Summary: 3 of 3. Zacharias & Elizabeth were chosen to fulfill His plan of salvation for mankind. God chooses people for His most vital of ministries. But what are their circumstances? You may be chosen for the most vital of ministries in the midst of...



A man was driving when a traffic camera flashed. He thought his picture was taken for exceeding the speed limit, even though he knew he was not speeding. Just to be sure, he went around the block & passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed.

He thought this was quite funny, so he slowed down even further as he drove past the area, but the traffic camera flashed yet again. He tried a 4th time with the same result. The 5th time he was laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past at a snail's pace.

Two weeks later, he got five traffic fine letters in the mail for driving without a fastened seat belt.

The man was chosen for the most vital of ministries—Maintaining the budget!

Any of us could be chosen for the most vital of ministries.


My work leaves me unsatisfied... My life seems pointless....leaves me unfulfilled...dispassionate...displeased...uncertain as to the future...etc.

Zacharias & Elizabeth were 2 servants of God thru whom He chose to fulfill His plan of salvation for mankind.

God used Zacharias & Elizabeth to initiate His plan of salvation for mankind.

God chooses people for His most vital of ministries.

When are God’s people chosen for the most vital of ministries?

Those chosen for the most vital of ministries arise in the midst of...

Previously we found that we may be chosen for the most vital of ministries in the midst of...




4—SPIRITUAL DUTY to the Lord(:8-9)



7—FELT NEED(:13-14)

8—REAL NEED(:15-17)

Today we will discover that...

9—We are chosen for the most vital of ministries in the midst of...


Explanation:(:18-23) Questions


:18—“And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, & my wife is well advanced in years.”

Upon hearing his son’s purpose from the angel, Zacharias is taken aback as he cannot see that this will be possible because both he & his wife are “old” & up in years(perhaps too old to be having children in their eyes). This is impossible in His eyes.

He is acting by experience rather than by faith.

“Know”—ginwskw—Strong—to "know" (absolutely) in a great variety of applications & with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed):-- allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know(-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand. Thayer—Ginwskw is a knowledge grounded on personal experience.

“Old man”—presbuthv—1) An old man, an aged man; 2) Ambassador.

“Wife”—gunh—1) A woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow; 2) A wife—2a) Of a betrothed woman.

“Advanced”—probainw—Strong—To walk forward, i.e. Advance (literally, or in years):-- + Be of a great age, go farther (on), be well stricken.

:19—“And the angel answered & said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, & was sent to speak to you & bring you these glad tidings.”

The angel responds to Zacharias’ doubt by revealing his name & status before God. He tells Zacharias that his name is “Gabriel”—‘Man of God.’ Gabriel is an angel who stands in the very presence of God.

This is a signal to Zacharias that his doubt is completely unfounded. Unable to distinguish God’s goodness from that which is otherwise. Gabriel’s purpose was to speak directly to Zacharias & reveal the “glad tidings” regarding his son.

“Stands”—paristhmi—1) to place beside or near; 2) To stand beside, stand by or near, to be at hand, be present. Strong—To stand beside, i.e. (transitively) To exhibit, proffer, (specifically) Recommend, (figuratively) Substantiate; or (intransitively) To be at hand (or ready), aid:-- Assist, bring before, command, commend...

“In the presence of”—enwpion—1) In the presence of, before—1a) Of occupied place: in that place which is before, or over against, opposite, any one & towards which another turns his eyes.

“Sent”—apostellw—1) To order (one) to go to a place appointed; 2) To send away, dismiss. Strong—Set apart, i.e. (by implication) to Send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively:-- Put in, send (away, forth, out), set [at liberty].

“Glad Tidings”—euaggelizw—To bring good news, to announce glad tidings. Strong—to Announce good news ("evangelize") especially the gospel:-- Declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel). From —eu—&—aggelov— ‘Well message’

:20—“But behold, you will be mute & not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

Since Zacharias acted on experience rather than faith, regarding the message, he has brought upon himself a chastisement from God. Zacharias will thus “be mute” “until” Gabriel’s message is fulfilled by the birth of the promised son(:13). This will also serve the purpose of gaining the attention of others as the miraculous birth will ultimately concern them as well.

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