Posted by: arieliondotcom | December 23, 2013

Silence isn’t Deafness (Luke 1:57-66)

Silence isn’t Deafness (Luke 1:57-66)

There is probably no greater disappointment in the world than being a young boy opening a Christmas gift you have been imagining is GI Joe, the soldier ACTION FIGURE, (not a doll!) and discovering it to be a pack of underwear instead. Admittedly it’s probably more traumatic because I was that boy. But still.

It was then that I wondered whether these old people I lived with called Mom and Dad were deaf or an impolite word for mentally challenged. I had begged, left clues and hints around, and had asked direct questions for weeks about how the only way to save the free world was for me to get GI Joe for Christmas. And they get me underwear! Was this some kind of sick joke?

In today’s Scripture we’re told about Elizabeth, cousin of the Virgin Mary, mother of JESUS. Elizabeth and her husband, Zecharias, were unable to have children until they were both very old and GOD sent an angel to announce they would have the baby who would grow to be John the Baptist. And John the Baptist was to be the prophet to announce the beginning of the ministry of his cousin, JESUS.

But Zecharias didn’t believe the angel who told him that he and Elizabeth would have a baby in old age, so the angel made Zecharias unable to speak.

This chapter is actually an example of how GOD uses humor in the Bible. Zecharias couldn’t speak, but the people around him acted like he was also deaf. He could hear them perfectly well but because he didn’t respond they jumped around and made signs at him as if he were deaf.

When it was time to choose a name for Elizabeth’s baby, she told the people his name was to be John, as the angel who had announced the miracle of her pregnancy had said to name him. John means “GOD gives Grace.” The people thought Elizabeth was crazy or playing some kind of sick joke. A first son should be named after his father, Zecharias. So they jumped around and made signs at Zecharias asking what the baby’s name should be. He motioned for a writing tablet and wrote that the baby’s name was John. As soon as he did, he could speak again and praised GOD.

We act like GOD is deaf, sometimes, just because He doesn’t answer us in the timeframe or way we want or expect Him to answer.

My parents weren’t deaf. They heard me loud and clear and I got my GI Joe ACTION FIGURE that Christmas. (Including the Navy SEAL scuba outfit that came in handy when my mother forced me to play with my sister and my sister insisted that Joe and Barbie go on a date and Barbie was rapelled into a brook…But that’s another story…) My parents simply waited until they knew what I wanted the most would have the most impact. I just hadn’t finished unwrapping everything yet.

Zecharias heard the people fine. Just because he didn’t speak didn’t mean he didn’t hear. GOD didn’t name John “the one God remembers.” That was Zecharias, whom GOD remembered to make into a father as a miracle in old age. John was the one to announce to the people “GOD gives Grace!” At just the right time, as Galatians. 4 puts it, GOD sent JESUS to save us by His Grace from the death the Law says we deserve. And John announced that.

GOD isn’t deaf to us either. His Grace in JESUS is more than we realize we want and everything we need. We just haven’t finished unwrapping yet.


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