Sunday, September 05, 2004


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

Mary continues to be highly esteemed for her faithfulness. The greatest act of faith is often a season of waiting prompted by trust. This is where Mary finds herself. Luke uses the words of Elizabeth to both honor Mary and foreshadow the blessing of the Messiah to come.

46And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name. 50His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."

Here we have a song or poem found on the lips of Mary. It is a song of praise from a fiscally poor, teenage Hebrew girl who believes Messiah is finally coming. The words are certainly true, and in part prophetic, but also incomplete. Luke seems to be setting the reader up to believe that Messiah is coming exactly as expected. Soon we will see that he is coming in the most unexpected way imaginable.

56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

In this time John would have been born and Mary present for it all. Her eyes seeing a miracle in action would have only increased her faith. There is no evidence that Jesus and John grew up with a knowledge of each other, though it could be implied from this story, since a bond seems to exist between the two mothers.

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