Why was Zechariah punished for his lack of belief, while Mary wasn’t?

Full Question

Why was Zechariah punished for his lack of belief in the archangel Gabriel’s message (Luke 1:18–20), but Mary was not punished for hers (Luke 1:26–38)?


Zechariah’s objection was that “I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” But as a religiously educated Jew and a priest of the temple, he knew that Abraham and Sarah, the founding patriarch and matriarch of the Jewish people, had been granted a son late in life. By asking for another sign, he demonstrated a lack of faith that God could and would provide.

Mary’s question was entirely different. It implies that she was not expecting to have marital relations with Joseph, because otherwise she would have assumed that the pregnancy would take place within her upcoming marriage, and so she needs information about how it is possible for a woman to have a baby without having had relations with a man. After Gabriel explains that the Holy Spirit would accomplish the task, she accepts without further question.


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Why should we believe this story from the author of Luke? Mark, the first gospel, has no such virgin birth, Matthew’s version is quite different, and John who had the earlier three gospels to refer to, refutes the whole idea by refusing to even place it in his gospel.
    In any case, she was not asked for consent. The prophecy it derives from in Isaiah uses the word “almah” which meant young maiden, There was another word ‘betulah’ that more specifically meant ‘virgin’ that could have been used if it was as maniacally critical to Isaiah as it is to the RCC that she be a virgin. Many of the pagan gods were born of virgins, so it was sort of expected.
    While we’re on the subject, let’s review the premise. An all-powerful being impregnates a young woman without her consent, with Himself, in order to sacrifice Himself to Himself, so that He could relieve us of a condition that He placed on us in the first place.
    We know He has the power to forgive this condition without this rigamarole because the RCC says He did it for Mary, after they learned that women contribute 50% to the offspring and aren’t just a carrier for the man’s seed, and thus were also passing along “original sin” through that nasty sex thing. It was declared that Mary was born without original sin, which tells us that Yahweh really doesn’t need all this rigamarole in order to do the right thing and stop sending aborted, miscarried or stillborns to Hell because they have original sin.
    And what of this so-called “sacrifice”? What kind of sacrifice is it if you already know in advance that you will be resurrected and will not die? That’s not a sacrifice.

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