John T. Willis

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Mary Visits Elizabeth--Luke 1:39-56

After the angel Gabriel told her that Elizabeth will have a son in her old age (Luke 1:36), Mary decided to go visit with Elizabeth as related in Luke 1:39-56. This paragraph falls into three parts:

I. Mary goes to visit with Elizabeth in Judah and stays there three months. Luke 1:39-40, 56.
a. Mary was living in Nazareth in North Israel and was engaged to Joseph. Mary went to "a Judean town" and entered into the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth. 1:39-40.
b. The biblical composer tells his audience that Mary stayed with Zechariah and Elizabeth "about three months." 1:56.

II. Elizabeth declares that Mary and her child are blessed. Luke 1:41-45.
a. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, "the child leaped in her womb." Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and declared to Mary: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." 1:41-42.
b. Elizabeth asked WHY Mary has come to her, referring to Mary as "the mother of my Lord," that is, the promised Jesus Christ. The child in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy. Elizabeth declares: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." 1:43-45.

III. Mary Utters a Song of Praise. Luke 1:46-55. Most scholars entitle this Song "The Magnificat."
a. Mary magnifies the Lord and rejoices in the Lord, because the Lord has looked with favor on Mary and all generations will call her blessed. God is holy, merciful, and strong. God has defeated the proud and exalted the humble; God has filled the hungry and taken away the wealth of the rich. 1:46-53.
b. Mary concludes by declaring that God has helped Israel his people because of his mercy according to the promise God made to Abraham and his descendants forever. 1:54-55.
One should note carefully that in this Song, there is an inseparable connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament, between Israel and Christians.

Share YOUR insights and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis