Though their stories in Luke 1 are strikingly similar, Zechariah and Mary have two significant differences that Luke highlights to teach an amusingly ironic and encouraging lesson about grace and faith.
Here are their similarities:
- Both are visited by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:19; 1:26-27)
- Both are promised the miraculous birth of a son (Luke 1:13; 1:31)
- Both are equally unfit to have a child: Zechariah's wife is barren, and Mary is a virgin (Luke 1:7; Luke 1:27)
- Both respond with equal perplexity—"How?" (Luke 1:18; 1:34)
One indication that Luke is intentionally trying to compare Zechariah and Mary is that he has bothered to list these parallels at all. He didn't have to mention t…