
It is all the difference between “Come on Lord, it would never happen. You will never do it with me” and “Lord, great! How is it going to work? Do you expect me to do something or I just have to wait and see you work mightily?
If you are like me and tend to be like Zechariah, it is time to become like Mary. It is time to know that not only nothing is impossible to God, but also He will never betray your trust. (Psalm 89:3) It is only by trusting Him as Mary did that we can with her say: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”