Yesterday, we looked at how Zechariah questioned an angel’s declaration of a promised child. He questioned the possibility because of the ages of both him and his wife. Today, we look to Mary and her interaction with the angel announcing the promise of Jesus. The possibility again is questioned, but this time it’s different. For Zechariah, the declaration was that something that wasn’t as likely to happen for an older couple would happen for them. For Mary, the announcement is that Mary, a virgin, would become pregnant. Just as Zechariah said, “How can I know this,” we read that Mary asks, “How can this be?” Zechariah is silenced because he did not believe. Mary is not silenced. She questioned the possibility of a pregnancy without sexual relations. When Gabriel shares more of the details, which certainly wasn’t anything we could think or imagine, Mary says, “May it be done to me according to your word.” May it be.
God can see the heart so of course He knew the disbelief that was held by Zechariah, as well as the pure heart of Mary. Even so, as we read these passages, we can see that Mary accepts what the angel declares once the relations with a man thing is explained. The explanation is as strange as the declaration, yet still she says, “May it be.” She believed. Zechariah, on the other hand, was told he was getting something he prayed for (take a closer look at verse 13). He prayed for a child. The angel was saying, hey — your prayers are being answered. Zechariah was in disbelief. We’re old. He gave no room for God to move. He couldn’t fathom his prayer being answered by God.
Are you more like Zechariah? If today God said, I’m going to answer this prayer you have prayed, would you believe Him? Do you think that He answers your prayers? If your answer is no, consider then why you pray. If your answer is yes, how can you live more like God answers your prayers? Or are you more like Mary? If God says He will do the impossible in your life, do you accept it, no matter the impossibility and declare may it be? Do you live a life of expectation, whereby you expect your prayers to be answered — whereby you trust God will move?
“Mary asked the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?… I am the Lord’s servant,’ said Mary. ‘May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel left her.” – Luke 1:34, 38 [CSB]