Meanwhile, back to Elizabeth…
Tradition says that Elizabeth had a sister in Nazareth named Anna. In Elizabeth’s sixth month, she heard the story of her sister’s daughter (Mary) and the special baby she was carrying. Mary, likewise, heard about Elizabeth from the angel, Gabriel, and decided to travel to Elizabeth’s house where she might find comfort and safety from public tongues wagging.
Mary entered Elizabeth’s house and called out a greeting.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41
Elizabeth had yet another affirmation of how God had set apart her own child and blessed Mary’s child with holiness.
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.” Luke 1:42-44
Notice, a loud voice! Elizabeth was overwhelmed with excitement and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Another important factor was that Elizabeth recognized that Mary believed what the angel told her. Elizabeth said,
“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” Luke 1:45
I had not keyed in with this verse before. Elizabeth had been reminded, for six months so far, about Zechariah’s doubting attitude. He still couldn’t talk. So it made an impression on Elizabeth that Mary readily believed the angel.
Both women were filled to the brim with emotion and the spirit of God. Mary began her praise;
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant…” Luke 1:46-47
Mary stayed on until Elizabeth gave birth. Her neighbors and relatives shared in her joy. On the eighth day, it was time for the circumcision ceremony and the naming of the child. Elizabeth told the officials that he was to be named “John.” Oh, but this was not traditional. After all, there were no relatives named “John.” So they went to Zechariah to get the straight of it. But remember, he could not talk. They made signs to him to try to communicate. Finally, he called for a writing tablet and declared,
“His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. Luke 1:63
In fact he was so filled with the Spirit that he began to prophesy in a twelve-verse song of praise. It became quite evident that he did hear the rest of the angel’s declaration six months earlier and understood, at least in part, the destiny of this special son. (Luke 1:67-79)
The neighbors were filled with awe and told about it all over the hill country of Judea. Their burning question was,
“What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. Luke 1:66
We, too, stand in awe of the great things God can do with simple people like Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Mary. It is a reminder that He can use even the likes of us to accomplish His purposes, great or small, if we believe and are willing. Amazing, isn’t it?
~ Joyce ~