2012-12-07 - Doowhuh?
Has there been a time in your life when someone has asked you to do something completely absurd and youve thought, "You want me to doowhuh?" (do what) Or perhaps they've told you of some ridiculous thing they were going to do and you've asked, "You gonna doowhuh?" These questions are really about our belief or disbelief. I imagine that there was just a couple of these "doowhuh" type moments in the Christmas story some two thousand years ago. Zacharias, an old priest, was serving in the temple when the angel Gabriel appears to him and tells him he and his wife will have a child. Just the fact that an angel appeared before him and made this announcement should have been enough to convince him but
He was like, "Yeah right! You gonna doowhuh? Were too old to be having no babies. Gabe, can I call you Gabe? Gabe, youre whack!"
Zacharias didn't believe. He asked for more proof. Can you imagine a messenger of God, an angel, appears right now in front of you and tells you something. Then you demand proof. That seems pretty whack to me. And so Zacharias wound up with a curse of sorts. He was unable to speak. Perhaps that was meant to be a double blessing for his wife, Elizabeth.
The same angel appeared to another person several months later. Gabriel startled a young Mary and told her that she would soon give birth to a wonderful son our Savior.
Now she did a double take too but hers reads more like, "Doowhuh? I know God can do anything but can I get the details? It takes two to tango and Im a solo act right now so if you could fill in the blanks Id appreciate it."
Mary did believe. She couldn't understand how it would happen but had no problems believing that it would. She didn't demand proof but instead inquired on how it would happen. She was blessed for her faith.
There were two related people, two similar encounters, but two very different results. I think we can learn a couple things about having faith from these two stories.
First, having faith means believing without evidence. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) Zacharias was thinking, "Oh yeah, prove it!" The physical proof of an angel appearing in front of him was not enough. If youre not going to believe, no amount of evidence is going to make you believe. Jesus told the story once of a rich man and Lazarus. They died. The rich man looked over at Lazarus and Abraham. He was in agony. He screamed, "It's hot as hell down here. Please go tell my brothers; I don't want them to ever come here." Abraham told him that even a guy returning from the dead wouldn't convince the rich mans brothers if the prophets that were alive couldn't. No amount of proof is ever enough if someone has made up their mind that they're not going to believe.
Second, from Mary, we learn that having faith means believing with questions. Yes that's right with questions. It's okay to not know it all and still believe. Mary believed. She couldnt imagine how it would happen bus she believed it would so she asked for the details One man came to Jesus seeking a miracle for his sick child. He approached the Master saying, "If you can help my child please do." Jesus replied back, "What do you mean if?". The man cried out help my unbelief. He had enough faith to seek Jesus out and that was enough. He didn't have all the faith he could have but Jesus even told his disciples they only had to have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed to do great things.
God is always looking for people to jump in with him on some crazy idea that will turn the world upside down and bring him glory. How will you respond when he calls on you? Doowhuh?