What would you do? Mary, a young teenager and promised bride to be, was visited by an Arch angel. She does not question the Angel’s veracity or even the message. Still, Mary does what many in her spot would do– she ran to her Aunt Elizabeth to simply ask, “What now?” There is little doubt that her head was spinning with the overwhelming thoughts of being pregnant, a virgin, betrothed, and carrying the Messiah.
Then, as she enters the house of Her aunt–wife of one of the Levitical temple servants, ancestor of Aaron. Immediately the future Herald of Christ (John) jumps in his mother’s womb. Elizabeth was then filled with God’s Spirit and affirms what Mary was already told by Gabriel. One can only imagine the boost that gave the heart of this amazing young woman.
Mary responds, according to Luke, with a heart of praise and conviction to carry and raise this Child. She would do so to honor God, fulfill the Abrahamic covenant, and change the world. Luke’s is the only Gospel that took the time to look at the precursors to the birth of our Lord. It was an incredible part of the story. In a time and culture that would have thrown a single mother to the trash heap, God prepared the people who needed to protect and prepare Jesus’s mom for the raising the Son of God. God would not allow this to happen in any other way.
Why is it significant? This back story was reported by the only Gospel writer that was completely independent. He gathered information from many sources to give account for the average seeker that was clear and complete. Luke thought it was critical for the all to know how widely the world was affected by the life of Christ. As such He looked at family, shepherds, kings, and mystics as they were touched by the Savior.
This story shows believers the absolute passion Mary had for her call. It adds a clear legitimacy to the life and story of this young woman. It was not a sweet excuse for a young girl’s mistake, nor was it a fairy tale to authenticate the claims for a misguided rabbi. It is the clarity for the reality of a very complex event that would change the world. Jesus is God. He became flesh, and He lived to show the world the heart of God; culminated by His ultimate sacrifice at the cross.
Mary was a singularly critical figure to history because she raised this child. What’s more, she did it with a humble heart and grateful spirit. We should serve God with a humble heart and grateful spirit as well. We should model the sacrifice and commitment we have and will see in Luke’s account. The common denominator is that all involved completed their journey out of their Love of God. I simply pray that I can have as deep a love for my Lord!
God Bless You
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.