Gabriel: Good News is Coming

Luke 1:19 “I am Gabriel,” replied the angel. “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.

Clearly, Zechariah is not sure what to make of all of this. Gabriel attempts to make it crystal clear. My word is good.

First is his name. Gabriel means “man of God” or “strong man of God”. The message to Zechariah is simple. He is listening to a “strong man of God”.

Second, Gabriel tells the priest his domain is the literal presence of God. The Greek word used is παρίστημι/paristémi. It means: to place beside, to present, stand by, appear. The idea is Gabriel is close to God. He is in the inner circle if you will.

…and I have been sent to speak to you… Third, God Himself sent Gabriel to personally talk to Zechariah.

…and to bring you this good news. This is the Greek word that is synonymous with “the gospel” message, εὐαγγελίζω/euaggelizó. Gabriel is personally bringing “good news” from God to you.

Luke 1:20 And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

Zechariah is no different than any of us. He did not believe God’s message. And Zechariah was a priest serving God in the Temple at the time of these events. None of us are completely obedient. We all have times when we question or neglect what God has to say.

Because of his lack of faith, Zechariah would be silenced and diagnosed with Expressive Aphasia.  This is a type of aphasia characterized by partial loss of the ability to produce language (spoken, manual, or written), although comprehension generally remains intact. In Zechariah’s case, his loss was not partial. https://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions/

Luke 1:18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

It would appear Elizabeth was not pregnant at this time based on Zechariah’s comments in Luke 1:18. There would be no whispering of sweet nothings in Elizabeth’s ear. John the Baptist was conceived by an old man with expressive aphasia and a sterile, old, geriatric woman. What seems impossible to humanity is God’s reality.

Notice, the length of time of Zechariah’s aphasia is open ended. Gabriel does not give a definitive time. He was mute for at least 9 months. Zechariah will not talk until Gabriel’s personal prophecy is fulfilled.

Zechariah ultimately regained his ability to speak. This is observed later in Luke 1. And when he recovers, he has a lot to say.

Luke 1:64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

See Zechariah’s song and prophecy in Luke 1:67-79.

Salvation is coming…

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