“And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.” (Luke 1:20) The incredulous reaction of Zechariah to Gabriel’s words concerning John the Baptist is in sharp contrast with that of Mary, and somewhat with Joseph.

“Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly…But after he had pondered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream…When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him…” (Matthew 1:19-24) 

Here are two extremely blessed men with varying degrees of skepticism which turns into belief at a different pace. Also, Joseph trusted a dream, whereas Zechariah was awake! It’s interesting to contrast their immediate reactions with those of Mary and Elizabeth, whose humbler station in life possibly accounts for their grasp of redemption more quickly. Honestly? I identify with Zechariah…skeptical, hesitant, slower to realization. Terrified actually.

Mary was truly more like Abraham!

Art by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (c. 1840)


Author: Mary Jo Malo

Christian, mother, grandmother, and poet of occasional worth.

18 thoughts on “Fathers-to-Be”

  1. I especially appreciated your approach to awake and dreaming. I share your skepticism because we have learned from experience, that not all is as it seems. I find that when our skepticism is lifted, we come into a renewed appreciation of what has been clarified. That Zechariah was unable to speak reminds me that there is a time for a reflection. On the other hand, dreams have fascinated me because we are more likely to believe in what we experience than what we are told. A marvelous post, Mary Jo!! Many hugs coming your way.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My immediate reaction to your thought-provoking post was that Mary’s and Elizabeth’s readier grasp of redemption was because they were women and able to give birth to new life and all the hope a new life represents.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Liz, and I agree with your perspective. These women were mindful of the prophecy, “Unto us a child is born,” while the men were expecting, “deliverance from hostile hands.” Their Messiah would come first as a precious baby.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The Song of Zechariah:

    “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
    and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
    as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
    that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
    to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
    the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
    that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
    might serve him without fear,
    in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
    And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
    to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
    because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
    to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

    Luke 1:68-79

    Liked by 2 people

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