Zechariah was troubled and overcome with fear.
The angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife Elizabeth will have a son, and you will name him John.
He will be your pride and joy, and many people will be glad that he was born.
As far as the Lord is concerned, he will be a great man. He will never drink wine or any other liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
He will bring many people in Israel back to the Lord their God.
He will go ahead of the Lord with the spirit and power that Elijah had. He will change parents' attitudes toward their children. He will change disobedient people so that they will accept the wisdom of those who have God's approval. In this way he will prepare the people for their Lord."
Zechariah said to the angel, "What proof is there for this? I'm an old man, and my wife is beyond her childbearing years."
The angel answered him, "I'm Gabriel! I stand in God's presence. God sent me to tell you this good news.
But because you didn't believe what I said, you will be unable to talk until the day this happens. Everything will come true at the right time."
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah. They were amazed that he was staying in the temple so long.
When he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. So they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. He motioned to them but remained unable to talk.