Announcement of John’s Birth to Zechariah Luke 1:5-25

Announcement of John’s Birth to Zechariah Luke 1:5-25

The announcement of John’s birth is a very beautiful infancy narrative which depicts many emotions. The announcement was made to Zechariah by the angel Gabriel. It happened when Zechariah was once chosen to burn incense inside the sanctuary.

It is said in the gospel that, upon seeing an angel, Zechariah became troubled. Fear came upon him when he saw the angel before him. He trembled in fear. The angel, in return, ordered him not to be afraid because he was there to announce that God has heard his prayers to have a son. And this son, whom he shall call John, will bring him utter joy and gladness.

The doubting Zechariah

However, Zechariah became so confused. He doubted and questioned what he has heard. He found the vision so impossible. Therefore, this rose the angel’s anger and moved him to punish the unbelieving Zechariah. At that very moment, Zechariah became speechless. He was unable to utter any word. He tried hard to speak but no voice came out from his mouth. He was silenced by the angel. He became a helpless mute until all that the angel said to him had completely taken place.

Announcement of John’s birth paralleled to announcement of Jesus’ birth

One of the distinctive literary styles of Luke’s gospel is parallelism. This infancy narrative on the announcement of John’s birth to Zechariah is paralleled to the account on the announcement of Jesus’ birth to Mary. Such style shows similarity of the two texts and points out also some differences. In this case, the difference lies in the attitude of Mary and Zechariah at the announcement of the angel. The two characters differ in their docility and readiness to accept God’s will. While Mary was totally resigned to God’s plan, Zechariah was doubtful.

Our life experiences can be compared to Zechariah’s experience of a vision inside the sanctuary. Many things are being shown to us by the Lord. Many revelations happen in front of us each day. Oftentimes, they are those that are most unexpected, unpredictable and unbelievable. Like Zechariah, these things frighten and trouble us. New complicated realities continue to stir our minds and press on our emotions. And although God tells us that everything is under control, we still doubt and are swayed away by confusion. We still find ourselves helpless and speechless. We are paralyzed. We are silenced, knowing that there is nothing much we can do about what is happening around us. We cannot utter a word nor can we understand a thing.

God needs to silence us for a while

At this point, time and circumstances reveal to us, as it did to Zechariah, that our intellect, our power, our will and our whole being need to freeze and be useless for a while. God needs to silence us in order to allow His plan to happen. We need to be silenced for the time being. Such silence shall remain that way until the mystery of the wonderful plan of God unfolds before us.

As we await for Jesus’ coming this Christmas, let us all strive to have a hopeful vision and a joyful attitude towards God’s daily revelations. Let us keep our hearts and minds open at all times. So that from being Zechariah, we may become like Mary in her trusting and faithful attitude towards the will of God. And that like her, we may proclaim with gratitude all the great things that God has done for us.


Let us reflect and ask ourselves:

What is God revealing to me at this point of my life?

Am I willing to be silenced so that God’s works in my life may be fulfilled?


Announcement of John’s Birth to Zechariah Luke 1:5-25

(Advent Reflections)


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God bless 🙂




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