Gabriel to Zechariah:

17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 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.

Gabriel to Mary:

31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

Luke 1:17–19,31–34

After 553 years, Gabriel the angel meets with Zechariah and Mary within the course of 6 months. His words are fantastic. They are proclaiming things that Israel has longed for since Isaiah King David Moses Abraham Noah Adam. He tells one that his child will prepare the way for the Messiah to come, and he tells the other that she is going to give birth to the Messiah.

But they both have questions.

It might help us a lot to look at their questions and the nature of their questions. One of them got an answer that was almost angry and was struck mute for at least 9 months. The other one got an explanation with no correction.

Doubt from the Tree of Good and Evil and Doubt from the Tree of Life

Zechariah’s question was valid. He was an old guy. His wife was an old lady. How in the world could they have a child at this point? They had probably struggled and ached and got over it as much as anyone could. They weren’t going to have children and that was that.

He couldn’t believe what Gabriel said, and so with a mindset of what is true and false, right and wrong, he asked “How?” assuming the answer was negative. He asked a question already loaded with the idea that he, a man, was right and this angel was wrong.

Mary, on the other hand, didn’t doubt it, but just didn’t understand the details. She was beyond the right and wrong of the statement, she was in the “How will this statement come to life?” stage. She already believed. Her question was about logistics and nature.

When we ask God questions, whether from our lives or from confusing things in the Bible, let’s imitate the young lady.

“Ok God, I have faith that you are true, but how is that going to happen?” leaves a lot of room to work instead of “I don’t know about that!”

Ask the questions, but leave the answers to God. Eating from the wrong tree always brings trouble.

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