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Luke 1:39-56 Mary and Elizabeth

Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 26, 2013


Luke 1:39-56 NLTse A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town (40) where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. (41) At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (42) Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. (43) Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? (44) When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. (45) You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” (46) Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. (47) How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! (48) For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. (49) For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. (50) He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. (51) His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. (52) He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. (53) He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. (54) He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. (55) For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” (56) Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.

After hearing news about being the mother of God’s Son from Gabriel, Mary felt she had to share the good news with the world. But how? She was still a virgin. Would anyone believe her? She felt so warn inside, something more than she ever felt before. There was nothing in her life she could compare this feeling to. Thoughts engulfed every waking moment. When she woke it took only a moment for God’s love to flow over every inch of her body. Love and praise for God flooded every thought in her mind. Her new found love burst out in praises to God and love for their Son.

Mary remembered the message from Gabriel included news about Elizabeth. For a moment this dulled her excitement. She instantly knew the meaning behind the message. Elizabeth would understand and be able to tell her what she needed to do. Mary suddenly realized, she knew nothing about having a baby. There was a lot she had to prepare for.

When Mary entered the house and greeted Elizabeth, the sound of Mary’s greeting made Elizabeth’s child leap within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Something suddenly filled Elizabeth. For months she had been in seclusion with her husband wondering why he couldn’t talk, praying and trying to comfort Zechariah. It seemed like an answer would never come, then Mary walks through the door and the answers suddenly became clear. She began to see things she never expected to see or understand in her life time. The pieces began to fall into place.Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. It meant the world to Mary, seeing Elizabeth understood. Mary not only had someone who understood, but a mentor to help her with the situations she was preparing for.

God’s plan included every detail. Elizabeth knew more and was equipped by God to give more to Mary than she prayed for or expected. Elizabeth told her, “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Elizabeth’s comment took Mary by surprise. She prayed for someone to talk to, someone who would understand, but never expected her prayer to be answered so quickly. Elizabeth carried a second blessing. Both of them, in their pregnant state carried a second blessing beyond imagination. It brought them into a closer bond by providing the opportunity to talk and compare the changes in both their bodies, as well as spiritual changes in their minds.

Sharing with Elizabeth gave Mary the same peace she experienced when Gabriel gave her the good news about her baby, Jesus. Having someone to share with caused Mary to break out in prayer. “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.” Mary was not only praying for herself, but Elizabeth, who shared her excitement and humbleness. Mary continued. “For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”

Elizabeth looked at Mary as she prayed out loud to the LORD. Mary’s pray was more than an expectant mother wishing the best for her future baby. Elizabeth could see Mary was shown a vision of the babies future. Elizabeth received a similar vision, but was not sure of the meaning until Mary entered her home, when she exclaimed, “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” God confirmed the visions through the meeting of the two women. They could see how God carefully planned each step. While Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months, their conversations enriched one another, preparing them for the responsibilities in their near future.

Matthew 1:18-25 NLTse This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. (19) Joseph, her fiance, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. (20) As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. (21) And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (22) All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: (23) “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” (24) When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. (25) But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

Joseph was confused. He did not know why Mary quickly left. All he knew was how much he missed her. There wasn’t a waking moment that passed without thinking about Mary. Why did she go? How long will she be gone? His love grew for her as the weeks passed. Joseph constantly thought about their lives together forever. He thought about the moments they would spend together in bed after praying together. The conversations they would have about their faith in God and the blessings He would give them just by being together. Joseph thought about how they would discuss plans for the future. Joseph’s mind rested on thoughts about spending time in the fields during spring, admiring flowers, endless fields of grass, observing shapes of the trees, and the scent of their flowers in bloom, all the wonders of God. All of the little things would mean so much more when spending time with Mary. Joseph spend hours going over all the details they would talk about. He thought of their prayers to God. How he would pray for God’s protection and blessings on his family while Mary praised the Lord in her sweet gentle voice. He felt his heart fill to over flowing for hours, until he remembered how much he missed her.

