The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
We don’t always recognize good news when we hear it. It may be too surrounded by lots of bad news, or it may sound too incredible, or be beyond comprehension, or simply too good to be true. Our response to good news may be less enthusiastic than the messenger hopes for.
So it was with Zechariah. He seems underwhelmed in asking the question, “How I can be sure?” This is too often our own reaction to the incredible: “Show me proof.” “Are you kidding me?” “You are pulling my leg.” “Are you sure you’ve got the right guy?”
The angel doesn’t say “hey, choose to believe me or not, I’m only the messenger here.” Instead he goes to great lengths to say exactly who he is, where he is from and from Whom the message is delivered. Zechariah is promptly rendered mute, his unbelief no longer to be articulated aloud. His silence gives him lots of time to contemplate the significance of this particular good news.
It came directly from one in the presence of God about one who is God.
Incredible news to hear indeed. Worth contemplating and absorbing and believing — especially in silence, in His presence.