Sermon Illustrations

Mary, the mother of Jesus, has been rightly regarded as one of the godliest people in history. But she was also human, subject to the same doubts we have.

Why, after the biggest announcement in history, does she "hurry away" from her family? Why did she go by herself? Why did she stay away for so long?

Imagine a teenage girl pausing in her daily chores. Gabriel suddenly stands before her. "You are the one who will be the mother of the Messiah."

What a message! What does she do first? She runs to find her mother.

"An angel just appeared to me!"

"Oh. Really?"

"He said I would be the mother of the Messiah!"

"Oh. Really!"

"But, he said I would have the baby as a virgin!"

"Oh! Really! Mary, every newly-engaged woman hopes to be the mother of the Messiah. But remember you must have a husband. We talked about that."

"Yes, but the angel said I will be the virgin mother of the Messiah."

"Poor dear, you've been working too long in the hot sun. Sit down and have a drink of cool water."

Nothing Mary says moves her mother's mind. She becomes frustrated, caught between her mother's continued dismissal and her own certainty of the event.

"Oh, yes, the angel mentioned Elizabeth and an impossible baby." So Mary "got up and went hurriedly" to visit her relative.

She's very young. She probably traveled with a group like Jesus did when he was twelve. But she goes alone. Neither mother, father, brother, sister, friend, or servant accompanies her. Over the next three or four days, the farther she gets from home the bigger the questions loom.

"What am I doing? Does Elizabeth even know me? Why should she believe me any more than my own mother?

"But I can't go back home either...I can only keep going."

Finally, she arrives at the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth. She walks up to the door. She lifts her hand to knock.

"What am I doing here? Why should anyone believe me?" She turns and walks away. She slows and turns around.

"But I can't go back home...And as long as I'm here...Somehow I have to tell her about the angel."

The process is repeated once, twice, more. Finally, she does knock and enter the home.

"Hello, Elizabeth. I don't know if you remember me and I'm not sure why I'm here..."

Elizabeth starts and clutches her belly. Beyond all doubts and hopes, she grabs Mary and literally shouts a greeting full of blessings on her!

"What! How does she know? The baby is already here in my womb? She knows all about it, believes it, and says she's glad that I believed!"

The dam breaks. All of the tension Mary has carried bursts forth in praise to God! Nothing can hold it back. Nothing can stop her exaltation of the magnificence of God.

Then, despite the rumors that will assault when she returns, she stays for three months, strengthened by the only two people who believe and understand and rejoice with her.

It was nice of God to have Gabriel mention Elizabeth.

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