Luke 1:39-56

An Unexpected Visit

Gabriel's announcement prompts Mary to leave and confirm his message by visiting Elizabeth. Mary was eager, and the scripture tells us that she went with haste. Mary traveled around eighty miles to see her elderly cousin, and when she arrived unannounced, Elizabeth greeted her in a most unexpected way. At the sound of Mary's voice, Elizabeth's unborn son leaped in her womb. Mary must have stared at Elizabeth in her swollen condition. Mary has no time to explain the reason for her visit before Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and she blesses Mary. Her blessing is reminiscent of Old Testament affirmations such as the one found in Judges 5:24. Elizabeth attests to the divine origin of the child declaring that her cousin Mary is the mother of her Lord. Elizabeth must have been comforted by Mary's visit since she has been hidden for five months (Luke 1:24). Elizabeth serves as a prophetess confirming God's calling on Mary and the identity of her child. 

My Soul Magnifies The Lord

Just as Mary's greeting had roused the inhabitant of Elizabeth's womb, Elizabeth's words cause Mary to respond in praise. Mary breaks into a song which speaks of salvation and redemption. The lyrics of her song indicate her familiarity with God's word and her love for him. Mary cannot keep from blessing her Lord. She rejoices in her savior; she acknowledges her place, and she sees the favor of God and the evidence of this amazing grace. She remembers his faithfulness and speaks of his power and sovereignty. The poetry of her song is reminiscent of the Psalms, and there are many parallels in what she has to say. She sees the faithful God at work from the inception of the people that he had called to himself through his covenant with Abraham. God cares for his own, and he has helped his servant Israel because of his mercy. Mary understands that God is still keeping his covenant with Abraham. Imagine the conversations held between this matron and her young relative Mary while she stayed with her for three months before returning home. 

Things To Consider:

  • Who do you have in your life that confirms and reinforces your calling?
  • Who do you regularly speak words of grace over? Why?
  • Do you sing to God? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever been so overwhelmed by his goodness that you could not contain your love for him? What happened?
  • How has God blessed you?
  • How has God provided for you?
  • How do you experience the covenant that God made with Abraham?
  • Who will you encourage today?