What Jesus Did! 'How Can I Be Sure?' — Luke 1:18-20

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I be sure [we will have a child]? I'm an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years."

Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! But now, since you didn't believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time."

— Luke 1:18-20 NLT

Key Thought

I would like to think that I would not have doubted something Gabriel told me. I know differently. Even with Zechariah's years of faithfulness, the experiences and goodness God poured out upon him in the Temple were simply too much to comprehend. Zechariah greeted the promise from heaven with far less than complete trust: he disbelieved. He wanted more assurance. Our human doubt, even on our best of days, helps us understand his desire for proof. Let's be thankful that God didn't take away his grace, his gifts, or his promises simply because Zechariah couldn't quite believe the bewildering promise he was given. Most importantly, let's use Zechariah's experience to remind us that God keeps his promises even when they are "infinitely more than we might ask or think." [1]

[1] Ephesians 3:20-21.

Today's Prayer

Father, I come before you in hushed silence, in awe at your faithfulness. I bring to you the best of my faith and ask you to help my belief to be stronger still. I thank you for your many great promises — forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, the return of Jesus for me — and I commit to live my life trusting in those promises. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 1:6-11
  • John 14:1-3
  • Acts 2:36-42


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Illustration of Luke 1:18-20 NLT — "How can I be sure [we will have a child]? I'm an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.