Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

Full of Surprises

December 1, 2018

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah… And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. Luke 1:5-6

Elizabeth was a godly woman and she was married to Zechariah who was a priest. The couple did not have children, and Luke tells us that they were advanced in years (1:7).

An angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah while he was serving in the temple and announced that Elizabeth would bear him a son. He did not believe the promise, and the power of speech was taken from him. Nobody is helped by the words of a priest who does not believe the Word of God, and so Zechariah was silenced until the promise of God was fulfilled.

Think about this from Elizabeth’s perspective: Her husband comes home from work, and he is unable to speak. He makes signs, he writes words on a tablet, but he remains silent.

Then some time later, to her great joy, she finds that she is pregnant. Weeks and then months pass, and one day there is a knock at the door. It is Mary, a relative in her family.

The visit would have been a complete surprise to Elizabeth. We live in a world of planning. Who is coming for Christmas? When are they coming? And when are they leaving?

But the ancient world was very different. It was full of surprises. With no cell phones, texts, or emails to make endless arrangements, they lived in a world where people just showed up. And that is what happened here.

How would you react if somebody just showed up at your house this Christmas?


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



Explore this topic further

Where Christ Will Be Seen in You

Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV) Now why does Peter say, “Rejoice…that you participate in the sufferings of Christ?” Because if you share in his sufferings, you will also share in his glory (4:13). Christ was despised and rejected in this world, but now...

Read Post

What Life in This World Was Like for Jesus

The sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV) Think about Jesus’ experience of life in this world and remember we have freely chosen to identify ourselves with Him and to follow Him. He worked as a manual laborer, making just enough to get by. He was never married and He...

Read Post

We Follow a Crucified Savior

Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV) Our expectations of life in this world should be shaped not just by the reality of this fallen world, but by the fact that we have chosen to follow a crucified savior. If you follow a big...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

Christmas Stories

A book by Pastor Colin Smith

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Year End banner

We need your support!
Learn more.