Today’s message summary of May 20, 2018 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
We have been slowly making our way through the book of Luke Chapter 1. We have examined the lives of three people: Mary, Elizabeth and Zechariah. Of these three, the common element is that God was fulfilling His promise through each of them. They were all involved in the conception of children, namely John the Baptist and Jesus. John was conceived by Zechariah and Elizabeth, and Jesus, the proclaimed Messiah, was conceived through the Holy Spirit through Mary.
Today’s scriptural passage refers to both mothers, Mary and Elizabeth. They are honored for their obedience and faithfulness to God.
Mary was to receive confirmation of the words of Gabriel from Elizabeth as a great testimony.
In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”
Mary’s Visitation (Luke 1:39-40)
Mary desired to be the Lord’s servant, but she sought out Elizabeth by traveling from Nazareth to Judah, which was about 130 miles. It would have taken at least three days to cover that mileage on foot. (How far are you willing to travel to receive confirmation for what the Lord is doing in your life?) Mary left her village because she received a sign from the angel. The sign was that of Zechariah and Elizabeth conceiving a child and that she was 6 months pregnant (v. 36). It was common knowledge that both were old and that Elizabeth was well beyond the years of childbirth. Mary must have thought that this was unbelievable! She wanted to see with her own eyes that Elizabeth was truly pregnant. Mary was seeing this as a sign.
Before our eyes the Lord inflicted great and devastating signs and wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on all his household, but he brought us from there in order to lead us in and give us the land that he swore to our fathers.
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word by the accompanying signs.
If you recall, Zechariah had asked for a sign and he was unable to speak because he doubted the words of the angel (v. 22). Mary declared to the angel to “let it be according to your word (v. 38).”
Notice that Mary entered the house and greeted Elizabeth (v. 40). Zechariah was not yet speaking, and was unable to communicate with anyone, let alone Mary. What took place in Mary’s life was also occurring in Elizabeth’s life. To see Elizabeth pregnant must have been confirmation that they both were recipients of God’s miracles.
Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist, leaped in her womb because of the presence of the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the coming Messiah. Luke is expressing how John the Baptist, even before birth, was rejoicing at the presence of Jesus within Mary. What should not be a surprise to this reaction was that John had already possessed the Holy Spirit even before he was born (v. 15). He was the forerunner of Jesus Christ, and he knew immediately of His presence.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Mary was already pregnant with Jesus when she visited Elizabeth. John had confirmed this when he leaped in the womb. The very confirmation that she was looking for from Elizabeth actually came from John himself.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”
Elizabeth gave Mary a verbal confirmation that followed John’s actions. She told Mary what she needed to hear.
Mary was blessed because of her attitude and desire to remain obedient and faithful to God’s Word. Elizabeth was also blessed, of course, but she gave Mary the ability to recognize and understand the Jesus Christ was present in Mary’s womb.
The premise for what is in this text all refers to verse 45:
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”
In her quest for confirmation, Mary realized that she had reason to believe what was said to her by Gabriel. She had faith, and she was rewarded for it.