Anyway, what I realized when reading these verses is that I don't think Jesus and his two angel escorts came just to visit Abraham...I think one of the main reasons they came was to visit Sarah--to give her a promise, to encourage her, to help her faith grow. (Remember, up to this point, Abraham had been the only one to hear directly from God about all the wonderful things He had in store for the two of them.)...Well, here, I'll let you read it for yourself:
“My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while.
“All right,...do as you have said,” they replied.
So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah,
Now...one of those "visitors" was the pre-incarnate, all-knowing Christ, which meant He knew exactly where Sarah was. So, why did he ask where she was? I think it's safe to assume He wanted Sarah to hear Him call her name. After all...who of us doesn't perk up our ears when we hear someone speak our name?
(Now,) Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent.
"Then the Lord said to Abraham,“Why did Sarah laugh?
Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby'?"If there was any leftover doubt about the identity of One of these visitors, I think the above verses obliterate it--after all, only God could cause a 90-ish-year-old barren woman to conceive a baby and hear silent laughter from inside a tent!
...I think those 7 hope-giving, faith-building words are meant for Sarah's "worn-out" heart...her worn-out faith. He knew He had to rebuild and renew that faith before the conception and birth of His promised child could unfold.
Sarah's answer...her response to Jesus' question...is vital. So, He doesn't leave her with just that question. Instead, he speaks to her a promise. Let's listen:
and Sarah will have a son.”
But...like many of us (including myself)...when Jesus starts trying to bring us out of hiding, Sarah's initial, knee-jerk reaction is fear, which causes denial and...let's just call it what it is...lying...to herself, to others, to Jesus:
But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.”
In a "perfect world," the next chapter of Genesis would tell us all about Jesus' promise to Sarah being quickly and neatly fulfilled. But, the Divine Author of Genesis knows the world in which we live; so, in the next chapter, He shows us that, even in this fallen, imperfect, often dangerous world, He keeps track of His chosen ones. And, does anything necessary to make sure His promises and purposes are fulfilled in their lives.
Let's look at what happened to Sarah after Jesus left her with a question and a promise (Genesis 20 NLT):
But that (very) night
But Abimelech had not slept with her yet,
In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent.
....Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats,
So...through a "dream" to a pagan king, God protected Sarah, His promise to her, and His still-to-come purpose for her. (And even caused her husband to acquire more sheep, goats, cattle, servants, land and silver!)
Now...don't you imagine that, as Sarah saw God's hand working in the above scary events and circumstances of her life, and delivering her from Abimelech (with sheep and silver to boot), she remembered His question to her that day as she hid in the tent: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
...And, as she remembered, her mustard-seed-sized faith began to grow...even before the promised baby began to grow in her 90ish-year old, miraculously rejuvenated womb.
While we know "the rest of the story," just for fun, let's read it as Eugene Peterson records it in The Message (Genesis 21):
Sarah said, God has blessed me with laughter
She also said, Whoever would have suggested to Abraham