Month 4:10, Week 2:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year 5935:096 AM|
Omer Count Day 32/50
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 11 July 2011
How Can I Know?
Thomas, Zachariah & Abraham Compared
Nearly everybody has heard of 'Doubting Thomas' - it's become a part of the English language for one who doubts. Thomas doubted that Yah'shua (Jesus) had risen from the dead when the other apostles reported the Good News - He had been absent from these appearances and would not believe until, he said, he had both seen Him and felt the nail-prints and spear incision in the body of the Master. He wanted physical evidence before he would accept what the others already knew. Knowing that this witness would come down to us one day, the Master said to the doubting apostle:
Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, was visited by the archangel Gabriel, just as Mary the mother of Yah'shua (Jesus) would be, and told that his wife Elizabeth would give birth to a prophet who would announce the coming of Messiah. This occured in the temple while he was on duty, the angel standing on the right hand side of the altar of incense (Lk.1:5-17). His response was disappointing:
"Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29, NKJV).
Zachariah should have known better. He was a cohen (priest). He knew all about Abraham who was delivered the same message about having a son in old age but he believed (Gen.17:15-22). Yes, Abraham laughed, but he did not question Yahweh's Word, but Zachariah did, asking: "How shall I know this [is true]?"
"'How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.' And the angel answered and said to him, 'I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of Elohim (God), and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time'" (Luke 1:18-21, NKJV).
It is not every day an archangel physically manifests in front of you and talks to you - that is an occasion for rejoicing all in itself - but to then question this Being which comes from Yahweh's presence whether he is telling the truth or not? For his impudence he was temporarily struck dumb for 9 months to remind him, no doubt, not to be so casual and doubting of such an important divine manifestation, not to mention the possibility that this was done to stop him mouthing more unbelief unbeffiting a Levite in Yah's service.
Neither Thomas nor Abraham were cohenim (priests) with a good knowledge of the Torah as was Zachariah - so really he had little excuse. Neither Thomas nor Zachariah are remembered as a spiritual men to follow, though there are stories about the deeds of the later Thomas as an evangelist in the east. Zachariah is but a link in a chain. We are called to emulate Abraham whose example is so important that we become his sons when we show true emunah (faith):
Yahweh expects us to respond to His revelations to us as Abraham did whether it be viā an angel or His own voice or the Ruach (Spirit) speaking to us. How can we answer Zachariah's question demanding knowledge before we will trust? We can't. Salvation is by emunah (faith, trusting) from beginning to end and if we insist on responding as Zachariah did then we will neither be saved, remain saved, nor be of any spiritual use to anyone.
"Therefore know that only those who are of emunah (faith) are sons of Abraham" (Gal.3:7, NKJV).
"For by grace you have been saved through emunah (faith), and that not of yourselves" (Eph.2:8, NKJV).