And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 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.”Luke 1:41-45 (NKJV)
Although the name of the village of Elizabeth is not mentioned, it is thought to be Hebron, the village of the Levites because Elizabeth was a descendant of Levites.
The area was hilly and full of religious significance. The Cave of the Patriarchs was there and is still there today.
After a long journey, uncertain what she would find at her destination, Mary arrives at the home of her relative. Remember two of Luke’s themes are joy and the work of the Holy Spirit. We see both of those highlighted here in Mary’s initial meeting with and greeting of Elizabeth. Two extraordinary things happened when Mary arrived at the home of her relative Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah. Both showed the power and work of the Holy Spirit.
- John leapt in Elizabeth’s womb
- Elizabeth cried out and blessed Mary as she recognized the Lord Jesus inside of her.
Doing the AROMA Arrange Visual Verse Analysis helped me to see all that was going on in this passage. I saw that Elizabeth was a prophet. God gave her prophetic knowledge and prophetic words in the blessings she proclaimed on Mary. All Mary did was greet Elizabeth and then, after being filled with the prophetic power of the Holy Spirit, she discerned and spoke God’s truth about Mary which we read today over 2,000 years later.
Similarly, John the Baptist was also anointed by God to be prophet, even in the womb. The unborn John discerns the presence of his Lord Jesus and jumped for joy in the womb. His role as a prophet is established early. Surprising? No. God is the one who knits us together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13) and the Bible tells of God anointing Jeremiah as a prophet from before birth (Jeremiah 1:5).
Elizabeth set the example of humility before Jesus for her son John. She was happy to call Mary blessed and not demand special blessing for herself as the mother of a spirit-filled prophet.
Elizabeth knew her son was important but not as important as Mary’s son. The importance of John’s role comes directly from God because he was chosen by God. In his ministry, John will confidently state that he is not the Christ, he only points the way to the Christ. He acknowledges that he is unworthy of Jesus.
Just as Mary wondered at the favor shown to her in Gabriel’s announcement, so Elizabeth wonders at the honor of having her Lord, Jesus, in her presence.
“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45
This popular verse is used in many ways. The emphasis is often on the first part while the last phrase is neglected. This is not a “believe in yourself” verse. It very specifically states that the blessing comes in believing what the LORD said. This is more than just making up your mind about what dreams you want to accomplish. God wants us to be in relationship with him and know his Word so we can discern what he tells us. This happens when our relationship with him is so strong and true that we know who God is, a trustworthy loving Father who holds all power in his hands. The blessing comes as peace and joy flood your heart and mind no matter how long fulfillment takes or what happens while you are waiting. God’s favor rests on the one who never gives up the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Our ultimate hope is an eternal one because promised eternal life for all who believe in Jesus and follow him. God’s Word tells us of this future hope and he will fulfill it. Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2–3, NIV)
We are blessed because God will fulfill every promise made!
Thank you for your faithfulness and your steadfast love. We are grateful that you never change. We can depend on you to fulfill your word to us just as Mary did. In the hard times, in the waiting times, help us to remember to keep our eyes focused on you. Thank you for blessing us! Amen.