I was thinking today about Zacharias as I was ready to post a story about him that i had written earlier and so I was just proofreading. Interesting, Gabriel visited Mary, and though had her questions and was skeptical or even doubted a little at first, she agreed that she was the servant of the Lord and believed the angel.
And she was a young woman, here is a man who serves in the temple and Gabriel appears to him and his doubts and perhaps even unbelief from a religious man causes the angel to make him mute until the baby arrives.
I don’t believe it just a man / woman difference but a matter of acceptance and faith. Zacharias is an example of religion and Mary, relationship, she was pios as opposed to proud. Religion will give you rules and boundaries. Religion actually means bound to.
While God has rules and boundaries, they are for our own benefit. He gives us a free will and He offers grace, Jesus commandment to love fulfills all the others. We have a choice to believe or not, to receive His words or not, to speak them or not.
And even to believe them being delivered by an angel or not. This is a pretty accurate rendering of Gabriel I would say being in the glory and he is often painted with flowers, though I saw a painting of he and Zacharias with only a white robe. And another one where is is white but depicted as a seraphim, there is no Biblical evidence of him being a seraphim, with six wings. But it could be true as he is and archangel and close to God. He may have come from the very throne of God.
The moral of this story that if you are visited by an angel you should pay attention and not have to be made a mute by unbelief. I do believe people have and still at visited though mostly unaware. As always I urge my readers to be cautious of just anyone’s teaching but to ask the Holy Spirit to help them discern.