Text: Luke 1:5-25 | Listen to Message
Biology vs. Theology
It was the highlight of his life, the apex of his personal history! Zechariah had been chosen by lot to enter the Holy Place and burn incense on behalf of his entire nation. He must’ve been quivering with nervous excitement as he entered into that sanctuary where he’d never set foot before.
Suddenly, exhilaration turned to dread terror: someone else was in the room with him! It was an angel named Gabriel who’d come with a message from the Lord: “Your wife Elizabeth is going to bear you a son!”
“How shall I know this,” Zechariah responds. “For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” In other words, “How can this possibly be?! Doesn’t God know His biology? Doesn’t He know old people don’t have babies?”
Zechariah should’ve known better. He was a Jew – and a priest of God, at that. He knew his entire nation originated with Abraham and Sarah and their own miracle baby, Isaac. Furthermore, at that very moment, he was interceding on behalf of his people, praying for God to come down and rescue and restore their fortunes. He was trusting God to do a miracle of cosmic proportions…but a child…for us? That was too much to believe. In that moment of doubt, the voice of personal experience seemed louder to him than the voice of God. And biology seemed more reliable than theology. But less than a year later, Elizabeth gave birth to a miracle baby, John.
At the heart of this story is a question about faith. At the end of the day, who or what are you ultimately going to believe: your personal experience…or God?
Our lives tell the stories of trials, pain, and barrenness. We are all too familiar with sadness and shame. We know what it’s like to have unmet expectations and unanswered prayers of our own. And in moments (or seasons) of doubt, we listen to the voice of life experience and we conclude that God’s Word isn’t quite true for us.
But what is doubt, except faith in someone or something other than God? What is doubt, except the belief that our life experience is more reliable than the words of our Lord? So we must learn to doubt our doubts. And we must turn from something that comes naturally to something that comes supernaturally: the confidence that God always keeps His promises, even if it means doing the impossible.