“Behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the days these things take place because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time” Luke 1:20
Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth, had been praying for many years for a son and Gabriel had come to tell him that their prayer was to be answered. By the time Gabriel came to Zacharias he and Elizabeth were both well past child-bearing age. Gabriel told Zacharias that they would have a son and, to give assurance and certainty to the prediction, even told him to name him John. It would not have escaped Zacharias’ notice that the name John means “God is gracious.” By the grace of God they would have a miraculously conceived son.
Not only would they have a son but that son would be “filled with the Holy Spirit” (v 15) even from within the womb and have a unique ministry to Israel preparing the way for Messiah.
One could scarcely blame Zacharias for taking a deep breath and reviewing what he had heard but sadly he followed that with a response that many of us might do as well. He doubted that the Lord could do it because he looked at his circumstances and not at the Lord.
The angel told him that he would be mute until all was fulfilled. The fact is that we have nothing to say apart from what God has spoken. Notice that Zacharias should have taken the word of the Lord literally. Had he done so, he would have had the privilege of sharing the promise of a son with family and friends; but because he didn’t believe the word spoken, he lost that privilege and joy.
If we don’t take the Gospel of Christ in its plain ordinary meaning and believe it in our hearts then we have nothing to offer this world and would be better off mute. We will also lose the joy and privilege of sharing the Gospel of Christ.
God did not restore Zacharias’ speech until he showed evidence of faith by naming his son John. If we have strayed from speaking the word of God faithfully, He will also restore our ability to speak His word and bring life to the spiritually dead when we return.
John writes that it is God’s word that sets His people apart from the world (John 17:17), not the various interpretations that people may apply to it. “Your word is truth” he wrote. The official in Capernaum found saving faith when he “believed the word that Jesus spoke to him” (John 4:50) as did many others as recorded in the Gospel accounts.
When we don’t take Jesus at His word we make Him appear a deceiver or liar and we lose all credibility as a witness of Jesus Christ. An ambassador speaks the word of his country and an ambassador of Christ speaks Christ’s word.