By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Gabriel, the significant "Messianic" angel who conferred prophecy and promise upon Mary, first appeared to Zacharias.
Zacharias was an aged priest who, in the midst of offering incense and prayer at the temple, found himself face to face with Gabriel, who appeared at the right side of the altar of incense. Gabriel pronounced and announced the startling news of conception in Zacharias's aged wife, Elisabeth, and uttered life into a seemingly dead, barren, and aged womb.
Evidently and according to Scripture, Zacharias had been praying for a "womb filling" but clearly wasn't expecting an angelic sighting and a child.
Hmmm ...
"But the angel said unto him, 'Fear not, Zachariah, for thy prayer is heard and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth. 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. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 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."
Luke 1:13-17
Tongue tied, flustered, and unable to retain and believe the truths uttered, Zacharias questions the reliability of the message and the messenger, and requests proof for a certainty of these "unbelievable" promises made him.
 Gabriel reprimands the aged priest and makes his mouth "mute" until the birth of his son, John the Baptist.
Curiously and mysteriously, dear reader, the man who utters one of the greatest prophesies of Christ and, whose son was a frontrunner to Christ, was first made mute because of unbelief which reigned in his heart and overwhelmed him.
Hmmm ...
Do we not startle with the suggestion of "mouth" which God first ordained and chose to propagate the message of His one and only Son?
Do we not wonder that God should have appointed a more holy mouth composed of more holy belief to spread the word of the Messiah?
Do we dare to hope that a majestic and holy God might size "us" up with a faith similar yet still dare to confer upon us sizeable and holy blessing?
Yes ... we dare to hope for such!
In open declaration and in emphatic exclamation of the birth of John the Baptist; Zacharias's mouth opens and from it pours forth one of the most pivotal and provoking prophesies issued in the Gospel about the Messiah and John.
"And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake and praised God ...
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed His people. And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began. That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant: The oath which He sware to our father Abraham. That He would grant us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear. In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways: To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel."
Luke 1:64;68-80
The unspeakable mercy and wonder of God Almighty!
1) Read Luke 1 and record the insights produced about Zacharias, Gabriel, and God Almighty. What message do these characters provoke?
2) How does this message encourage, strengthen, and boslter your faith this Christmas season?
3) Who are "you" to bring the message of the Messiah to?
Pray for a mouth which opens in emphatic declaration as did Zacharias's.
And behold and consider the fantastic faith-filled message proceding from a man initially filled with faithlessness, doubt, and questioning.
Praise be to the Lord for His unspeakable mercy.