After about two months, Joseph began to worry. What if something happened to her? From time to time word came about Mary from relatives traveling between cities. Joseph hung on every word. Joseph prayed every moment for her safety and soon return. His heart felt empty without her. Joseph was not sure he could live without Mary.

After three months, Mary returned home. When Joseph heard the news he ran all the way to her home. As she sat in the home telling her mother about the visit with Elizabeth, Mary heard a shout, “Joseph is here.” She sprang from her chair and raced out the door. Mary prayed for God to give her the right words to share the news of God’s Son with her fiance. She was so excited, Mary could not wait for the good news to burst from her lips, sharing the greatest joy in the world with her future husband. Joseph and Mary met in an embrace they thought would never end. As they held one another, Joseph tried to catch his breath. His heavy breathing did not bother Mary, she understood. Mary also felt in her heart, it was not a time to talk.

Mary and Elizabeth talked for hours about how she was going to tell Joseph about their Son, God’s Son she was carrying, the hope of a new world growing in side of her. Neither could think of the perfect words. No matter how much they prayed, the answer did not seem to come. Mary knew she had to tell Joseph soon. She was already beginning to show.

With his arms around Mary, Joseph felt something was wrong. He could feel she put on a bit of weight. He could feel her protruding stomach against his. A whirlwind of thoughts went through Joseph’s mind. He pushed Mary away and looked at her, but could not speak a word. He could not bring himself to ask the question on his mind. Mary looked back into Joseph’s eyes knowing what was on his mind. It suddenly occurred to Mary, she should have prayed Joseph received the same revelation Elizabeth was given.

Joseph broke their embrace, turning his back to Mary. He should have seen the bewildered look on her face. Every passing second seemed like an eternity as each one waited for the other to speak while searching for words themselves. Finally Joseph swallowed the lump in his throat hoping he could find the proper tone of voice. Mary knew what the question was by the way he exhaled. “What were you up to on your trip?” Joseph asked. “I visited with Elizabeth,” May answered. “And?” Joseph inquired. Mary hoped to tell Joseph how the Spirit touched Elizabeth, giving her a son, and told her about her own pregnancy by the Holy Spirit. Now that Joseph saw her condition, no matter how little she showed, Mary had no way of explaining the situation herself. Nothing would sound stranger than the truth. Words could never express what Joseph felt. It was like the world was pulled out from under him while hie entire body was being crushed in a vise. He told himself the pain in his chest was caused by the long run. Joseph walked away without looking back.

Joseph went home. He tried to hid his pain from his young sons. It felt like a knife in his heart when they asked about Mary. He felt bad as he scolded his sons to keep them quite. “Why are you asking about her? She is not here. Why are you worrying about her? Did you get your chores done?” Joseph prepared dinner in silence having visions of Mary in the small home every time he looked at an item she touched. The large mixing bowl reminded him of how she moved, how he looked at her, and the sound of her voice as they worked together making meals. As Joseph opened the door it brought back memories of seeing Mary walking into his home. He looked at the commandments he etched into the door posts and how Mary ran her fingers over each one admiring his work. It broke Joseph’s heart to sit at the dinner table. He did nothing but look forward to sitting next to her, sharing every detail of every day she was gone, as they ate dinner together. Her return was supposed to he one of the happiest days of his life, but turned out to be a day that felt like it would end his life. Joseph had no idea how he could go on when every item in the house reminded him of the time he spent with Mary. Joseph looked down the road one more time hoping to see her coming to explain. He couldn’t bear to watch a sunset alone. Joseph took a deep breath and turned back to the house. He walked in, looked around and for as second thought he could still catch a hint of her scent.

After a few days, Joseph decided, he did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he choose to break the engagement quietly. All hope was lost. Joseph felt he would never meet another woman like Mary. She seemed so perfect. How could she do such a thing? As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

It seemed like a dream. How could this be? Joseph still wanted Mary to be his wife. As he considered the words spoken by the angel, it became evident, his fears were controlled by tradition and what other people would think. He believed in his heart, Mary would never do anything to hurt him. He quickly accepted the words from the angel.

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

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