Summary: In today’s passage you will see the impactful visitation and meeting of two prophetically conceived women. Their meeting is nothing out of the ordinary. Their conversation is no gossip but spirit-filled ...

Opening illustration: Think about which person/people’s visit to your home or life have impacted you immensely. Whenever this family we knew in the Middle East visited us, brought joy and impacted our lives. Their daughter who was around 7-8 years old and was diagnosed with down-syndrome taught me how to worship God. Her innocent presence and demeanor swept my heart away. She was one who really knew how to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. I have never seen anyone worship un-inhibit-idly like her. I always desired to reach that level of worshiper of God.

In today’s passage you will see the impactful visitation and meeting of two prophetically conceived women. Their meeting is nothing out of the ordinary. Their conversation is no gossip but spirit-filled …

Let us turn to Luke 1 and catch up with the narrative.

Introduction: These two conception miracles, these two miracles in the womb of two women launch the whole series of messianic miracles. The whole miraculous coming of Christ begins with these two conception miracles. And at that point God has injected Himself miraculously into the otherwise non-miraculous source of life. There hasn't been a miracle in over 400 years; there hasn't been a series of miracles in at least 500 years. Nobody has heard from an angel or even from God in well over 400 years. Miracles didn't happen. God didn't speak. Angels didn't show up until now. And it all begins with these two amazing conceptions ... Elizabeth, chosen to be the mother of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Messiah, and Mary, chosen to be the mother of Messiah, the Son of God. In both cases the angel Gabriel came to make the announcement.

In this text of Scripture we have an amazing event taking place. This meeting of these two expectant women is more than a meeting to speak to each other about babies kicking and moving about. It’s more than a meeting to discuss the issues of pregnancy. It is an amazing prophetic, Holy Spirit empowered declaration that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Not only do we see Mary and Elizabeth coming together for fellowship and comfort but we see our Lord and John the Baptist meeting for the first time even before they’re born. In this meeting, or as it’s been called by the church through the centuries, “The Visitation,” we see the meeting of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant. This meeting by these two women is a providential coming together. Their meeting is a God ordained meeting. The angel practically extends the invitation for Mary to go see Elizabeth. Many things happen in this short passage.

What kind of visitation did Mary and Elizabeth experience?

1. A God-Ordained Visitation (vs. 39-40)

Luke wants us to understand that in the days that Mary received the angel’s message she went immediately to see her cousin. Again, Mary’s faith is seen and shown to us as a model to be followed. She didn’t wait around; she arose and went with haste. How long does it normally take before you follow God’s Word and do what He has for you to do? Do you wait? Do you hesitate? Do you keep asking immature folks around you what to do? What does it take you to take action on what God has instructed? Mary had a very strong and unwavering faith (a blind faith in God), one that believed God no matter what.

The angel Gabriel had told Mary about her Cousin Elizabeth’s supernatural pregnancy and Mary went with haste to see this great miracle for herself. She had been told that her cousin Elizabeth was also experiencing an unusual, though different, visitation of God’s grace: that now late in life, she was in the sixth month of pregnancy with her first child (Luke 1:36).

Now, almost immediately after she has discovered that she, Mary of Nazareth, is about to become the most unique woman in history, notice how beautifully her attention turns from herself to a need where she can serve. She travels to help Elizabeth, and v. 56 says that Mary stayed with her aged relative and served her until Elizabeth’s baby was delivered. This could well become our most important Christmas lesson for this year. Mary demonstrates a principle of God’s love in action: “May I be more concerned to assist the fulfillment of what the Lord is doing in another person than I am with what He is doing in me.”

2. A Spirit-Filled Visitation (v. 41)

We don’t know whether Elizabeth saw Mary at first, or just heard her voice. She may have been working around the house or in another room when Mary gave her greeting. Hello, Elizabeth, it’s your cousin Mary are you home?

But however it was, Luke tells us that Mary’s voice had an effect on the baby Elizabeth was carrying. The Bible tells us that the baby leaped in her womb. skirta,w skirtao {skeer-tah’-o} Leaped for joy. This was a Holy Spirit moment in the lives of these women and their babies. This leaping is a prophetic leaping. It is something that God’s people had been waiting on for centuries.

