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The Life of Elizabeth 5: A Surprise Visitor

The Life of Elizabeth Day 5 – A Surprise Visitor

Yesterday we discussed how remarkable Elizabeth’s attitude was in handling her infertility, and then in not flaunting her excellent news of blessing. Yet Elizabeth’s superior example doesn’t end there; we still have more to learn from her story. In fact, the next major event in the lives of this godly couple was their visit from Mary, Elizabeth’s young cousin from Nazareth. Her cousin had come after a recent visit by the angel Gabriel, telling her she would be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah! Through this visit we gain an even deeper insight into Elizabeth’s character.

It was in Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy that Mary visited her. When Mary greeted her, Elizabeth’s unborn baby leaped within her as if prompted by the Holy Spirit to salute the Son of God in Mary’s womb. Then, illuminated by that same Holy Spirit, Elizabeth uttered these amazing words: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42,43, ESV).

Her words seem so unusual. Yet by them we clearly see she understood who Mary’s child was. She called Mary “the mother of my Lord.” She acknowledged by divine revelation that Mary would give birth to the Messiah, the Son of God. But almost more amazing than that was Elizabeth’s attitude toward Mary. 

While she knew that she herself had been honored by God, she realized that Mary had been infinitely more honored—in fact, more honored than any woman on earth. Elizabeth’s son would indeed be great one day, but Mary’s coming Child was to be the greatest. That news didn’t make her resentful nor did it deflate her or rob her of her own joy! She simply rejoiced with Mary! Such utter humility is a rare quality. Although she was older than Mary and had every right to ask, “Lord, why didn’t you choose me?” there was not one trace of jealousy or self-seeking in her spirit. Isn’t that incredibly refreshing? It’s easy to see why God could bless her so richly.

God has blessed us by giving us her story, by weaving it into the pages of His Word. Her heavy sorrow, her steadfast walk, her surprise blessing and her superior example of humility—it’s all written there for our learning. She feels a bit like a heroine to me—certainly someone with a desirable character to model. 

The Bible is filled with shining examples of those who loved God courageously, lived their faith to an exceptional level, and lived loud for their God. Many accomplished amazing things by simply trusting that God would be there in front of them as they set each foot down in faith. But not always is a hero a prominently visible part of the story; sometimes you find a hero in Scripture by surprise. For me, this has been Elizabeth. 

While her name is not mentioned again after the birth of John, Elizabeth leaves us a lovely legacy of faith not only in the promises of God but in God Himself, the God of the impossible. I hope you have been blessed by her story as much as I have. My prayer now is that we may not only learn from her story but live by her example and allow God to develop a spirit within us that points to His presence within us. 

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14, ESV)

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. (1 Peter 3:8, ESV)

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