Summary: The people surrounding the virgin birth of Jesus were shaken in different fashion—whether they were moved to praise God, or stimulated into humble submission or was agitated or shook up to insecurity, the thing to remember is that around the time of Chris
The whole earth shook not because of an earthquake; nor a meteor at a high speed hit the earth with a loud explosion. The whole earth shook not because of another volcano that’s been asleep for a long time awoke then suddenly erupted. The whole earth and its inhabitants were shaken when the Son of God came down from heaven. The people surrounding the virgin birth of Jesus were shaken in different fashion. Whether they were moved to praise God, or stimulated into humble submission or was agitated or shook up to insecurity, the thing to remember is that around the time of Christ’s birth, people were shaken.
1. ZECHARIAH WAS AWESTRUCK upon hearing the good news from Angel Gabriel that he was going to be a father but he doubted and did not believe the message of the angel who said that his wife Elizabeth will bear him a son that is to be named John (the Baptist). Zechariah doubted :
“How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along
in years?” (Luke 1:18)
All these years, Zechariah had been praying for a child (Luke 1:13) and now that he and his wife were too old to become the parents of a child—he was to become a father. His honest question expressed the doubt of his heart. And because Zechariah doubted angel Gabriel (strong one of God) he temporarily lost his power of speech until the child was born which God had promised him.
“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 proper time.” (Luke 1:20)
Whenever a believer entertains doubts concerning God’s word, he loses his testimony and his song. Unbelief seals the lips, and they remain sealed until faith returns and bursts open in praise and witness of God’s goodness.
Then there was. . .
2. MARY WHOSE HEART WAS MOVED TO HUMBLE SUBMISSION. Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary and greeted her:
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)
Mary was troubled by this greeting. She wondered what that meant. To be highly favored means “charitoo” (root word is charis ‘kharece’); which means to be endued with great favor; great honor; to be endued with a gift. It was not for her ability or for who she was but it was all God’s grace. She was not perfect like the Roman Catholics would claim. She was also a sinner. For if she was perfect then we make God a liar because the Bible says no one is righteous no, not even one. Like any of us, she also needed a savior as in her hymn of praise known as the Magnificat, she sang:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . .” (Luke 1:46.47)
Mary was moved to humble herself before God then into obedience. Though she inquired of the Angel Gabriel regarding the good news that she was chosen to be the mother of our Savior but she did not doubt.
“How will this be . . . since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy One to born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34,35)
Chosen by God to supernaturally bear the Savior of the world. What a blessed woman. Blessed, which in Greek is “eulogeo” meaning to speak well of; to bless. Again not because for what she has done but it was because God chose her to be the one who will carry in her womb the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then Mary believed the good news announced by the angel.
“I am the Lord’s servant . . . May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
We admire her, honor her for her obedience but we must not elevate her to the position of deity— someone to be adored and prayed to like other religious organizations do. If we are to revere or worship her we are rebelling against the Lord and committing idolatry for God commanded us to worship Him and Him alone.
“Do not worship any other gods besides me.
“Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations. (Exodus 20:3-6, NLT)