Year 2 Day 266
Read - Luke 1:39-45
Message - Alan Burke
The message of the incarnation is one that we hear every year about this time, the coming of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. Today we focus on what happens after the announcement of the angel Gabriel to Mary, as she makes her way to her cousin Elizabeth with haste. This would have been a three or four day journey, to travel the eighty miles or so to find out for herself, to either confirm or dispel the words that were given to her. It was in faith that she went and what now happens acts as confirmation to her of the amazing truth that the Lord had given to Mary through the angel Gabriel.
When she entered into the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth (40), she greets her cousin Elizabeth, on hearing this the baby within Elizabeth leaped in her womb (41). The power of God by the Holy Spirit had been at work in everything that had already taken place, but here once more as John rejoices in his mothers womb, the Spirit works again. There Elizabeth speaks to Mary, in a loud voice, exclaiming, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! (v42).
The Holy Spirit helped Elizabeth to understand, for the only way that she could know of what God was doing in Mary’s womb, is if He revealed it to her. Because of this Elizabeth is able to see that Mary is blessed, that she has received special favour from God. Mary is blessed among women because she is the vessel chosen by God, by his grace, for the saviour to come into the world, the child that she will bear is a child like no other. Elizabeth understands also that she is blessed just to share in the events that are unfolding, her humility is clear in how she asks “why am I so favoured” (43). She is marvelling at how the Messiah visits her, and how her relative is the one whom God was using to bring forth the saviour of his people. Elizabeth in all of this is enabled to see that what is taking place is far from insignificant and that she has obtained more than she deserves, for the mother of her Lord should come to see her (43).
The most significant thing from what Elizabeth said was not about Mary but it was rather the unborn child within her, as she calls him “my Lord” (43). This is something that Elizabeth could only have known by the power of the Holy Spirit within her, it was the Lord God himself that brought the confession from her lips in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then she tells of what only she would have known to Mary, of how her greeting caused the baby in her womb John to leap for joy (44). Finally the Spirit speaking though Elizabeth, blesses Mary for her faith, because she believed, she embraced in her heart the promises of God even though there was, fear, trouble, questions flying through her head, because of how unfathomable were the words of the angel to her and what God has said he would do without be accomplished in her, it would be fulfilled.
What I want to leave you with is the response of Elizabeth to the child in Mary’s womb, her Lord. This child within Mary was and is the Lord, he is the saviour that had been promised, he is the one that Mary was told would reign for ever more (33). Today we have much more reason to rejoice than Elizabeth did. Elizabeth rejoiced in his conception but yet in his coming it was to do what Adam did not, he came to live in our place and to die a sinners death, but that death was not the end, for he rose on the third day bringing death to death for the believer. He paid the price for sin and freed us from wrath of a Holy God, freed us from the fear of death and hell and that is the message we need to hear this day and every day.
Q30 How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, (Eph. 1:13–14, John 6:37–39, Eph. 2:8) and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling. (Eph. 3:17, 1 Cor. 1:9)