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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Deacon, Dec 27, 2006.
Why was Mary's question answered without a similar rebuke as was given to Zechariah?
I've quite literally got to run out the door to get to church. I have your answer, but will respond when I get back.
They are not the same question. Zechariah was questioning the actual veracity of the angel's statement. Mary was questioning not the veracity, but how it would happen (which she accepted would happen) since she was a virgin.
While I am not in the camp that says the KJV is the only possible version that God would authorize, I will say that this is a prime example of problems with some other versions.
In the ESV the word "How" is used in both cases which is misleading when making such a comparison. The greek words are in fact not the same in both these verses.
IN v. 18 the greek word is "Kata". In the KJV it is translated "Whereby" and the ESV it is translated as "How". And it denotes opposition to the subject as in "What proof will there be?"
In v. 34 the greek word is "poce". In the ESV it is "How" and the KJV translates this one as "How" as well. And "poce" denotes a question as in "What method will be used to make this happen?"
Zacharia demanded evidence that this would be true by requiring a sign. Mary simply recieved what she was told and believed without the need of a sign to convince her that this was of God, By God, and true.
Ha, I didn't even look at the Greek, shame on me!
I guess my first thought, that even the powerful angel Gabriel couldn't silence a woman, was wrong.
Zechariah's question seems silly; the sign itself would be the child...he would just have to remain silent about it until the sign manifested itself.
Hard enough to do I guess.
The questions still were quite similar.
In the ESV they appear quite similar. In reality they are night and day.
I think it comes down to the fact that Zachariah was doubting. While Mary was wrestling with what God was doing around her.
Luke 1:18 in 1599 edition of Geneva Bible
Then Zacharias said unto the Angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is of a great age.
Luke 1:34 in 1599 edition of Geneva Bible
Then said Mary unto the Angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not man?
Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John
Zacharias had prayed for a child. The angle confirms his prayer has been answered yet Zacharias responds with "how shall I know this?" When God answers our prayers do we say "but God, how will I know that you answered my prayer?" Zacharias knew better.
Deacon, here's a great sermonette by Rev. Adrian Dieleman on distinguishing between these two questions. It's called "Two Questions at Christmas".
If anyone has any doubt about understanding the differences in the two, you won't after reading this brief, but clarifying sermonette.
I think you may be on to something here...
At first glance at name of the subject, I thought you may be talking to me Deacon. Ha!Ha!
Some good answers already, a couple along the lines I see, and Scarlett O., I can't open your website reference. Believe the answer could be in verse 13, "…….. for thy prayer is heard;…………." Zacharias got what he prayed for, but then wanted to question one of the archangel's. I believe angels have personalities just as we, and Zacharias chose the wrong one to question.
As to Mary, she had no idea, using the same logic as Zacharias, but she had not asked to born our Lord and Savior.
We see something along this line concerning the events of Abraham, and Sarah. Abraham laughs in his heart that he and Sarah will have a son at their age. Here again, Abraham had not prayed to have a son, for they had accomplished this on their own, at a younger age. But God will have the Word become flesh, and that babe born and laid in a manger will start with these two, Abraham and Sarah.
But God puts before us another incident, with a different outcome, and this time it is Sarah. Genesis 18:10-15, "And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13. And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh."
We notice here the Lord addresses Abraham, and not Sarah. He wasn't talking to Sarah, but she overheard, and the Lord wanted her to know He knew what was in her heart, and knew she laughed. But again He talked to the head of the family. But Sarah didn't even allow Abraham time to praise and thank God. She interrupted for she was fuming at this time, as most of us do when caught with our pants down. If we would just acknowledge our faults and unbelief instead of denying these traits, shooting back untruth, we wouldn't have to put our tail down, and feel like a big pompous behind. All she had to do was hold her tongue. She spoke and then He addressed her, and more or less told her she was lying. If she had any further words to say to the Lord I'm sure there would have been at least one more verse added to His Word.
I believe what Sarah laughed at was more than having the child, for she didn't think it possible to have pleasure again. This puts to mind that Sarah did not get off with just this rebuke. Sarah would have pleasure a least this one more time, and she would laugh again with joy at the birth of Isaac. This pleasure she looked forward to could have lasted longer.
We marvel at what God can do, and we see it in Abraham. After Sarah died just look at the wives Abraham had after her death, which it may have been possible for her to continue in "pleasure" with her husband, had she kept her mouth shut. Obedience to His Word, and not talking back brings both joy and pleasure.
Sorry, it's opening for me.
I've got to go to town this morning. When I come back I'll post a short synopsis of his main points. It won't take long. It's really good.
"Two Questions at Christmas"
by Rev. Adrian Dieleman
(1.) Here's the absolute best quote of the sermonette.
"Do you know what unbelief does? Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God. That was Zechariah's problem.
Do you know what faith does? Faith puts God between us and our circumstances. That was Mary's way of dealing with the unexpected and the impossible."
(2.) Here's a very brief outline of his main point.
The two birth announcements had this in common.
the appearance of Gabriel
a response of fear by both Zechariah and Mary
a divine message promising a miraculous birth as well as the name and accomplishments of the child promised
a response by Zechariah and Mary
the giving of a sign
They are different in this respect.
Zechariah is left speechless for nine months.
Mary is able to sing a song of praise to God.
Why was Zechariah disciplined?
The scripture says he was a faithful, blameless man and as a faithful, blameless man, he knew better than to doubt God.
He had been praying for a son. His faith should have made this miraculous event expected.
He should have remembered Abraham and Sarah, and accepted that this was possible, with God.
He had been faithful all of his life, but now that God makes him this miraculous promise, his faith falters.
The promise should have brought a response of praise and joy.
He didn't believe, as the angel said.
He focused on the obstacle (their advanced age) and not the promise. (Just like Peter who took his eyes off of Jesus and sank in the water.)
Why was Mary considered to be faithful even in her question?
Mary had not been praying for a son and this promise was troubling in its unexpectedness and with no scriptural precedent to rely on, its seeming impossibility.
It was also a troubling promise because she was not married.
Mary is only asking for more information.
She mentions her virginity because she does not want anything immoral or godless to happen.
She possibly wanted to know if her status with Joseph would be cancelled or advanced.
Mary was only asking who the father was going to be.
Her true response to the message is not the request for more information, but when she said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be unto me as you have said."
Mary doesn't question God's ways
Mary doesn't raise objections.
Mary believes. Elizabeth said about Mary, "Bless is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished."
Thanks Scarlett. Agree the quote the best, with good insight for the rest.
Thanks - going to try the website again, just for the heck of it.