The angel towered over Zechariah and stood with his massive arms crossed over his chest. He was dressed in a white sleeveless tunic that came to his knees and he had a long white cape draped over his shoulders, that was held in place by a gold clasp. He wore a beautifully engraved wide gold belt around his waist and gold arm bands around his biceps.
He was so powerful and intimidating that Zechariah was overwhelmed with fear. He held his hands out in front of himself and began to back away on his quivering legs, trying to put more space between him and the angel. For Zechariah had no doubt that this amazing man was indeed an angel of the Lord.
The angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will go before the Lord, making ready a people prepared for God.”
Zechariah was still in such a state of shock, that a mighty angel stood before him, that he could barely process the words he spoke. Did the angel just say, that he and Elizabeth would have a son, and that he would be great in the sight of God?
Zechariah trembled as tears ran down his face, it was the answer to his prayer of forty years, forty years of sorrow. Dare he believe this angel? It would completely break both he and Elizabeth if they truly began to hope again for a child and nothing happened.
So, he asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
But as soon as the words were out of his mouth, he knew, that was the wrong thing to say. For the angel began to grow bigger before his eyes, towering over him and filling the Holy Place with his presence.
He spoke with power and authority and said, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the very presence of God. It was He who sent me, to bring you this good news! And now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you won’t be able to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly come true at the proper time.”
And with those words the angel disappeared. Zechariah fell to his knees, with his hands covering his face and rocked back and forth. Tearfully thinking, praise God, praise God, praise God! Until Zechariah’s joy could no longer be contained. He jumped to his feet and spreading his arms wide, spun in circles, as he joyfully poured out his thanks to God. He and Elizabeth would have a son! But all of Zechariah’s praise was silent, for just as the angel had told him, he was unable to speak.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you, for all the John the Baptist’s of the world. Men and women that prepare people’s hearts to receive the Good News of the Gospel. May we always believe and embrace your Holy Word and not doubt your goodness and mercy that is constantly poured upon us. We love you Lord. Amen.