In the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, we get to eavesdrop on the angel Gabriel, who gives two birth announcements, in a sense, to two different sets of parents. And for what it’s worth, the two Moms are related… cousins in some form or fashion. At any rate, these two babies will be born about six months apart.
The first baby born will end up being one of the great prophets of the day: John the Baptist (or John the Baptizer), whose main purpose will be to let people know that the long-awaited rescuer, the coming King of the Jews, has arrived. And John’s parents were Zechariah and Elizabeth.
The other announcement was for the upcoming birth of Jesus, the Savior who was coming to restore a connection between God and his people. We read in Luke 2 about the humble circumstances surrounding Jesus’s birth.
One fascinating observation has to do with how OPPOSITE the circumstances were surrounding the birth of these two Hebrew boys. For instance…
Jesus’s parents, Mary and Joseph, have no social significance to speak of. Joseph made a presumably modest living as a young carpenter, probably working for his dad, and they lived in a town that was just a small dot on the map.
Zechariah and Elizabeth, on the other hand (John the Baptist’s parents), lived very near Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. Zechariah was a priest with important responsibilities at the temple.
Neither couple had any reason whatsoever to believe they would have a baby, but they had sort of opposite reasons for why they thought that. For Mary and Joseph (who weren’t married), they had yet to, you know, try to conceive. For Zechariah and Elizabeth, they hadn’t been able to have children in all their years of marriage… and now they were old.
So to both couples, this whole “You’ve got a baby on the way” came as quite a shock.
But isn’t that how it works sometimes? In one of the most incredible examples (well, two examples), we see God working in a way no one could have imagined.
Something remarkable, though, is what these couples had in common. While neither couple expected a pregnancy, both trusted God even when it didn’t make sense.
For us, it can be tough to try and make sense of our circumstances. But regardless of where we find ourselves, we can trust God through those circumstances.
That’s it for now. Before next time, read Chapter 3.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom to walk in your ways, even in the midst of seasons I don’t understand. Amen.”