Luke 1:5  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7  And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of the course,
9  According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10  And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11  And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12  And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13  But the angel said unto him, Fear not Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
16  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19  And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20  And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21  And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22  And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
23  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.  Luke 1:6

CENTRAL THOUGHT:   God sent his angel Gabriel to inform Zacharias that God had chosen him and his wife Elisabeth to be the parents of John the Baptist.  Zacharias failed to accept and believe the message of the angel because he was thinking about how aged and stricken in years he and his wife were.  As a reproof for his unbelief, Zacharias was stricken to be dumb and not able to speak until what God had promised would come to pass.


Luke 1:7,  “well stricken in years”:  Well advanced into the upper years of life.
Verse 8,  “in the order of his course”:  According to what duties he was to perform as a priest.
Verse 17,  “Elias”:  The same as Elijah.
Verse 25,  “my reproach”:  Elizabeth counted being barren and not able to bring forth children as a shame and disgrace to womanhood.


A great number of years had rolled by  since the prophets of old had prophesied of the coming of the Saviour and the great prophet who was to come before Him to prepare a people who would accept and receive Him as the Christ, the Anointed Son of the most High God.  The prophets of old had prophesied of the Saviour of the world, and their prophecies had been studied and pondered by many of the sons of men through the long years and ages that had come and gone for several centuries.

The forerunner of the Christ, the prophet who was to prepare the hearts of men to receive Him, was prophesied about in Isaiah 40:3-5, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”  Then again he was prophesied in the last two verses of the Old Testament, in Malachi 4:5, 6,  “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children; and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

And now the time had come for the fulfillment of these prophesies.  And God had chosen Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth to be the parents of the child who would grow up to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ.  He sent His angel Gabriel to inform Zacharias that he was to be the father of this prophet.  Zacharias responded with a question about how such could be, as he and his wife were so aged and beyond the time of life such as was told him.  The angel informed him that his words would be performed but that Zacharias would not be able to speak until they came to pass.

There is a lesson to be observed in all of this.  Zacharias was not excused and let off easily for his error.  He was dumb and not able to speak from that time until after his son was born.  We must not doubt or question the ways and workings of Almighty God.  Zacharias should have weighed the matter carefully in his mind and given full credit to God of His power to do as He determines to do.  Think of the nine months that this poor man spent not being able to speak and converse with his wife nor anyone else.  I am sure that he thought much about how he should have counted God able to do what He promised regardless of the infirmity of their old age.  So may the Lord help us to take a lesson from all of this and be diligent to have faith and believe all the promises that God has given us in His Word!        —Bro. Leslie Busbee


  1. What did the angel Gabriel tell Zacharias was going to happen?
  2. Why did Zacharias question how he could know this?
  3. What did the angel say was going to be with Zacaharias?
  4. How did his wife Elisabeth feel and what did she say about it?
  5. What lesson can we learn from this account?


The Bible, God’s Holy Word, teaches the plain truth about faith and what it means to take God at His Word and obey His counsel and instructions regardless of how things look and the conditions things are in.  Zacharias answered the angel Gabriel without really thinking things through and weighing the matter with utmost care and thought.  Perhaps the human mind would think that the angel was too stern with Zacharias to pronounce dumbness and not being able to speak for such a length of time.  But we must realize that to doubt God’s Word and His ability and power to accomplish His purpose is a serious offense to Him.  God wants us to recognize that He has “ALL POWER!”  Nothing is too hard for Him to accomplish.  All the elements of the creation are under His control.  When we weigh the many miracles that Christ accomplished during His ministry, we must recognize that He was invested with great power from His Father.  He proved that all the elements were under His jurisdiction and control.  Feeding the 5000 men and the women and children with five small loaves and three fishes was an outstanding miracle.  The elements were under Christ’s full control. The lame, the blind, and all the other physical infirmities that Christ healed speak of the great power that God gave Christ to show His goodness and love.  Oh, let us not doubt nor question what God is able to do, even in our day and time.  Let us not limit God or discredit His power.  This worldly society we live among is deceived by wrong ideas and persuasions.  Jesus Christ, the Same: Yesterday, Today, and Forever!   What He did while He was here on earth in the flesh He can still perform now.  Let us not be afraid to trust and obey Him all the way!       —Bro. Leslie Busbee


Psalms 78 enumerates the many mighty works that God showed toward the children of Israel, and verse 41 says , “…and limited the Holy One of Israel.”  These are some of the saddest words in Bible history.  God promised the land of Canaan and brought them right to the borders of the land that flowed with milk and honey.  They all agreed the land was just like the Lord had told them, but…there were giants in the land.  The Lord had delivered them by great wonders and miracles, and yet they forgot when they saw the giants.  They forgot their purpose; they forgot what the Lord had done.  God so desired to give them the land, but their unbelief hindered and they perished in the wilderness.  God had promised the land to them after they served the Egyptians for 400 years.  Sadly, they wasted and wandered away in the wilderness when the account could have been so different.

Jesus did not many mighty works because of the people’s unbelief while at Nazareth.  It is true, our unbelief can hinder God from accomplishing what He would like.  The Great I Am, Creator, Counselor and Friend; the one who has all power in heaven and earth is actually limited by us.  The same exact thing can happen to us!  “Let us therfore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”  We need to ask ourselves if we are possessing the spiritual land of victory that God wants us to possess in our lives, are our hearts content with how God is working thru our lives or is there deeper longing for more.  Then let us take steps of faith, commitment, consecration that will enable us to conquer in His name!       —Bro. Bob Wilson