Advent ~ day 8 ~ Mary and Elizabeth
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:39-45 NIV)
There would be so many things going Mary’s mind. She was a young Jewish girl looking forward to her wedding, starting a family and then she has a heavenly encounter. She had the task of carrying the Saviour, the Messiah, the Christ, the one who would set her people free. What an honour, yet such a weight.
She was a virgin, yet was pregnant. She would have to deal with the criticism, the comments, the looks across the street. She knew how people in her society were treated when things like this happened, for this kind of thing only happened to certain girls, if you know what I mean. But Mary wasn’t like that. How was she going to explain it, how was Joseph going to take it? She knew he would struggle to understand, for he was an honourable man, nothing like this had ever happened (or would ever happen again), there was no reference point. Pregnancy outside of marriage was disgraceful, it contravened the law of God and anyone found in such a state would have that stigma attached to them for the rest of their life.
She wasn’t showing any signs of the baby yet and she needed some time to think over and spend time with someone who would understand, who better than Elizabeth, she was part of the Aaronic line, her husband was a priest and she had heard that she too was pregnant.
As Mary arrives at Elizabeth’s house, the Holy Spirit comes on Elizabeth and she speaks prophetically:
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? ”
What an amazing revelation! As far as we know there had not been any communication between the two, this was entirely by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Not only was Elizabeth inspired but she goes on to say:
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:44-45 NIV)
The very baby she was carrying leapt in the womb. John was a forerunner of the Lord, even at this early stage he recognised the presence of God entering the room. Elizabeth then speaks out a blessing over Mary, ” Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Mary believed what was spoken to her, and she was blessed because of it. The blessing comes through believing the promises. It is easy to believe what we can see, but to believe what hasn’t yet come to pass is to be truly blessed.
What is it that God has spoken that you need to believe? Have you let areas of unbelief or doubt into your heart?
Lord forgive me where I haven’t trusted you as I should, Father I pray you will increase my faith, for with you all things are possible.