Spirit reading: Luke 1: 15, 39-45
We return to Elizabeth; John the Baptist’s mother today. She gets a special visit from the mother of her Savior. And her baby gets a special gift from the Lord.
Elizabeth isn’t like other mothers. She is much older than the traditional mother. In fact, she was past the age of bearing children when she conceived. One would think that she would be out in the streets shouting about this miracle but she stayed in seclusion for FIVE months. I’m curious why.
In our timeline Mary has just submitted to the Lord’s will and is pregnant with Jesus. Gabriel told her about her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy when he announced God’s desire for her to take part in His plan. He stated she was in her sixth month. This would be the month she emerged from her self-isolation. I’m wondering if Mary is the first person outside her own household to hear Elizabeth’s good news.
These women will share a special bond from this point on. Mary hurries to Elizabeth’s house. When Mary gets there she calls out to her in greeting. The Spirit of God filled Elizabeth and her unborn child. The babies’ Spirits recognized one another even from within the womb.
Mary would stay with Elizabeth until after John was born. I wonder if she was in the room when Zachariah wrote out his son’s name. Possibly not because Mary would probably be in seclusion until Joseph came and took her as his wife to give legitimacy to the child she was carrying. But that’s not the story for today.
John was the first child to be filled with the Holy Spirit. There were times when the Spirit of God rested on a person for a specific time and purpose but none kept that anointing their whole life. But John’s whole life was for a specific time and purpose. He was to prepare the hearts of the people for Jesus; God’s Promise.
Having the Holy Spirit living within him didn’t guarantee he would never sin. Even Jesus, who was/is God in the flesh, had opportunities to sin. He CHOSE not to. I am under no illusion that John ALWAYS made the right choice because we are told that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. John was born of the same ‘bloodline’ the rest of us are so he had need of his Savior like the rest of us do.
The Holy Spirit in John didn’t control his life but directed it along the path God had mapped out for him. When we accept Jesus as out Lord and Savior He gives us His Spirit to work in us as He did in John. He speaks to our heart and directs us in the paths God has laid out for us. We still have to make the choice to follow Him though.
Because of the Spirit within John, he was able to recognize Jesus as of the same Spirit. That sometimes happens today when members of God’s family meet. Sometimes there is just ‘something about that person’ that speaks to the Spirit within you. I wish it always worked that way. I suppose it depends on how strong the Spirit is within the person. The ‘walk’ and ‘talk’ matching up is a good place to start.
Father God, thank You for Your Spirit. Thank You that I can trust Him to lead me in Your paths. Help me remember to ‘feed’ Him every day with Your word. Help me also recognize His presence in others and NOT be fooled by pretenders.