Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” Luke 1:18-20
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month." Luke 1:34-36
Have you ever noticed how most people find it easier to believe bad news than to believe good news?
When Zachariah and Mary were presented with some of the best news ever shared, they questioned it. Understandable - but not acceptable
However, it is encouraging to notice how Gabriel responded in each case. He gave them evidence! And I believe he did so because he understood that they wanted to believe but they weren't used to such good news! so, he helped them!
In Zachariah's case, he struck him dumb, so he could not speak. At first glance it looked like a judgment, but I believe it was evidence. I think it was for Zachariah's benefit. How better to believe a supernatural report than to see something supernatural happen?
For Mary, the angel gave her two proofs, a longer-term proof - pregnancy; and a shorter term proof - her formerly barren cousin, Elizabeth's pregnancy.
Here's the good news I get from both of these examples, God not only asks to have faith, He gives it to us! When He knows we really want to believe He will give us evidence to believe. I like that! I need that!
Now on my part, I need to work on my faith until I find it easier to believe good news from God, from His Word, and by His Spirit. I must condition my faith to expect good things from the Hand of God and to know that He will also turn the bad news into good in His time! That is my part! But I can even count on His grace to help me there! And I can condition my heart and mind and spirit by saturating them in the Word of God.
So this is the good news of Christmas - for those who believe and those who are wanting to believe more - there really is only good news! There is immediate good news and there is ultimate good news! That is the God we serve! Christmas is the evidence!