Nothing is impossible for God!

Published 8:25 am Tuesday, December 26, 2023

By R.A. Mathews

As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to make an angel mad. But he did just that. 

Honestly, it was so unlike him. Scripture describes this old priest as “righteous.” So what went wrong?

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It seems the man had his heart set on having a child. He earnestly prayed for this year after year. And then suddenly an angel appeared to Zechariah, saying, “Your prayer has been heard.” The priest’s old, barren wife would give birth to a son. “Give him the name John,” the angel continued.

That’s where the trouble started—the holy man didn’t believe the angel. 

It gets worse. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill heavenly host. 

“I am Gabriel,” the angel announced. Can’t you see him, arching to his full height, spreading his massive wings as far as they would go? “I stand in the presence of God.”

Oooooh. See what I mean?

Can’t you hear those words echoing off the gold and marble of the temple? This old priest needed to know with whom he was dealing.

And here it comes.

“Behold, you will be silent,” Gabriel announced. “Unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words…”

Gabriel left, and six months later Gabriel was given one of the highest honors in heaven: He was sent with a message to a virgin. And her response?

“I am the servant of the Lord,” Mary said. “Let it be to me according to your word.” 

Many think when Mary learned she would give birth by the Holy Spirit, she kept quiet, only telling Joseph to whom she was engaged. 

Not so.

Immediately, she hurried into the hill country to an old woman’s house. When Mary stepped inside that home, the old woman shouted, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Luke 1:39ff.

This was Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth. Obviously, Elizabeth knew Mary was with child. The old woman’s words continued to burst forth, coming from the Holy Spirit. “Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” 

Well, here’s why.

These two are similarly situated: One too old to give birth yet six months pregnant, the other a virgin, yet also with child. The impossible made possible.

Mary stayed with her cousins, Elizabeth and old Zechariah, until John was born. This John would become John the Baptist. Six months after John’s birth—Jesus was born.

Many believe this was a fearful time for Mary.

Not so. 

The Biblical account of those months doesn’t say that.  On the contrary, Luke paints a vivid picture of Mary celebrating. He writes of her singing, “My spirit rejoices…He who is mighty has done great things for me…” (Luke 1:46ff)

And why not celebrate? 

Both women knew the prophecies for John the Baptist and the Messiah. Over seven hundred years earlier, Isaiah had prophesied: 

“A voice cries, ‘In the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’” (Isaiah 40:3)

“Behold the virgin shall be with child and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) 

Mary and Elizabeth now knew exactly when and where those prophecies would be fulfilled—it’s an exciting time! 

Can’t you see the two cooking and singing, dancing and praising God, chatting joyously?

And then there’s the poor old priest, Zechariah—he can’t utter a peep because he did not trust God. 

Don’t make that same mistake. Believe! When you earnestly pray, believe! 

Listen to the final words Gabriel spoke to Mary. Memorize them.

“Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)