When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, she was living up in the north of Israel, in the town of Nazareth a few miles from the Sea of Galilee. When she realized the amazing thing that God was going to do in her, she went away from her hometown. She journeyed south to her Aunt Elizabeth, who was also pregnant with her own special child. God was breaking into the world in a new and powerful way through these humble women!
Elizabeth and Zechariah lived in the hill country of Judea. When Mary arrived and her aunt heard her voice, the baby boy inside Elizabeth jumped! Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit of God and proclaimed;
“‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby inside my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!’”
Wow! Elizabeth shared the same pure faith as Mary! She believed her child was the Lord! How different they were from Zechariah, the great priest, who had doubted the angel of God! As the two women rejoiced together in his home, Zechariah remained silent. He still couldn’t talk!
Then Mary spoke a beautiful poem about the wonder and awe in her heart;
“‘My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me-
holy is His name.
His mercy extends to those who fear Him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with His arm,
He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants
forever, even as He said to our fathers.’”
As Mary thought about her precious role in the history of humanity, she knew that it was a fulfillment of God’s promises to her people. She delighted that He would choose so humble a servant girl to do such a mighty thing as bring the Savior into the world. We can have that same delight with her, the mother of our Savior!
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for another three months. Then she returned home Nazareth, where Joseph and everyone else would soon learn that Mary was going to have a baby.