3. Sacra Pagina Series. Theologians sometimes call this meeting “The Visitation.” In this passage Luke gives us the first of five nativity hymns. But their child was not to be just any ordinary child. It was a hopeless situation. That was the route many other men would have taken. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:8-17). Zacharias knew the Old Testament Scriptures. Luke 1:62). “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. And neither should we. Luke let's us know that Mary believed the words of the angel and humbly submitted to them. Of her son, the Lord Jesus Himself once said, "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist" (Matthew 11:11). Such a mother as her certainly deserves our attention on Mother's Day. (Delivered Mother's Day Sunday, May 11, 2008 at Bethany Bible Church. (1958... More, The Net Pastor’s Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 37, Fall 2020. He delights in doing impossible things for us when He knows we shall give Him the glory. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken" (Isaiah 40:3-5). He gave him a sign. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1991. For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, And yet, there was an element of sadness to their lives; for the very next verse tells us, "But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years" (v. 7). So then; Elizabeth was given a privileged place in God's providential history. Elizabeth and Zacharias will forever go down in sacred history with this wonderful testimony in God's holy word concerning them: "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (Luke 1:6). And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42, 43). The Jews hated him, and in an effort to win them over, he had the temple rebuilt. God bless mothers and grandmothers who follow her example of practical faith! Luke goes on to say; So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. Would you be willing to covenant with God to seek His victory in these areas? It was a beautifully symbolic experience of worship. His inability to speak and hear were God’s confirmation of His Word, and they served to strengthen his faith in God’s promise. 11:11). Summers, Ray. . Richard, was a 1954 graduate of Wheaton College, and received his Th.M. God can do impossible things, and that is exactly what he promised to do for Zacharias and Elizabeth. All this was too much for Zacharias to grasp. Then the second would enter worshipfully and place new burning coals on the altar. But as great as they are, I ask you to particularly notice the words of confirmation that angel then said to Mary; "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. Impossible things do happen! Commit it to God in prayer together and ask Him for the patience to live with it graciously until He changes it. The Birth of the Messiah. 10:17). The phrase “advanced in years” meant at least sixty years of age, well beyond the time of childbearing. And some of the first few verses of that first chapter tell us some important things about her background. That was rather hard to believe. Luke 1:13). Beare, F.W. And the Lord, whom you seek, He would be the forerunner of the Messiah predicted by the Prophet Malachi (Luke 1:15-17; cf. We can live faithfully for Him in the day and age He has placed us; knowing that we may well be the very instrument He has chosen to use to fulfill His purpose for some other day and age way beyond our own; or that we may very well be the fulfillment of a promise He made to someone else in some day and age long in the past! Elizabeth means "one to whom God has https://www.womeninthebible.net/women-bible-old-new-testaments/elizabeth But doesn't that seem to contradict what the Bible tells us elsewhere? He wants them there, and no amount of obedience can possibly bring immunity from them. The Four Witnesses. We learn there, for example, that she was married to a man named Zacharias; who was a priest "of the division of Abijah". Zacharias was one of the priests who had the honor of being sent into the holy place of the temple, and of offering incense on the altar before the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. Elizabeth was faithful to what God had told them. It was John's duty to point people to Jesus and say, "Behold! And with that, the angel left. While their names are not mentioned again after the birth of John, they have left us a lovely legacy of faith in the promises of God, the God of the impossible. On a chilly November, in Manhattan, he was playing at the Starbucks Café on 51st & Broadway. 4. As the incense kindled and a cloud of fragrance arose from the altar, the prayer of the worshipers outside would rise into the presence of God (cf. Romans 8:29 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." And when he came out, though he could no longer speak, they were able to determine that something very significant had happened in the temple—that he had seen an angel. Most Jews were expecting some sort of "deliverer," or "anointed one," or "Messiah," or "Christ." There were about 20,000 of them in and around Jerusalem at the time, and unfortunately many were proud, bigoted, overly indulgent, self-seeking men, religious only in those external matters that would impress other people. And what's more, she also lived a life of righteousness on the basis of that faith. But this didn't happen in a spiritual vacuum. 18-20). (Sort of reminds us of Abraham and Sarah's situation). And there was no way to erase that blot. So, we're told that Mary rose in those days and went into the hill country "with haste" to the home of Zacharias and Elizabeth in order to see for herself. Think of how God's word testified that she was "righteous before God". I suggest that the answer is found in the very next chapter of Luke. Zacharias and Elizabeth had one like that, and it was a big one. It eats at our own souls, creates a hostile atmosphere in our homes, and ruins our relationships with our friends. Elizabeth and Anna lived during the reign of Herod the Great (37-4BCE). And they did it “in the sight of God,” that is, to exalt the Lord alone rather than to make a good showing before men. So he probably shared with his wife the great Old Testament Scriptures which would console her and encourage her in her plight. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant—as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; to show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to Abraham our father” (Luke 1:68-73). That is one reason he gave us His Word, and one reason He includes these great historic events in the Word. still struck dumb. I believe you can see something of her faith in action as the story unfolds. She was, in fact, a great mother remarkably used by God to encourage another even greater mother through . He knew how God had given a son to Sarah in her old age. She no doubt grown up in a very pious atmosphere—having been the daughter of a priestly father; and having married a man of an esteemed priestly order. This great promise is first hinted at in Isaiah 40—written almost seven centuries before Elizabeth was born. He committed the situation to the one person who could do something about it. To guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:76-79). We're told that John "grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel" (v. 80). For nothing will be impossible with God!” (Luke 1:36, 37). What promises in God’s Word do you find difficult to believe? And as you might imagine, it was a frightening experience. Look next at their most memorable day. It is so much easier to quit and run away from difficult circumstances, but that usually compounds the problem. All rights reserved. Maybe you think the Lord has forgotten you in your hopeless situation. The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, After Zacharias had committed his problem to God, he simply kept on with the job God had given him to do.


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