Mary, Elizabeth & The Holy Spirit
In order to recapture the truth that King Jesus has come, and to participate in celebrating to the fullest, we need to look at several key elements of God’s story. We need to see how others saw Jesus and pray that this view reforms us. We begin in Luke chapter 1.
In Luke 1 during Mary’s visit with her cousin Elizabeth (who was pregnant also), we see the first reaction to Jesus’s coming. When Mary entered Elizabeth’s home, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy. Look at what the text records:
“Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb…”
This baby, whom we know to be John the Baptist, actually leapt in his mother’s womb because Mary arrived with Jesus in her womb! That’s pretty impressive.
The next reaction to Christ’s Advent was from his aunt, “…and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” This is astounding, 1. because the first two reactions to the Incarnate King of the Universe were from a child and a woman but also 2. because this demonstrates that the Holy Spirit indwelled people even before Pentecost. As a matter of fact it seems to be a foreshadowing that God was truly to fulfill His promise spoken by the prophet Joel.
The first two reactions to the Incarnate King of the Universe were from a child and a woman. #Advent Click To Tweet
“It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29 “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29
Something monumental was happening. If this was simply a reaction to a baby being born, it was over the top. But, consider what Mary said, “For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.”
And a few verses earlier, we observed Elizabeth’s greeting, “And she [Elizabeth] cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’”
If Elizabeth was only responding to the miracle of a virgin bearing a child, this blessing would make sense. But not her next words: “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?”
Elizabeth called the baby Lord. Jesus was not even out of the womb yet but Elizabeth already understood who he was. Mary responded with, “He [God] has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.” This was more than mother’s pride. Mary was expecting her child to bring down thrones and rulers.
Luke’s account later tells us of shepherds in the field who encountered the Angel of the Lord. This wasn’t just any angel. The phrase, Angel of the Lord, was a title used in the Old Testament for an Archangel.
In Luke 2:11 this angel proclaimed, “…for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Added to Mary’s prophecies (recorded in Luke 1) of her child’s authority and restitution, we now receive his title and provenance.
The heavenly hosts joined in with, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Now, we have a baby born in the City of David, to a virgin, and he was expected to bring peace to all men. This is far more than a birthday celebration.
In the second chapter of Luke, we are introduced to Simeon. When Jesus’s parents come to present Jesus at the temple, Simeon took the baby in his arms and declared, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
Simeon was proclaiming the Advent of the peace bringer. This baby in his arms, would bring peace to both Gentiles and Jews.
Simeon’s reaction was a revelation of glory for the Jews. They had been waiting for the Seed of Abraham, the consolation of Israel, since ancient times.
But they didn’t see his glory. Israel missed what was right in front of them. Not Simeon. He received the consolation of Israel with arms wide open, “For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon. Each response signals the magnitude of what was happening.Simeon was proclaiming the Advent of the peace bringer. This baby in his arms, would bring peace to both Gentiles and Jews. #Advent #Christmas Click To Tweet
Have you considered the magnitude of Jesus’s birth? In what ways has your view of Jesus’s birthday evolved as you progress in your study of Scripture? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.