Luke 1:26-56, “The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34″How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”
38″I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her…”
It’s been a little while since Zechariah had a visit from an angel. Today its Mary who gets visited by none other than Gabriel. Here’s what we do know, Mary is most likely younger than Joseph. At this time she is pleged to be married. She is living in her parents home until the second part of the marriage ceremony takes place roughly a year after the first part of the marriage ceremony. She has never known a man and let’s leave it at that. Now she was somewhat overwhelmed at the greeting she recieved, but that was the tip of the iceberg. Mary’s response isn’t “How can I be sure?” It’s “How are you going to pull that off?” But in the end she doesn’t doubt the Lord. In fact, she would rather if it had to happen it would be preferable for it to happen the way the angel told her. Those guys aren’t message bearers for nothing or for small messages.
“… Mary Visits Elizabeth
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!…”
We know that Elizabeth is fairly far along by the time Mary decides to stop by for a visit of her own. Perhaps she’s getting her bearings together while adjusting to this miracle she’s been hand-picked for. At this point, the Holy Spirit is sticking around for some movement in the lives of these two women. Of course, He’s not the only moving about.
“… Mary’s Song
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.”
56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.”
Now it may not be realistic for people in modern America (or elsewhere for that matter) to break out in a God-praising song, but it’s happened in the Bible before and it happens again. After that, Mary sticks around for a few months. John would either soon be born or just had been born by that time. Of course, just imagine what the neighbors would say when Mary shows up as a pregnant virgin.