I’ve often wondered why Luke devotes so much precious space of his gospel to the parents of John the Baptist. While I’ve seen a few theories, most aren’t satisfactory. The best (and most likely) ones play off the parallel with a barren Hannah and her son Samuel, the last of the judges before the kings and eventual kingmaker to David. Whatever the reason, I’m convinced that there must be a purpose beyond incidental detail. If nothing else, there ought to be something we can take/learn from the brief biographies that are included.
I think Zacharias often gets a bad rap for finding Gabriel’s announcement to be a bit much to swallow (1:13-18). First, both he and his wife, Elizabeth, are very old(1:7,18). The likely inference being that age had made conception a biological impossibility (menopause is past, and the little blue pill hasn’t been invented yet). Secondly, after years (perhaps decades) of trying to conceive – only to be disappointed month after month – to risk hope once again was more than Zacharias could bear (let alone subject his wife to). The reality is, faced with the same situation, there’s not a man I know who would have retained his voice – well maybe one or two, but my opinion of them is not very high (pig-headed fool(s) is the term that comes to mind). Rather, I think this passage describes a couple of extaordinary faithfulness. Continue reading Faulty Faith or Great Faith – Advent reflections from Luke