Mary, cousin of Elizabeth

We continue with the Christmas story in Luke 1:26, at the point where Elizabeth is miraculously now about 6 months pregnant.

We are told that the angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth, one of the overlooked, undesirable small towns in Israel, where supposedly nothing good ever comes out of it.

And not only has an angel been sent to the lowliest of locations, he has also been sent to give mind-blowing news to a teenaged girl (around 14-15 years of age) engaged to be married (he is likely 18-20 years of age).

Gabriel starts out by greeting Mary, (by the way, cousin to Elizabeth) calling her highly favored, and one that God is with. I dunno about you, but that would be enough to cause me to be flabbergasted, fear filled and befuddled like Mary was!

Gabriel quickly gets to the point by informing her that God has chosen her to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah!

Mary quickly asks the question that immediately comes to mind, “How can this be, as I am still a virgin?” Coz somehow, she gets that this is not going to be an average pregnancy.

Gabriel informs her that Holy Spirit will come upon her & cause her to conceive. Then he delivers the spectacular news that her barren older cousin Elizabeth is 6 months pregnant!

Mary replies that she is willing to be used by God in this way, and takes Him at His word that it will come to pass.

Then she hightails it to visit her cousin Elizabeth. By the time she arrives there, the babe with Elizabeth recognizes that Messiah is on His way within Mary’s womb!

Mary stays until Elizabeth has given birth to the son God promised, whom Zechariah joyously names John as instructed to do so by the angel 9 months earlier in the temple.

That would have been quite the faith booster to Mary, as she approaches the end of her 1st trimester. Likely no one back home in Nazareth knows she is pregnant yet, let alone carrying the Messiah!

PS. There is more to each of these snapshots of the Christmas story, so check out the full passage in Luke 1 for more detail!


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