The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55 NKJ)
Two women connected through deep family roots. One old and unable to conceive. The other a young virgin.
Yet, just prior to the utterance of one of the most famous songs ever sung, these two devout Jewish soon-to-be mothers had a common bond that went beyond their physical condition.
Elizabeth was most likely Mary's cousin and her name means "God is my oath." She was born of the lineage of Aaron, and was the wife of Zacharias, who was a priest of the division of Abijah - an order appointed by King David for temple service (I Chronicles 24:10).
Mary was descended from the house of David. She was told that her Son would receive "the throne of his father David," and also because Christ is described as being of "the seed of David according to the flesh" (Acts 2:30 ; Romans 1:3).
When Mary visited her kinswoman Elizabeth in the hill country of Judea both women were excited to see each other. Mary had been told of Elizabeth's advanced stage of pregnancy by the angel Gabriel, and no doubt Elizabeth had heard of her close relative's betrothal to Joseph and their baby's impending birth.
However, it was when Mary greeted her that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and the revelation of the Christ child was made known. The fact that the baby within her - the forerunner to the Messiah - leaped for joy inside his mother's womb is indicative of the Lord's plan and how perfect it is.
Elizabeth and Zacharias were faithful, righteous and devoted to God. Zacharias served in the temple according to custom. While the whole assembly of the people were praying outside, he was in the sanctuary of the Lord burning the incense. An angel of the Lord appeared to him - standing to the right side of the altar of incense. Zacharias was startled and overcome with fear, but the angel [Gabriel] said to him:
"Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother's womb. He will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of father to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people."
This news foretold the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3-5 - "the voice of one crying in the wilderness". After the birth of their beloved son John [the Baptist], Zacharias would prophesy, "...And child, you will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins..."
Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel in Nazareth in the sixth month of her cousin's pregnancy. He said to her, "Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you... Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."
After it was explained to her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the holy One born to her would be called the Son of God, Gabriel reassured her saying, "And consider your relative Elizabeth - even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God."
It is that last part of Gabriel's announcement that I personally love the most... Nothing is impossible with God. Both women received their miracles. Jesus Himself reiterates His promise to us - "With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27).
One woman's promise fulfilled was another woman's fulfilled promise.
A dead womb became the life giving incubator for the world's most infamous preacher, who willingly "decreased" that the Savior of the world might "increase" and take upon His shoulders the sin of all mankind.
And a young woman willingly submitted to her Lord, fulfilling prophesy and being the first face He beheld as He opened His eyes for the first time on earth in human form.
God had a plan all along...
Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion. It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.