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Summary: Doubts of God fulfilling his promise cost Zechariah his speech. Only when he believed and obeyed did his speech return.

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The Angelic Encounter (NIV)

(Zechariah & The Angel)

The Gospel of Luke shows the dawning of a new age. God is now intimately involved in the events which will lead up to the birth of Jesus.

Background/Setting

Only the Priests could enter the Holy of Holys. No mere man was allowed. The priests only fear entering the room was that he might die in the presence of God if everything wasn’t “just perfect”

Luke 1:5-10

Zechariah a priest himself and Elizabeth a descendant of the priest Aaron. Both were godly people. Broth from priestly families.

Long suffered the stigma of childlessness. (something wrong, cursed, not blessed by God, no heir to property of family).

Zechariah is in Jerusalem for his 2 week duty as a priest at the temple. This year, a special honor, he gets to go into the Temple to offer insence.

Luke 1:11-13

At that moment, Gods Angel sends word that his prayer will be answered. Angel didn’t just say he would have a son but that his name would be John.

Luke 1:14-17

Johns birth will fulfill a larger purpose other than just answering their prayer for a child. He will prepare the way for the Lord. He will be the next Elijah.

Luke 1:18

This verse shouldn’t even be in the Bible. Zechariah shouldn’t have even been able to speak.

What would you say/do if and angel came down and gave you the news he gave Zechariah?

Zechariah should have known the story of Abraham and Sarah. Why would he doubt God? Why would we doubt God?-Too hard to believe good news rather than bad news.

Luke 1:19

Do you think Gabriel might be a little mad? “What do you want from me?”

Luke 1:20

Zechariah cant believe the news so the angel says he’ll be silent until Johns birth. Punishment for doubt? Punishment for lack of faith? Maybe attempt to get Zechariah’s attention and show Gods glory to all who know the story.

Luke 1:21-25

Zechariah emerges from the Temple silent. Everybody probably could tell something was wrong.

Elizabeth becomes pregnant.

Luke 1:57-62

John is born. Everybody wants to name him after Zechariah. Elizabeth says no.

Zechariah comes forth and lets everybody know what his name will be.

Luke 1:63-64

Zechariah’s speech comes back after writing Johns name

What happens next?

John fulfills his purpose-he prepares the way for the coming Messiah.

He announces that the “Kingdom” is near and that someone is coming who will baptize them with the Spirit of God.

Closing

Zechariah doubt cost him months of silence. It was only when he followed the will and the word of God that his speech was returned to him. Don’t let fear and doubt in the promises of God cause you to be “silent” in the presence of others.

Stand firm in the promises that God has and will make to you.

God never goes back on his word.


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