Luke 1: 5 – 25
Zechariah, we learn, is a man who is a faithful servant in God’s eyes. Is a priest with one of the top jobs that God has given his people to do.
His view is that God is God, I have a list of things to do that will make him happy and that is my lot in life.
We learn that he and his wife have never had a child and were well past the age of childbearing. Probably something that causes him and his wife pain and has prayed for one, but accepted that it probably won’t happen.
He was chosen, by chance, to do the special duty, performing the religious ceremony of incense burning. He follows his instructions from Exodus and gets on with it.
All is fine, but then the angel Gabriel meets him in the holy place and tells him all about how he is going to have a son and that he will be called John and frankly this guy is going to be awesome! Turning people back to God and preparing the way for Jesus. Amazing!
But look down with me at vs 18
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” – I’m sure his wife loved knowing he said that!
On the face of it just seems like a little bit of questioning but it is much more than that. It reveals what lies an unwillingness to accept God’s plan a disobedience
The way he questions, referring to, specifically to his age, isn’t just about the unrealistic nature of this happening, but about the way he and his wife would be looked upon. We know this because later God hide Elizabeth away and she thanks God for this because … it takes away her disgrace vs 25
What happens next is very interesting. You might think maybe Gabriel would answer his question, maybe referencing to time in the OT where this exact thing has happened. (but Zechariah knew all about that, he is a priest after all)
Or maybe would decide that Zechariah isn’t the right man for the Job and say. Because of your lack of faith, you won’t have a child. In some ways, we would think well that’s fair enough.
Instead Gabriel says this in vs 19
“I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
Gabriel says this is happening, and because you were disobedient you cannot take part in this. You will be silent. God’s plan will happen, your either a part of it or not.
Its like dealing with a little child
On Thursday I saw my niece it was her 2nd birthday and she was being her normal naughty but cute self-running around sprinkles. Later on we went into the dolphin centre and she was told that we were going to do a bit of shopping and was instructed to hold my hand and not run off. But like a magpie seeing pretty things as soon as she saw some clothes she was off in running around river island. She did about 3 times. On the 3rd time my mum grabbed her and put her in the push chair and locking all the straps and so Isla was now unable to get out.
You see she was given the choice to be obedient and can experience shopping in the right way. But when she decided to be disobedient it wasn’t that shopping ceased to happen, she was unable to enjoy it to its full potential.
You see being a Christian is not just going through the motions of religion. Go to church on Sunday, YSG and Youth clubs. It is actively taking part in what God wants to do in your life. Being obedient to what he wants you to do.
God is not about a load of freeloaders who happen to believe in his son and just stand around doing nothing waiting for someone else to do something. No God is about involving you in his plans.
Zechariah was disobedient to them. Even though he was a good man. When God has plan you better get on Board. Zechariah had 9 months to think about that because a baby was coming either way!
Luke 1: 57 – 80
So, 9 months have passed at this point and the Baby has arrived. Elizabeth is cooing over the baby and all the family and friends have gathered. A bit like when Ethan came into church for the first time.
Now it came the time for the baby to be named, though everyone just assumed that the baby was going to be called Zechariah after his dad. Elizabeth, though, was adamant that he was to be called John as the angel said.
This went against the culture of the time which was to be named after family members. It was a long tradition which went back over 1000 years. So, either they thought she had like baby brain or that they couldn’t accept this they went to Zechariah.
They assumed he was also death because they made signs to him explaining what was going on.
Now Zechariah has a similar choice here that he had with the angel. Does he follow and accept/be obedient to God and name his son John? Or does he do what is culturally correct what will make his family look normal and right?
This is very like before, he didn’t want to have a child because of how it would look to everyone else, he made the choice to follow what people would think.
It boils down to… does he take part in God’s plan or his own
This time he chooses God and he gets a tablet and writes the name John. And at that moment he could speak again. God allowed him to take part in his plan again. He praised God and in Zechariahs song which is below he details all of God’s plan for his son.
We see in this account a choice that all followers have. Do we take part in God’s plan for this world or are we happy just to amble along?
God message is Clear Take Part or Get Lost
Take part in God’s plan for you, live in the way God wants you to live. Go for it. Put aside what your friends think of you. What is culturally relevant, What TV says about you.
Take part in what God says about you. What God word speaks about when it comes to how you should live. Focus on how God sees you
God has a plan and purpose for you, which is amazing and leads to an eternity in his paradise.
Or You can get lost
Get Lost in how the world tells you to live. How your family tells you how to live. How your friends at school tell you how to live.
Get Lost in your own sinful desires which only leave to pain and suffering and eventually leads you to get lost to God.
Where God at the day of Judgement stand’s seated and says, I love you, I gave you every chance to come to me. Now I must say you are lost to me.
You either move closer to God by taking part in his plans for you. Or you go further away by continuing to be disobedient to him.
No one ever stands still. Every day I can look back on it and see where I have moved closer to God and times when I have moved back.
Let’s pray that all of us here can move closer to take part in God’s plan and not to be lost from it