Mary Visits Elizabeth
Last Sunday Mary and the angel Gabriel finished up their conversation, as the Angel told Mary about the brith of Jesus to come, and how He was to be conceived of the Holy Spirit
We know as Mary asked, how and not why she would bear a son.
And we read of the power of God over the natural; in the working and form of the Trinity The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) to bring about God’s will in the earth.
And now Mary is off to Judah to see Elizabeth whom she heard is with child,
The one who was once barren is now with babe in her womb, and now Mary heads on to see her.
Please stand for the reading of the Word of God - Today Church we really see the power of God through the presence of the Holy Spirit revealing Christ as Lord and with Joy
Read Luke 1:39-45
I want to pre-face this; our literal context is, this story is written in narrative: so in this sermon I try to let strongly the greek language help us interpret this portion of the narrative of Jesus life.
Which in my study and preparation I want to help us be in the moment
And I’m relying on God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to help us see Christ in this text clearly.
Luke 1:39-40 “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Mary did not wait to go, and see Elizabeth
No. Because it says in “those days” the greek word - Her-mera - meaning at day break; daylight (the next day)
Mary “arose and” in greek is - a-nis-temi - meaning to rise up for the purpose of taking action
Why was Mary at day break arising?
What was she needing to take action for?
Mary wanted to see Elizabeth.
So Mary “in those days, arose and went with... haste...”
Did Mary arise slowly? No, it says with “haste...”
Meaning she isn’t wasting any time as their is so much exciting news, Good News waiting to be shared between her and her advanced in year relative Elizabeth
“Haste” - in the greek meaning with eagerness; and diligence; excited to do something
When Ezra wakes up; he sometimes makes haste to the backdoor; to want to go outside and let out the chickens
So what would Mary be excited to do?
What we might be able to gather from reading our Scriptures and looking at the greek and last weeks passage of Luke 1:31-38
Mary probably wants to Tell Elizabeth about her encounter with angel Gabriel and how she was told she will bear a Son and they shall came His name Jesus
But even more so, even though Mary believed all that the angel Gabriel said. Mary wanted to go excitedly and see for herself that Elizabeth is with child in her old age, and rejoice with her in this news.
Their was a lot to talk about! Their was a lot to get excited about as well.
So she is on her way lickeddy-split.
Now where did she go? “Judah”
And for Mary notice it doesn’t say anyone else traveled with her, “Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country to a town in Judah.”
Luke mentioning here “the hill country” meaning…
R.C. Sproul says as he has been to this place “the hill country is beautiful terrain, Mary arising and embracing this beautiful journey
And so Mary arrives in Judah…
Luke 1:40 “and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.”
“House of Zechariah...”
So Mary makes it clear this is Zechariah’s household
House in the greek - referring to “family lineage or property for living
And Mary is ultimately making a bee-line straight to Elizabeth in the house of Zechariah
“and she entered the house of Zechariah…and greeted Elizabeth.”
This moment would be as Mary made her way in with surprise, and used her words to let Zechariah and Elizabeth know that she was at their home; or more so in there home
And at this point it was forget Zechariah, where is my relative Elizabeth? Haha
and notice it says “and greeted…Elizabeth…”
If we remember the angel Gabriel used the word “Greeting” in Luke 1:28 “And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!””
But that definition in the greek was rejoice, or to be glad.
Us knowing the angle comforting Mary in his approach to her for the message of Jesus He was about to deliver from the throne of God to her.
So rejoice, and be glad “greetings”
However this word “greeted” in the greek, in context of this verse means- to welcome kindly, be happy about and receive
So Mary walks into the house of Zechariah and doesn’t let Elizabeth greet, but Mary here does the greeting
“and Mary greeted Elizabeth…”
It’s important to know Mary hasn’t said anything except her greeting, not her message and the Good News that she has for Elizabeth
And Mary most likely as she greeted, she did not yet see Elizabeth.
For when you enter a house it’s no always that the mother of the house is right where you can see her.
“and Mary greeted Elizabeth.” (In her own house)
Meaning she was happy to be there because she has heard Elizabeth is pregnant
Let’s continue on in verse 41
Luke 1:41 “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,”
So when someone walks into your house, you not ushering them in, and them greeting you...
And it being a family member who has come with haste, (as to not be a stranger)
And has traveled by themselves through the Hill country.
You know there is something very important about to be said, understood or revealed
“and Elizabeth heard.... the greeting...”
