A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.”
The power of God’s spoken Word set into motion a profound and extraordinary set of circumstances:
- We have two women who had an angel announce their upcoming pregnancies.
- Both women would bear a son.
- Both conceptions were miraculous, one from a dead womb, and one without the seed of a man.
- Both mothers were filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Both babies were filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb.
When Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s voice, baby John responded to her greeting by leaping in his mother’s womb. The word for 'sound' is translated, ‘to come into existence’ (1). According to cultural tradition, Mary would have greeted Elizabeth with these words, ‘Blessed is the one who comes’ referring to the anticipated birth of John (2).
Elizabeth’s proper response to Mary should have been ‘blessed is the one present’ (2). Instead, Elizabeth acknowledged the presence of two people. The King James translates vs 43, ‘blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb’.
Compare this conversation to another one that happened a little over 6 months prior between Zechariah and the angel Gabriel. Gabriel appeared to Zechariah inside the Temple at the right side of the Altar of Incense. His position at the altar indicated that he had stood in the presence of God. Gabriel relayed God’s message to Zechariah that Elizabeth will bear him a son. Incredulous, Zechariah asked, ‘How could this happen since I am an old man?’
Because of God’s great mercy, Gabriel only rebuked and not disqualified Zechariah from this great honor (Hebrews 3). In order to override Zechariah’s unbelief and ensure no words contrary to God’s will were spoken, Gabriel temporarily muted him.
Luke 1:20 NLT,
“But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”
Since Zechariah was temporarily mute, the Holy Spirit impressed Mary to assist Elizabeth at her hour of need. I always thought that Mary ‘vacationed’ away from her hometown to conceal her pregnancy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mary’s purpose was to confirm God’s Word over John. Her salutation concurred with Gabriel’s announcement at the Temple cementing God’s will for this child. Any obstacle or hindrance that would try to stand in the way of baby John’s birth would have been eradicated. This child was to be born and prepare the way for the Messiah.
Elizabeth believed and accepted the Word of the Lord. She was a woman of faith. She not only believed what God said about herself and her child, but also what He would do through Mary and her son. Elizabeth affirmed Mary’s words.
Luke 1:45 NLT
You are blessed because you believed the Lord would do what He said.”
If we want God to bless us, we must believe what He said and vocally affirm His Word!
As children of God, we must believe and speak the Words of God with absolute faith and confidence. If we refuse to cooperate with God, He will commission someone else to ensure His will be fulfilled at the proper time. Let us be like Mary and Elizabeth and believe God’s Words in our hearts and speak them out loud. Let’s allow the sound of our voice to bring God’s will into existence.
Jeremiah 1:9 & 12 NIRV
Then the Lord reached out his hand. He touched my mouth and spoke to me. He said, “I have put my words in your mouth.”’
The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly. I am watching to see that my word comes true.”
Father, Your words are so powerful they create the impossible. I choose to believe with all my heart everything Your Word says. I allow my voice to be used as Your instrument. To You be all the glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.