When Zechariah’s time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” (Luke 1:23-25)
Hugh Heffner and my grandfather were fathers of newborns at 65. Mick Jagger and Charlie Chaplain were birth fathers at 73. Julio Iglesias’ father died at 90 expecting a child. The record age for a birth father is 96. This was Elizabeth’s miracle, not Zechariah’s.
Israelites mocked Elizabeth as barren, trying to disgrace her. But disgrace remained among people, not with her. She knew God’s love, realizing He who oversees everything cares for each individual personally. She returned God’s love by completing His commands blamelessly and by caring for Zechariah, helping him be the finest priest.
Why did Elizabeth stay in seclusion? She came out only for Mary, Jesus’ mother, a trusted relative. She wasn’t afraid of miscarriage because she believed God’s messenger. She felt no disgrace. But Elizabeth and Zechariah were well-known, so the community gossipers were buzzing of Zechariah’s muteness and dissing Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s pregnancy wasn’t about her and Zechariah. Humbly, she presented John to the Israelites saying, “The Lord has done this for me.”