And as we notice the word “hear” in our text and not “seen” so we know…
We hear with our ears, and see with our eyes.
So with it not mentioning seeing, (yet) we can take from the details of this narrative Mary hadn’t yet located her physically in the house “and Elizabeth heard…”
“And Elizabeth heard... the greeting of Mary...”
Before we move on, this word in the greek for “greeting” is kind of the same definition as of “greeting” that the angel Gabriel used in V.28 - which means rejoice or be glad
This word “greeting” in context and in the original greek means “embrace or salutation”
What is a salutation? A gesture or utterance as a greeting or acknowledgment of another’s arrival or departure
So It was a quick salutation, not yet a conversation between Mary and Elizabeth
“And Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary...”
It’s like when you hear the grandparents walk in to surprise the grandchildren all they hear is “Hello it’s Coco and Skuby or It’s Sho-Sho and Buppy.”
You haven’t yet got to sit down with them and talk and for Ezra and Oliver find out what cool gadgets and gizmos they brought for them.
See Elizabeth had not “seen” Mary, just heard her salutation (her greeting)
Meaning Mary has not gotten to share the Good News with Elizabeth, and no details had been given yet about what Mary knows
So what do we see happen after Elizabeth “heard” Mary’s voice or salutation?
“…the baby (who is John) leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
What did we just read? Elizabeth & Zechariah are going to have a child
The prophecy that was told of a son to come for Zechariah and Elizabeth was indeed true
Because God keeps His Word; and we read of it here a second time in Luke 1.
So…”the baby leaped in her womb…”
We often hear of babies kicking in the womb, but here we notice another movement in the womb of Elizabeth
Church what a powerful, mysterious and full moment in the Scriptures.
We have to realize; that nothing was said except Mary’s greeting; or salutation
And at the sound of Mary’s voice so John “leaped” in Elizabeths womb!
It doesn’t say John kicked but “leaped”
Not that a leaping baby sounds any less painful; but the picture of someone leaping makes us think of a joy filled person.
The word “leaped” - Skir-ato - meaning to leap for joy, to jump or skip in a continuous manner as a sign of great joy
It wasn’t just once, but a continuous leaping in Elizabeths womb
John in the womb is sensing someone is present and near, someone just entered the door of the house of Zechariah.
John knew someone was present.
So this is one of those moments where if we go back in Luke 1:15 “for he (John) will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”
Was this John being filled with the Holy Spirit as it was prophesied to Zechariah in the temple of the Lord?
We know as God said John wasn’t going to be born, and then filled with the Holy Spirit
So we can take form this, this was the moment John was filled with the Holy Spirit in His mothers womb such Zechariah was told from the Angle Gabriel (and we notice soon in V.44 the reason John leaped was for joy which was a fruit of the Holy Spirit)
But that is not all that happens
“And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
From these two accounts we witness powerful moments of God, by the third person of the trinity, The Holy Spirit.
It says and “Elizabeth was - Filled” - greek word for filled is pimblimee - meaning to fill completely
“Filled with what? the Holy Spirit...”
Let’s just say the greek words and definitions in this text really bring to life this moment; in the orderly account and narrative Luke writes; for us. To help us understand the weight and grandor of this moment in history.
The phrase in greek “with the Spirit” - means a blast, wind , spirit or breathe
While John leaped in her womb, simultaneously; Elizabeth was ”filled” by the Holy Spirit (a moment of wind or breathe)
As we can see it was such as a blast of wind out of know where; that filled her completely.
But momentarily; this wasn’t yet a permanent giving of the Holy Spirit but momentary giving.
Even too I was thinking who was touched first by the Holy Spirit? John as he leaped, and then His Mom Elizabeth was filled and her filling we will see wasn’t the filling that came at Pentecost, remember Jesus is still in the womb of Mary.
He hasn’t yet departed that the Holy Spirit may live in His chosen and elect in the faith
As we can know from the upper room their was wind filling the upper room and fire dancing above their heads; this was God’s presence forever filling and giving the Holy Spirit
In the OT we have Christians being filled with the Holy Spirit to do a work, say something, to bring to pass God’s will, momentailry
The Spirit was said to “come upon” Old Testament believers for God’s purposes.
Joshua was filled with the Spirit and commissioned to lead Israel after Moses’ death (Numbers 27:12-23)
We know Stephen when he was stoned so the Holy Spirit was their with Him
Church family this was not just any Spirit that momentarily filled “Elizabeth“ but this is the Holy Spirit - meaning from last week the Set apart, dedicated Holy Spirit set apart for for the saints, the Chosen Children of God in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world.
