Mary Visits Elizabeth

An aged Indian, half naked and famished, wandered into one of our Western settlements, begging for food to keep him from starving. While eagerly devouring the bread bestowed by the hand of charity, a brightly colored ribbon, from which was suspended a small dirty pouch, was see … More

Promises

Almost immediately after receiving Gabriel’s message, Mary`prepared to visit her cousin Elisabeth who lived some sixty or more miles south of Nazareth in the Judean hill country (vv. 39-41). As she rushed off to visit her relative, she must have wondered if the events of the last few days had been real. As Mary arrived, Elisabeth’s baby leaped in her womb for joy, and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Prior to the day of Pentecost, believers were filled with the Holy Spirit only for specific tasks.

When Elisabeth greeted Mary she said, “Blessed are you among women,” (v. 42) and then she called her “the mother of my Lord” (v. 43). Elisabeth’s greeting must have strengthened Mary’s faith. Since Mary  had not said one word to Elisabeth concerning her condition prior to this, it points out the fact that God had revealed this to Elisabeth. It also would have brought double assurance to Mary. Elisabeth said, “As soon as I heard your greeting, my baby became happy and moved within me. The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep His promise (vv. 44-45).”

Mary recited a song which praised God’s favor on her and her people (vv. 46-56). In it she talked of “my savior” (v. 47) and her “low estate” (v. 48). At the same time she does not give even the slightest hint of any “immaculate conception” for herself or of her “sinlessness” which Rome today claims for her. On the other hand she does say. “Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (v. 48). I am afraid that because of the teaching of the Roman Church concerning Mary, we tend to shy away from even speaking of her as the “Blessed Virgin”. We need to remember that she was indeed blessed above all other women and we should not fear to acknowledge it.

Application

It is really great how Mary lays hold of the promises of God and counts on Him to fulfill them to the letter. May this same faith and comfort be one of my character traits!!

Luke 1:39-56 (English Standard Version)

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever." And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

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