The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011. In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story. For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds. ———————————————————-
Our four part study of Christ’s birth in the book of Luke continues with part #2.
Part #1 – Luke 1:26-38
Part #2 – Luke 1:39-56
Part #3 – Luke 2:1-20
Part #4 – Luke 2:21-40
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin. The angel had told Mary about John the Baptist’s conception in the womb of once barren Elizabeth (Lk 1:36). A now pregnant Mary, acting on faith, makes the trip to Elisabeth’s house, anxious to hear about Elizabeth’s pregnancy and upcoming birth.
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;
At the sound of Mary’s voice, the baby moved suddenly in Elizabeth’s womb. Remember, one of ohn the Baptist’s greatest duties was to announce the coming of the Messiah to earth. (Luke 1:76-79) Here, we see John the Baptist announcing the presence of Christ in the room as Mary entered. This was the first of many occasions where he would announce the arrival of the Lord.
How did an unborn child (John) recognize the presence of Christ in the womb of Mary? It was through the divine enabling of the Holy Spirit who had filled John while in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15)
(Please note that even an unborn child is capable of fulfilling a God given ministry. This speaks to the personhood and significance of the unborn child. No one should say that an unborn child is simply a part of their mother’s body and does not have life in and of himself.)
and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Now we see The Holy Spirit filling Elizabeth, which in turn gives her the ability to prophesy. Through the Spirit, due to the movement of John, she understands that within Mary’s womb was the Christ child. Elizabeth, describes the baby in Mary’s womb as “my Lord”, again this emphasizes the life and personhood of the unborn child.
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Mary’s great desire was to glorify her God for all that He had done for her. Note she recognized His grace to her, giving her what she did not deserve “he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden”. This was her motive for giving Him all the glory. The more we recognize His grace in our lives, the more we see the need to glorify Him as well.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
She began to recount His greatness:
- He is mighty
- He does great things
- Holy is His name
- He is merciful
- He blesses those that fear Him
- He is strong
- He punishes the proud
- He humbles the mighty
- He fills the hungry
- He keeps satisfaction from the rich
- He helps Israel
- He speaks to His people
And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
Mary then remains with Elizabeth before making the journey back to her home.
We will continue our study in the next blog entry: Luke 2:1-20
May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”