We know the Holy Spirit as our inheritance into the Kingdom of God
So this isn’t a lasting filling of the Holy Spirit for Elizabeth; but a moment of filling to accomplish God’s will as we will read in a minute.
And after Elizabeth hearing the salutation; so we can see, still Mary has not spoken to Elizabeth; it‘s been Elizabeth who is now speaking
And Elizabeth says this next as she is “filled with the Holy Spirit
Verse 42 “And she (Elizabeth) exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
It says Elizabeth “she Exclaimed - meaning in the greek to cry out suddenly, often with surprise or joy.
When someone exclaims so you take notice, those who are around would have no trouble hearing
She exclaimed “with a “loud”- producing great volume or intensity.
With a loud cry” - meaning a shout, screaming, weeping for shouts of great joy
Mary had to of heard what Elizabeth had to say, being filled with the Holy Spirit
And what did Elizabeth say?
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
Church, Mary not a day ago had an encounter with the Gabriel, the Angel of the Lord
And Gabriel told her what? We know as we will re-read Luke 1:30-35
Luke 1:30-35 “And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”
Mary is hearing “Blessed are you; and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” from Elizabeth who knows nothing of what happened a day ago in Nazareth
Nothing that took place a day before; nothing about the visit of the angel to Mary
Not a conversation has taken place and
Nothing about Jesus who was on the way was mentioned to the one who calls Mary and the fruit of her womb “blessed”
Elizabeth being “filled” with the “Holy Spirit” and “exclaimed with a loud cry...”
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the what? “the fruit of your womb.”
Blessed - meaning to speak well or honor
But blessed what?” Are you (Mary) among women and the fruit of your womb.
Elizabeth remember being filled momentarily with Holy Spirit, exclaiming with a loud cry
”Blessed is Mary and the fruit of her womb.”
Why did she mention her womb? (maybe was Marys thought?)
The next verse it’s as if Elizabeth is given understanding into this Holy and set apart moment: Elizabeth asks Mary...
Luke 1:43 “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
What has been granted to her?
Elizabeth making some strong remarks; minding you Mary still has not been able to share with her about her encounter with the Angel Gabriel, about Jesus to be conceived in her womb
But Elizabeth says this “why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord...”
Elizabeth knows, as she is filled with the Holy Spirit (which means she didn’t come to this conclusion on her own)
Mary her relative is not alone, and Mary’s fruit in her womb; is Jesus, her Lord at this very moment.
Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, revealing that Mary’s presence isn’t about her but the one who is in her womb;
And Mary who once asked How? to the Angel Gabriel, is this going to be? So she hears Elizabeth exclaim “the Mother of my Lord”
Now for Elizabeth it starts to make more sense but also for Mary things start to come together:
Luke 1:44 “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
Mary when your salutation came…
“Came” to my ears - in the greek meaning conceived of as appearing or coming into existence at a location
So we know John leaped, but now we see how he leaped?
Why for Joy? Because Mary did not travel alone, Mary did not enter the house of Zechariah alone, no Christ Jesus was present in her womb!
The one John was going to give His life for, to prepare the way for
The Savior physically, powerfully and presently was in the their presence.
And we must not skip over this truth:
And if this was “a day after” Mary’s visit with the Angel Gabriel; so we can see a babe is life at conception.
Meaning Jesus conceived of the Holy Spirit; means He was present in Mary’s womb. At this moment was noticed and seen as real and as a human
See this points to a truth trying to be hushed today in our society.
That Babies born today, so at the moment of conception in the mothers womb; their presence is known, they are a child made in the image of our God and they are aware, and can hear.
And so ‘it came to Elizabeths ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” -
Lets continue to read
Luke 1:45 “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.””
Elizabeth still giving honor, but this time to Mary for her belief and trust in God’s message to her about her Son Jesus to come, and who is present now in her womb.
From this we can see it’s ok to be encouraged by someones faith and trust in the Lord. (Elizabeth is not saying her faith is in Mary!)
But is encouraged that she did believe God about Jesus to come.
Now we don’t look at Mary such as the Catholic Church:
The Catholic Church looks at Mary as the mediator between God and man and Jesus fits in somehow to this false doctrine
For the Catholics use these verses to uplift Mary on the same exact pedestal that Jesus is on. (or even higher)
This is wrong, dangerous and unbiblical
Elizabeth with her words is not at any way worshiping Mary, and in no way does God want us to worship her but acknowledge her and be thankful for her trust in Him.
