Virgin birth of Jesus foretold; Mary's visit to Elizabeth; Mary's praise; birth of John the Baptist.
The angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David (Luke 1:30-32).
Then we read that Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste . . . into the house of Zacharias a priest, whose wife, Elisabeth, was Mary's cousin.
When Mary arrived, she greeted Elisabeth. And, immediately, Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (1:39-43).
How delightful this must have been to Mary's heart. Instead of suspicion there was salutation and miraculous revelation from Elisabeth who felt so privileged and yet unworthy of being in the presence of the mother of her Messiah.
Following this, the Holy Spirit speaks through Mary, saying: My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour . . . . For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and Holy is His name and His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation (1:46-50).
After being unable to speak, Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David . . . . To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins (1:67-69,77).
The greatness of that promised Child was threefold. It related first to His divine origin. He was to be called the Son of the Highest (1:32) and shalt call His name JESUS (1:31) because He shall save His people from their sins (Matt.1:21). Secondly, not only does Jesus deliver us from the curse of sin, but He raises us to the high heritage of adopted sons (Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). And, most glorious of all, He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:33).
Thought for Today:
Magnifying and praising the Lord are two of our most blessed privileges.
1:40 saluted, greeted, embraced; 1:46 magnify, exalt, praise; 1:54 holpen, helped.
For Luke 1:17: See Mal. 4:5-6. Luke 1:50: See Ps. 103:17. Luke 1:53: See Ps. 107:9. Luke 1:71: See Ps. 106:10. Luke 1:76: See Mal. 3:1. Luke 1:79: See Is. 9:1-2; 59:8.
16Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Pat Meehan (PA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Sec'y. Hilda L. Solis (Dept. of Labor) • Country: Azerbaijan (7.7 million) southern Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia • Major languages: Azeri and Russian • Religious freedom • 65% Shi'a Muslim; 30% Sunni Muslim; 2% Russian Orthodox; 2% Armenian Apostolic; 1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to make you willing to go wherever He wants to send you (Is. 6:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 139:7-8