“And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” (Luke 1:20 KJV)
I do not recall too many times in scripture where the person asking a question, especially one looking for simple evidence, has received a response quite like Zacharias received. Many times Jesus would answer a question with additional questions. Gideon was even given multiple opportunities at proof (see Judges 6:11-22 and 6:36-40). We see the miracle that God performs through Zacharias and the wonderful praise that he gives to God immediately after naming John (see Luke 1:68-79). Yet the miracle behind the miracle in this story that I find powerful is what God did with those months of Zacharias’s silence. It is often a recommendation of many parenting books that the parents should read to their child while still in the womb. Among the many benefits of this recommendation, one is that the child will recognize and be soothed by the voice of his or her parents after birth. John never heard the voice of his father during this time, yet the very prophecy of the angel that Zacharias saw contained the phrase “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children”. Read it again. “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17 KJV) All the wisdom of a duly appointed priest and not a word of it could be heard by his son until after he was born. If Luke 1:80 is any indicator, John was not even brought up under his father’s roof but instead in the desert until “the day of his shewing unto Israel”. Yet by the power of God’s Holy Spirit John understood that father to son tie and embraced it and it became his signature method of preparing the way of the Lord (see also Malachi 4:5-6).
I would say that the answer that Zacharias received from the angel was far more real and complete than he ever knew. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33 KJV)