The Angel's Visit to Mary
Luke 1:13-25. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak unto thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. And behold, thou shalt be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall come to pass, because thou believedst not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marvelled while he tarried in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: and he continued making signs unto them, and remained dumb. And it came to pass, when the days of his ministrations were fulfilled, he departed unto his house. And after these days Elisabeth his wife conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying. Thus hath the Lord done unto me in the days wherein he looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.
These soul processes being unusual, even the spiritually minded do not understand what is taking place, and what the result will be, although assured by the messengers of the Lord of a propitious outcome. Where no explanation can be offered, the natural attitude of the individual is one of silence. (Zacharias was made silent).
Elisabeth represents the soul, which, after many apparently fruitless experiences and a long-continued search for the way of llfa, conceives the idea of divine grace (John) as the law of man’s being. In order to receive the blessing of a son something positive was required of Zacharias; namely the establishment of his faith in the invisible good as being present and active. Instead of a negative faith or acceptance of appearances. Thus the promise of God to Zacharias of a son was not alone a promise to gratify his personal desires; it was a promise that, with a spiritual background to his life, the impossibilities confronting the natural man no longer exist. The activity of faith in mind and body breaks up crystallized cells formed by states of mind not in accord with spiritual law. Zacharias’ mind by faith in the all-potent Spirit. Thus the soul (Elisabeth) that seems barren of fruit is by faith in Spirit made to bring forth a son (John).