I am fascinated by the old priest Zechariah, John’s father, who appears in the first chapter of Luke. He is one of the few in Scripture who encounters and speaks with an angel. In his case, it is the angel Gabriel.
Gabriel brought Zechariah a message, but ol’ Zack wasn’t ready to hear it. He just couldn’t believe that the message Gabriel brought him could possibly be true. And he said so!
Well, things didn’t go well for Zechariah then, which is … unfortunate. But his story raises some pretty important questions for us to consider today.
Are we ready to hear a message from God? Even if it seems kind of far-fetched? Even completely unbelievable?
And then, how do we know it really is a message from God? How do we respond typically when someone claims to have heard a message from God? Especially when the message they “heard” may be something we don’t agree with?
If someone claims that “God told them” a tornado was actually divine retribution for a sinful society, for example, why does that make us so skeptical?
To be honest, if I had been in Zechariah’s shoes that day, my reaction would have been identical to his. And then I would have been the object of Gabriel’s ire.
I suppose the answer is … faith. We know God by faith. We receive salvation by faith. We live our lives by faith. And by faith we keep our ears open, to hear any and all of the messages God may be sending to us each day.