July 31: Mary and Elizabeth – Luke 1:26-45
This summer, we are looking to the women of the Bible for encouragement, advice, and examples of living life full with God. In July and August, we’re reading the stories of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Miriam, Zipporah, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Proverbs 31 woman, Gomer, Elizabeth, all the Marys, Martha, woman at the well, bleeding woman, adulterous woman, Canaanite woman, Lydia, Eunice, Priscilla, and the Titus 2 woman. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). An example SOAP from our team is below today’s Bible reading. Comments are always welcome on our website for questions, discussion, and accountability.
Mary and Elizabeth – Luke 1:26-45
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Filled with the Holy Spirit | Becky Newman
Not sure why I scheduled the same reading two days in a row, but we’re just going to go with it and chalk it up to me being fully imperfect. Elizabeth’s pregnant unmarried teenage cousin shows up at her doorstep…and Elizabeth has the most beautiful and warm welcome, no judging and condemnation just joy and praise and encouragement. John is jumping around inside Elizabeth’s tummy because he knows this is the One whom he’s supposed to be preparing the way for. This seems to be the closest John and Jesus get until about 30 years later when John baptizes Jesus. As baby John leaps, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit who allows her to prophecy that Mary is carrying the Messiah in her womb and encourage her to persevere in her belief and faith.
You promise to fill us with the Holy Spirit when we become believers. There are several times before You gave the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 that the Holy Spirit is recorded in action, like here with Elizabeth and in other places in the Old Testament, for instance, with David. The Holy Spirit is the third in Your trinity, whom You’ve sent to help us with the unseen here on earth — giving me divine strength, interceding in and translating my prayers, chipping away the bad parts of my character to grow fruit, strengthening my passion and skills to do Your work, speaking for me to glorify You and point others to You. I am thankful to be getting to know better Your Holy Spirit at work in me.
Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit and our church and life group that have better acquainted me with how You are working. Help me to let You work–build, strengthen, intercede, and speak. Help me to be like Elizabeth in the presence of Your Holy Spirit, filled with joy and praise and encouragement.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.