“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
God had begun this new part of His salvation plan with two mighty acts – both of which involved women in a special way.
Elizabeth, who had mourned the fact that she could not have a child, and had suffered the social indignity as a result, was delighted to be pregnant – even in her old age. And her son would be the great and promised forerunner of the Lord – one of whom Jesus would say,
“This is the one about whom it is written:
“`I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’
I tell you, among those born of women
there is no one greater than John;”
Elizabeth also had the privilege of meeting the Saviour’s mother, and of knowing it. It must have been a very special time that they enjoyed together, after Elizabeth had greeted her with the words,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the child you will bear!
But why am I so favored,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed is she who has believed
that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
Mary was obviously conscious of the great honour that had been bestowed upon her, even although she could not at the time have realised what would be involved, or the pain that she would have to bear when Jesus was into His ministry. The Holy Spirit was clearly inspiring her when she exclaimed both in wonder and prophetically,
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit
rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me
— holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, f
rom generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud
in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful to Abraham
and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers.”
Our lives can seem very ordinary to us at times, and we may feel that we are stuck in some physical or social backwater, where some of the blessings that others appear to enjoy have passed us by. We never know when God may come to us, or use us to fulfil some special purpose of His. Our names may, or may not, go down in history as did those of Elizabeth and Mary – but even the smallest stone in a Temple is of great importance, both to the whole and to the other stones around it. Each is hand-picked by God! – and with a specific purpose in mind.
Have I acknowledged that I too have a purpose in God’s plan? (Ephesians 2:10)
Allow God to choose how to use you, and thank Him that He does.
Father, thank You that You do know the hearts and longings of Your people, and that You do, indeed, have a special purpose and plan for each one of us. May Your will be done in me also. Amen.