Christmas

Mary Visits Elizabeth

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs.

Mary the Godbearer Luke 1:39-45

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!"

Reflection

The baby in Elizabeth's womb, as you probably know, is John the Baptist. A prophet who prepared the way for Jesus and his ministry. The pre-natal JtB jumps in his mothers womb at Mary's appearance (at pre-natal JC’s appearance). It is as though, even at this stage John recognises the presence of one who is greater than himself, not a prophet but the very Son of God. John would later recognise this same presence when Jesus came to be baptised (Matthew 3:14).

Two Blessings
#1
'Blessed are you among women, blessed is the child you will bear!' (42)

The Holy Spirit fills Elizabeth and she affirms that this child of Mary’s is the Lord. Mary and Jesus are blood relatives.

#2
'Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!' (45)

The second blessing in this passage focuses on Mary's faith and obedience that is also identified and praised by Elizabeth.

There is an account later in Luke's gospel where Jesus is with his disciples preaching to the crowds and his mother and brothers arrive to see him. When Jesus is informed of their desire to see him he replies saying "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." (Luke 8:21)

Luke makes clear that faith and obedience are more important than blood relationships. This paves the way for Paul's strong affirmation to include the Gentiles into the people of God.

So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)

As we reflect on Jesus' birth and his purpose here on the earth as one who came to save by laying down his life. May we know we too are related to Jesus and all our Christian siblings by faith and by his blood that was shed.

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