See Mary never doubted the Angel Gabriel about Jesus to be born
So why would God do this and have the story play out this way? in verse 39-45?
Because our heavenly Father is a gracious, merciful and a Kind Heavenly Father who wants us to see it is all about Christ His Son.
So what do we take away from this text?
We have seen the last two weeks the unexplainable, unfathomable, power of God. (Dynimate)
Working amongst what we know as natural, with His supernatural powers to bring about His will
This moment is no different
So why did John Leap in his mothers womb?
And how did Elizabeth know that Mary’s womb held a son who was her Lord?
Church John and Elizabeth would not of known that Jesus was present in Mary, if it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit revealing Himself to them. (the third person of the Trinty)
John 8:18 “I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.””
The Holy Spirit filled John, and then filled Elizabeth and Elizabeth exclaimed...
John and Elizabeth knew they were in the presence of greatness; this “fruit of the womb” who was Christ present in Mary, was both their Lord and their God Made flesh.
And form this point it’s Important to know:
John and Elizabeth did not, nor has anyone ever, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit; seen Christ as Lord and had true, Holy Spirit filled joy in their life.
John leaped, Elizabeth was filled; they were greeted by Mary; they didn’t greet Mary.
And we see it wasn’t just about Mary, but more about the Presence, and the GodMan Jesus Christ their Lord, whom Mary carried in her womb.
And if we look and see that Mary wasn’t alone; and Christ was in her womb so while Mary walked into the house of Zechariah
So did Jesus (who is in Mary) who entered the house as well.
Church from this text We can take away:
We can not save ourselves; here the Holy Spirit we see plays a huge role in Elizabeth’s womb for John, and in herself. - and apart from anything they did, or have done so what did they do to earn this gift? - As Elizabeth asked
So she is aware just as Mary was all to aware of her shortcomings, unfaithfulness to the law and carrying out righteousness all her days; she knows she falls short of God’s glory
What did they do to receive this joy? To be in this moment? To be in the presence of Mary and the Lord? To be filled with the Holy Spirit?
- God has greeted us where we are in our sinful state, with the power of the Holy Spirit revealing to us Christ whom the Father sent to save us from our sins.
They didn‘t see Jesus because of their good merit or good works and what they would call their “rightness“.
No it is only through faith in Christ Jesus and His perfectness and righteousness that we are saved From sin and given the gift of the Holy Spirit
And how do we know this?
Because it’s through God’s Word (who is Christ Jesus) that which is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit that we are sinful and need rescue form our sins.
When we put our faith in Christ Jesus and what He has done for us on the cross, in grave and defeating sin.
So we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and new life in Him.
And as Christ Jesus is revealed to use through the Holy Spirit: As Christians, as born again believers:
So we produce the fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, and self control)
Church when we put faith in Christ, so a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our life is joy, which is present in John in this text:
Elizabeth knows this that Jesus who is present in Mary’s womb is her Lord (today do you know Jesus as Lord?)
And John Leaped, being he jumped for “joy” in his mothers womb.
Why Joy? Because Jesus is coming to rescue His chosen up out of sin and giving them the the gift of the Holy Spirit. That they too can have Joy in Him, as He is their Lord.
Church we know Jesus as Lord, and we have Joy because of Him.
“as one of my favorite song Says...
“give me that joy I can’t explain, add extra peace that will ease my pain, I want this love that will never fade, give me that, give me that. Give me that power to walk away when another god tries to take your place, I want that Joy that will never fade; give me that, give me that.’
John and Elizabeth had joy!
We must not just only understand, but marvel At the power of God through the physical presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb in this story
The Holy Spirit moving upon both John and Elizabeth’s lives to reveal Jesus who is joy and everlasting life to them.
Mary having said nothing; so God revealed and filled both John and Elizabeth with the power of the Holy Spirit, to testify to Christ Jesus our Lord, who is in Mary’s womb, who was to be born soon after John And who would bring joy to those He saves from sin.
God has greeted us where we are in our sins, helpless this morning. With the power of the Holy Spirit, revealing to us Christ (who is the Word) whom the Father sent to save us from our sins And give us Joy and life in Him.
May it be so that we live in this Joy, and leap as John did outside the womb and declare Him over and over again as Elizabeth did. Jesus is Lord.