December 18, 2022

The Christmas story: Love is Born part 3

The Christmas story: Love is Born part 3


The Christmas Story: Love is Born Part III (2022) (1:39-56)

Verse 39 This journey from Nazareth to the hill country of Judea would have been over 80 miles and taken 3-4 days.

  • No mention is made of a traveling companion but a young “single” woman would not have traveled alone.

Verse 40-41 The baby in Elizabeth’s womb “leaps” within her when they hear Mary’s greeting.

  • The Greek word used here actually means to leap for Joy!
  • The same word is also used in Psalm 114:4 in the LXX for mountains leaping like Rams.
  • At that same moment Elizabeth is also filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • This is the first time in 400 years that scripture records someone being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Verse 42 We have to assume that Elizabeth knows what she does about Mary’s baby as a result of this filling of the Holy Spirit.

  • This is also not a subtle declaration. NIV has In a loud voice she exclaimed:
    • Emphatic double wording here in the Greek.
    • She Cried loudly out with a mega cry

Verse 43 Elizabeth, although she is the Elder, shows humility here in questioning how she is worthy of such a visit.

  • The use of the title “my Lord” here is regal in nature and could be seen as “my king”

Verse 44 Elizabeth now tells Mary about the leaping of the baby within her.

  • A leap of Joy the whole nation was in eager anticipation of.

Verse 45 Elizabeth gives one more blessing to Mary this time for her faith.

  • And in this statement Elizabeth also seems to be expressing her own faith that God will bring to pass everything He has spoken to both of them.

Mary now answers with a song.

  • This song can be broken down into four parts.
  1. Praise The first part of the song is simple praise in verses 46-47.

Verse 46 Mary is simply worshiping God with this simple statement.

  • “My soul” shows that this was a praise that came from deep within her.

Verse 47 Spirit here is the used in the same way as soul in the last verse. Her soul is rejoicing

  • The verb rejoices here is also emphatic: Rejoice exceedingly, extremely joyful

II   Recalling the Lord’s blessings to her personally 48-49

  • She is Recognizing what God has been doing and is about to do.

Verse 48 She starts this verse by admitting her humble position.

Verse 49 In the OT the title ‘Mighty One’ would often allude to the warrior God.

  • Then she acknowledges the great things God has done for her.
  • Keep in mind God hasn’t actually done anything yet, it is still just a promise.
    • This is a praise in response to a promise, this is faith.

III. The Lord’s blessings to the world at large, especially the lowly or humble.  50-53

Verse 50 Mary turns from the things the Lord has done just for her to the things He has done for all His people.

  • Mary also turns from God’s holiness to his mercy
    • Consideration of one-character leads into another.

Verse 51 Mary appears to be quoting something here.

  • A Jewish proverbial saying or an extra biblical writing.
  • Or just paraphrasing several OT passages.
  • “He has scattered” refers to the judgment of God.

Verse 52 This is a typical Hebrew reversal in role.

  • In fact, verses 52 and 53 are very similar in wording to a Jewish writing known as Sirach 10:14.

Verse 53 Another Hebrew reversal of roles. A common element in Hebrew writing and culture.

  1. The blessings of the Lord for Israel 54-55
  • Mary’s song now becomes more specific to just the nation of Israel.

Verse 54 Israel is seen as the Lord’s servant.

Verse 55 Mary again is remembering the covenants God made with Abraham and his descendants.

Verse 56 Verse 36 told us that Elizabeth was in her sixth month when the angel visited Mary.

  • Mary then stays there for 3 months which would put Elizabeth in her ninth month.