Faith like Mary and Elisabeth
Matthew 1 + Luke 1: Jan 2 – 8
The lineage of Jesus Christ
- Matthew starts off by telling us Joseph’s lineage.
- It includes 4 women. This is very rare.
- Thamar: Tamar from Genesis 38.
- Tamar had to take matters into her own hands when a group of men were not doing as they knew they should be doing. I talk about her more in Episode 60
- Rachab – or Rahab from Joshua 6
- She helps conceal the Israelite spies that Joshua sent into Jericho and her and her entire family are later saved during the destruction of Jericho because of her bravery and kindness.
- Ruth – Book of Ruth
- Ruth took an unusual path and arranged her own marriage. She relied on the Lord in her story.
- Wife of Urias – who is Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 11.
- Bathsheba has an interesting story. One that is unfortunate. However, she has faith and did her best raising her son Solomon.
- Thamar: Tamar from Genesis 38.
- These women have incredible stories. They are all messy stories. None of them are perfect and all have been through a LOT.
- A lot happened to preserve the lineage of Jesus Christ – and women with faith were a huge part of that line.
- These women are so relatable. They have been lied to. They struggle financially. They are marginalized. They are forgotten or they are outsiders. These women are us! These are the very women that Jesus was born to save.
- He came for them. He came for me. He came for you!
Elisabeth: Luke 1
- Right away we learn what type of people Zacharias + Elisabeth are.
- Luke 1: 6
- Walking in the commandments + ordinances
- We learn that Zacharias is at the altar – which is actually a once in a lifetime opportunity. He had been praying, when an angel (Gabriel) comes and tells him that his prayer is heard and Elisabeth will have a son, and his name should be John.
- He is told about John and how he shall tell the people of Jesus Christ and testify of him.
- However, Zacharias asks “Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.”
- Then he is struck dumb. – unable to speak until the baby is born. For 9 months he cannot speak. In verse 20 we learn he is struck dumb b/c he doesn’t believe the words of the angel.
- Then Elisabeth does conceive, and hides her pregnancy because she is so old and has been barren.
- Luke 1: 6
Mary: Luke 1
- The same angel that visited Zacharias also gets to visit Mary.
- We find out quickly what type of woman Mary is:
- Luke 1: 27-28
- Highly Favored
- Willing to do what is asked of her.
- In the book. Walking with the Women of the New Testament on page 32 it is explained that Espoused means more than engaged. It is a 2 step process. In the first step, there would have been a contract of sorts where Joseph would have signed it with witnesses present. Joseph also would have had to make some sort of gift/payment that could have been valuable jewelry of some sort. Possibly a ring. They were considered married, but did not share a home or anything like that. In order to get out of this situation, a formal divorcement would have had to be made. Formal marriage was the second step.
- As the angel tells Mary that she shall conceive and bring for Jesus she doesn’t question who Jesus is. She is a daughter of God who had most likely been taught the words from the Old Testament. She has faith in what the angel has revealed to her. She probably knew that Jesus would be born and what He was prophesied to do.
- She questions how that is possible b/c she has not been intimate with a man. The angels explain that the Holy Ghost will overshadow her.
A Visit with her Cousin
- She’s then told that her cousin – JST relative – Elisabeth is pregnant also. That she’s 6 months pregnant even.
- Luke 1:37 – 38
- “Be it unto me.” I love these words from Mary.
- She is willing to do this thing that she probably doesn’t fully understand. Being a woman who is filled with faith, I’m sure she knows what has been prophesied of the Lord. She was willing though. She believed it!
- This is the difference is that Mary believed – Zacharias questioned and didn’t know if it could happen.
- Mary goes. She travels to Elisabeth’s house.
- Luke 1:41 – compared to 15. Had Elisabeth felt her baby before then?
- Luke 1:42 – 45 I love that Elisabeth knew that Mary was pregnant with “My Lord” – that’s what she calls Him.
- In verses 46-55 Mary speaks what is called “Mary’s Song of Praise”. It is like poetry. It says ….
- Mary stays with Elisabeth for about 3 months. I love this. Those first 3 months are ROUGH for a lot of women. That’s usually when morning sickness is most prevalent. It is when you just don’t feel well at all. Elisabeth has been through that first 3 months already though. She knew.
- Mary left right before Elisabeth would have John.
- John is born, and everyone says his name must be Zacharias. However, Zacharias asks for a writing tablet and says his name will be John – and he can speak again.
- The remaining verses of the chapter talk of the things that John will do to prepare the way for Jesus Christ to teach and perform His miracles.
Two Women of Faith
- There is so much to learn from these two women.
- First, we need to remember that God prepares a way for us. The women that came before paved a way through their struggles and had miracles given to them in their time of need.
- So it was with both Elisabeth and Mary.
- Mary is such an incredible example of faith. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to they word.”
- It makes me ponder if I am quick to accept His will – even when it seems impossible.
- I also love the reminder we receive in this section of scripture – “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.”
- NOTHING shall be impossible.
- Sometimes – the Lord doesn’t always answer our prayers like He did for Zacharias. Sometimes it feels like things are impossible because children, marriage, healing, peace … or whatever challenge we are facing, isn’t coming. Sometimes we question His ability because we don’t see Him in our lives.
It’s important to remember that we all have our trials – and sometimes that trial is a different answer than we’re praying for.
He is there. He is accomplishing a great work in your life – right now, today. Pray to recognize Him in your life and to see your prayers are being answered.