Luke 1:36 “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.”
There are so many miracles that occurred with the birth of the Savior that we often overlook them. This is one of them. Elizabeth was the wife of Zacharias, the priest. The scripture records that they were well advanced in age and they had no child because Elizabeth was barren.
Luke 1:6, 7 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
We often don’t understand why things happen as they do. Here was a couple that had walked before God righteously, had kept all His commandments and ordinances and were blameless in His sight and yet the blessing of childhood had eluded them. There was a stigma that was attached to barrenness in women during Biblical times. It was said to indicate a curse from God upon the woman who could not bare children. It was of utmost importance to women in Biblical times to be able to fulfill their role as a wife in being able to bare children to their husbands that would carry on the family name.
There are many this morning that are praying and have been praying for years to conceive a child and yet find themselves month after month without the good news of pregnancy. Elizabeth had been “called” barren; it says in Luke 1:36. People had said that it was impossible for her to become pregnant. She had been termed as a “hopeless case” for pregnancy. The voices of those around her had reinforced her greatest fear of not being able to conceive. But there was one thing they hadn’t thought about…..God’s power to intervene and bring into existence the impossible!
God had a purpose for Zacharias and Elizabeth and the child that He would bring into their lives. That purpose had a time for fulfillment and He needed a couple who were dedicated to living according to His will to bring that child up in the way that he should go so he could fulfill the purpose of being the forerunner for the Christ child. Elizabeth had grown wise in her knowledge of the Lord in all those years of waiting. She would be the perfect one to encourage Mary, a little, young virgin to whom He had given the express purpose of being the mother of the Savior of the world. She would be able to confirm to Mary that God is the God of impossibilities and all that He had spoken to her would come to pass because she, herself, was a recipient of His miraculous power at that very moment! Mary knew to go to the one person that would be able to encourage her and share with her about the mighty workings of the Lord. She left immediately after the angel told her that she would give birth to the Son of God to go see Elizabeth because she knew that she would be able to give her wise counsel regarding this miracle.
Luke 1:43-45 “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Mary, immediately after conferring with Elizabeth, wrote what my Bible records as “The Song of Mary”:
Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
Mary rejoiced in the fact that she was blessed to be the one who would bring the Christ child into the world. Elizabeth’s son, also, would play an important part in ushering in the Savior of the world. He went before Jesus to pave the way for the people to receive God’s perfect gift of salvation.
Elizabeth said to Mary that day, “Blessed is she who believed for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” She had already walked that path of believing; she knew the importance of receiving by faith what God had said through the angel. It was happening to her and she had had to believe when her husband came home unable to speak because of his encounter with the Angel of the Lord that had told him they would have a son in their old age. Elizabeth knew that in order to receive the impossible you had to believe that God was able to do what He had promised.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months after that miraculous conception. I believe she stayed that long to be encouraged in her faith to continue to believe. She had no visual proof of her pregnancy prior to that and it would have been easy to waiver in her faith until the visual manifestation of pregnancy could be seen or felt. But with Elizabeth she could voice her concerns and know that she would be understood and encouraged to continue to believe. She was sheltered from the questions of the community and given time to prepare for that time when everyone would know that she was pregnant and the accusations of being pregnant outside of wedlock would occur. With Elizabeth she could be herself, strengthened in her faith and prepared to walk the walk that, as a young virgin, she could not have even imagined would happen to her.
When God speaks a promise to us we can be sure that if we will receive it by faith and expect it to happen, that it will come to pass.
Numbers 23:19 NLT God is not a man, that he should lie. He is not a human, that he should change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
Mary believed and received the promise that God gave her through that Angel.
Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Maybe you’re in an impossible situation this morning. Has God spoken a promise to you that you have not yet seen fulfilled? Are you wavering in your faith wondering if He really promised that or if you were just presumptuous in thinking you might receive the impossible? God is faithful to keep His promises!
Ephesians 3:20, 21 NLT Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.
Father, I thank You for Your miraculous power that is working in us, Your children. I know You are able to do the things that You have promised us in Your word and through the times we have communed with You in prayer. Father, there are those today who have been standing in faith waiting for the fulfillment of those things that You have promised them. I ask You to encourage them as only You can. Place people of faith around them to help them continue to believe. Father, give them a glimpse of what You are doing in their lives to keep the vision of the promise alive within them. Thank You for showing us through this story of Mary and Elizabeth how You work the impossible in different situations in the lives of Your people. I thank You for the purpose that You have for each of our lives. May we reflect Your glory while we wait for our promises. Thank You, Father! To You be all the glory and honor. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.