John the Baptist’s father was given a pretty remarkable announcement that he was going to have a child. This announcement was no less than any other God-interrupted experience in the Old or New Testament. The angel Gabriel was waiting for Zechariah in the temple when it was his turn to serve. Imagine the shock. Imagine the questions that must have raced through his mind. He only asked one question after being told his wife would give birth to his son, “How could this happen?”
Six months later, Gabriel went on a very similar mission and just as miraculously announced to the young maiden Mary that she was going to have a child, a boy. Imagine the shock. Imagine the questions that must have raced through her mind. She only asked one question after being told she would give birth to a son, “How could this happen?”
Two people. Six months apart. Same messenger. Essentially the same message. Essentially the same question. Zechariah was struck dumb and silenced for nine months. Mary was given a simple and accurate explanation. Why? Why was Mary given an explanation and Zechariah remonstrated and unable to talk for nine months?
Leadership is held to a higher standard.
Zechariah was a priest. Priests are supposed to ministering to God and for the people. They are supposed to stay connected to God through their work and their private lives. In other words, he should have known better.
It’s a dangerous thing to take on leadership for God. But you can’t just ignore it and let it drift away because it scares you. You have to take it on and walk with the calling God has given you. Obedience to that calling is important. However, we should never forget that as leaders, we are held to a higher standard to live by what we say, have faith in the one and true God, and follow Him completely.