Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

People of the Nativity – Day 2

Mary & Elizabeth

Bible text(s)

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39Soon afterwards Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country of Judea. 40She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby moved within her. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and said in a loud voice, “You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord's mother comes to visit me? 44For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness. 45How happy you are to believe that the Lord's message to you will come true!”

Luke 1:39-45GNBOpen in Bible reader

We’ll be talking more about Mary in the coming weeks, but for now I want to look at her visit to Elizabeth. After Luke tells us how Mary hears from Gabriel, how she will give birth to a son, and before he records her song, he shares a special moment in the life of two extraordinary women.

Imagine what Mary may have been thinking as she travelled to Elizabeth’s home. Perhaps she rehearsed their conversation over and over in her head. Would Elizabeth believe her? Would it all sound crazy?

But the very moment she entered the house and gave a customary greeting, Elizabeth blessed Mary as the mother of her Lord. While Luke doesn’t tell us what Mary said, it had an effect so powerful that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Neither Mary nor Elizabeth tries to take centre stage and there’s no jealously between them. Elizabeth has insight into Mary’s faith: “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!” (v45) Elizabeth’s own husband had doubted what the Lord had told him, and was mute because of it, but Mary had believed. This very trip, south to Judea, was evidence of her belief, for she was acting it out, coming to visit the one person whom God had prepared to help her – Elizabeth.

Have you had an “Elizabeth” to help you through a difficult time this year? Perhaps you’ve been one. If you’ve been either, you’ll know how invaluable Christian friendships are. Whether you’re a new Christian with more questions than answers or a long-time follower of Jesus, I encourage you to seek out godly friends and mentors. The wonderful gift of friendship with another is a treasure indeed.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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