What do I mean? The last utterance by any prophet came from the mouth of Malachi. He was the last prophet before the 400 years of silence. The people would have read this text and waited for an amazing event. At the announcement and birth of Jesus there would be so much joy that God’s people would leap for joy like a calf comes out of the pen (Ref: Malachi 4:1-6).

Malachi also tells us that Elijah will come to prepare the way for the Messiah. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers,

Do you remember what Gabriel said John the Baptist would do?

Luke 1:16-17 (ESV) “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will 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 for the Lord a people prepared.”

We also see Gabriel’s prophecy coming true … John the Baptist would spend the rest of his life leaping for joy at the ministry of his Lord. He would fulfill his role as the forerunner and the people would be ready to hear the message of Jesus Christ.

The voice of Jesus’ mother Mary caused John to leap for joy even in the womb. At the sound of Jesus’ voice years later, John was still leaping for joy.

Does the thought of Jesus Christ cause you to rejoice? One day, we will hear Him and see Him face to face and the Holy Spirit residing in us will cause our hearts to rejoice greatly and even cause us to leap for joy at the presence of Jesus Christ.

When John heard the voice of Mary he leaped within the womb in such a way that Elizabeth knew the prophecy told to her by the same angel would come true.

3. A Blessed Visitation (vs. 42-45)

Notice with me that the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son. Once Elizabeth is filled with the Spirit she begins glorifying the Son. She did not deduce this from logic but was given this knowledge through the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Notice that Elizabeth through the power of the Holy Spirit prophecies that the child being carried by Mary was indeed her own Lord and Savior. This intimate and vital knowledge came about through the power of the Holy Spirit.

She uses the Name Lord to show Jesus’ deity. But this is also the source of the term Theotokos, the mother of God. There is a sense in which this phrase also means the mother of God. That is, “my Lord” is both Jesus and The Father God. This may be the first Trinitarian reference in the whole of the gospel tradition. Elizabeth’s statement of what was spoken to Mary by the Lord reinforces this rich ambiguity.

In ancient days, the greatness of a mother’s child often determined a woman’s status. John MacArthur comments, “In Hebrew culture, a woman’s status was based to a great extent on her children; her significance was directly tied to their significance.”

Although an older woman, Elizabeth was also expecting a child, the child that would become Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist. These women had no wealth or social standing; nothing about them was remarkable. They came from nowhere special, they lived in a cultural backwater, and they were citizens of a forgotten country. Yet God chose them to be his instruments for bringing into the world two men who would shape the faith of millions, throughout the world.

Clearly her time with Elizabeth had a blessed impact on Mary. With Elizabeth’s gentle support and encouragement, Mary went from questioning “how can this be?” to a point where she was prepared to put her total trust in God. Suddenly she was prepared to face the potential rejection of Joseph and his family, knowing that God would do great things through her. “I am the handmaiden of the Lord” Mary said, “let it be with me according to your word.”

The bottom line is that Mary is the most blessed of all women because she would bear the greatest of all children, Jesus. Luke again highlights Mary’s unwavering faith in what God spoke to her through the angel. She believed and continues to believe all that she heard. One reason Elizabeth declares that Mary is blessed is because of her faith. Luke stresses this as well.

The Lord spoke through the angel and Mary believed and she was blessed. The Word of God came to her audibly that day through the angel and Mary heard and Mary believed every word.

What about us? Do we believe when God speaks to us? Now, you might say, I’ve never heard God and I didn’t think God spoke audibly anymore. You would be right … but God still speaks. We have His authoritative Word recorded for us in the Scriptures. What the Bible says, God says. You may also think that if I actually heard God speak it would carry more weight or you would be more inclined to hear and obey, but listen to the Apostle Peter speak to us on this matter …


• Now, let’s look at something else. How quick did Mary respond to the Word of God given to her from the angel? Mary arose and went with haste.

• Our call today is to obey God’s Word with haste. Do you reason your way through the Word of God when it comes to obeying it? Do not sit around and contemplate and try to figure out all the details. Obey with haste for the glory of God.

• What would obedience to the Word of God look like for you? Do it with haste.

• For Mary in those days, it was God’s desire for her to go and be with Elizabeth and she went quickly. We too must respond quickly.

• In the process of obedience many generations have been blessed as we see the two covenants coming together in Christ.