the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will DRINK NEITHER WINE NOR STRONG DRINK. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.” Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
Zechariah questioned, and Mary questioned. Zechariah was made mute?
"Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly."
Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a The birth of Samson is announced by an angel. "His wife was barren and had borne no children. An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, 'Though you are barren and have had no children yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to TAKE NO WINE OR STRONG DRINK and to eat nothing unclean."
Zechariah would have been familiar with Samson's story. The words of the angel would have been familiar to him.
Mary responded with her Fiat, and Zechariah responded with unbelief.
We must read the scriptures, to recognize the words of God, and Meditate on His word to recognize His voice. Then, we too will believe.
PREPARE, REPENT, REJOICE, BELIEVE