In Luke 1:5-7 NLT we read: In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.
One day, while Zechariah was carrying out his priestly duties, the angel Gabriel appeared to Him and revealed that even in their advanced years, they would have a son, a forerunner to the Lord Jesus Christ. Zechariah did not believe the message Gabriel had brought him, so he was muted until that promise was fulfilled. Elizabeth went into seclusion for five months (Luke 1:24-25).
Fast forward to Luke 1:39-45 where we read that Mary, a cousin to Elizabeth, went to visit her.
When Elizabeth, who was now pregnant, heard Mary’s voice, we read in Luke 1:41-45 NLT – When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! 43 How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”
John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, would be a cousin to Jesus. John inside his mother’s womb leaped for joy because he recognized Jesus in Mary’s womb.
Elizabeth blessed and praised Mary.
Never in the history of childbirth did two expectant mothers have more to talk about. One was well past child-bearing age. The other was a teenage virgin now carrying the promised Savior. In Luke 1:37 NKJV we read, “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
In Ephesians 3:20-21 Paul said, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
Folks, there isn’t anything that God can’t do. Whatever your need, give it to Him, and when He answers be sure to praise Him and tell others.
Next, Mary praised God.
Luke 1:46-57 NLT – 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.
· In 1:46-48, Mary praised God for His grace.
· In 1:51, Mary praised God for His power.
· In 1:50, Mary praised Him for His mercy.
· In 1:49, Mary praised God for His holiness.
· In 1:53, Mary praised God for His provision.
· In 1:54-55, Mary praised God for His faithfulness.
Look at that list of things for which she praised God. Couldn’t each of us give glory and honor to God for these same things? Are you willing to stop what you are doing and praise God for each of these gifts?
Lastly, Zechariah praised God.
Zechariah had been unable to speak since Gabriel’s visit to him, but when they named the baby JOHN, he was able to speak again. It was a real celebration! Luke 1:64 says, “Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.”
In verses 67-70 and 73, we read: Then his (John’s) father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: 68 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and redeemed His people. 69 He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of His servant David 70 just as He promised through His holy prophets long ago… the covenant He swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham.
So, we see that leading up to our Savior’s coming was a time of praise: Elizabeth blessed and praised Mary. Mary praised the Lord for His favor to her. And Zechariah praised God for keeping His covenant promise of a Savior, that He had made to Abraham many years earlier.
Surely as we reflect on these events, our mouths should speak the praise in our hearts for the birth of Jesus Christ. As Zechariah said, “He, God, has sent us a mighty Savior.”
Let’s praise God daily for the Savior He has sent us.