“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:39–45 NIV11-GKE)
I love this account of two of the most powerful women in the NT, the early church and even today.
Two weeks ago, I was in Fatima, Portugal, the sanctuary of the Virgin of Fatima. It is a colossal place. A whole village, or small town, has been built around it. I saw people walking on their knees in repentance for the sins they carry. Other people were making candles, and others were praying. I was moved by the sheer size of the place and by the spiritual atmosphere of the site. It is a prominent pilgrimage for most people of Portugal, Europe, and the world. I am not here to judge, but this led me to look at the story of Mary and Elizabeth and, this time, be moved by these two women’s simplicity, humility and courage.
One is a mother-to-be in her old age, and the other is a mother-to-be as a teenager.
One of them had a powerful encounter with Gabriel, the Angel. She is the mother of Jesus, Mary had an encounter with an angelic, and the Holy Spirit was coming to her. Just as the Angel told her, she became pregnant with the Holy Spirit.
The other one, Elizabeth, had a prophetic word delivered to her by her husband, Zecharias, who became mute mainly for not believing the Angel’s Word for the supernatural pregnancy of his wife. I hope you remember the story that happened to him in the temple. – “ my wife and I are of old age” was a natural, early, flesh response to the Angel in a place where it was Holy and expected to hear and serve God. After that encounter, he went home, slept with her wife, and the promise of the prophetic Word became a reality.
Please do not dismiss the prophetic Word: They carry heaven’s authority and power.
Do test every prophetic Word by prayer, discernment and activation – that is if the prophetic Word is related to gifts of the Spirit.
The prophetic Word will be fulfilled, and it will come to pass.
The most effective prophetic Word that can be given is a potent mix of the Logos Word and the Rhema Word. – The Logos Word is what we find in John one – The Logos became the Word, Jesus, and what he says, it is the Scriptures, is the Logical, – Rational – Factual Word of the Lord. – That is the Bible. – The Rhema Word is the Spirited and Inspired Word of the Lord that the Spirit of God is giving you to declare. This is what Paul says in Eph. 6:12 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – This is why it is so important to learn, read, and meditate on the Word of God. You never know when and how the Lord will use that Word.
Recently a minister asked the Lord for a word for me, and he gave me a Bible verse from the OT. As soon as he said, it became Rhema’s Word, and I received it.
Let me go back to the story of Elizabeth and Mary.
Here are some key points:
- These two women are life givers
- The Holy Spirit is in both of them
- Notice: Mary greets Elizabeth, and Elizabeth is changed.
- Elizabeth became full of the Spirit as she became closer to Mary.
- It was so powerful that the baby inside her leapt for joy.
That is very interesting. How do you know the mood of an unborn baby? I know that babies kick inside. I have seen it. I think the writer of the Gospel of Luke is pointing to the emotional state of Elizabeth, and she was so happy that her baby leaped for joy and became full of the Spirit. Both of them! We know this is true. It happens. When my wife was pregnant, I used to sing to my kids, read, and pray for them. We know that these kinds of activities are essential to the unborn child. They shape you into who you are.
These two women lived and experienced the reality of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives in their particular context.
Yet we can argue that this is not our experience. We are not Mary and Elizabeth, and we are not like them.
Remember that these two women were not celebrities or had a special endowment. One is a teenager, and the other is an older woman. That is very common; they came from an ordinary family up to this point.
Also, I believe that they were chosen for this. In God’s perfect plan, he elected these two to become what they became, servants of the Lord.
We live in days when women’s ministry is being undermined but a poor exegesis of the Scriptures and those who believe that women cannot be Ministers. If only we could have what they carried, the Spirit of life and joy, things could be very different. This account is another way of God saying to us that we are equals in his eyes.
They were people, just like you and me, who decided to obey the angelic Word and accept the supernatural encounter with much humility and fear.
I would love to have known the kind of conversation Zecharias had with Elizabeth when she told her she was pregnant.- Full of joy and amazement, only for Zecharia to tell her that he knew from the beginning but could not talk about it as he became mute as the Angel told him due to his unbelief!! I would have loved to see the face of Elizabeth!
The big question for us is this: Can we have the same level of the Holy Spirit in our lives to the point that when we are with people, they become joyful?
I hope our answer is Yes!
It takes obedience to believe that the impossible can be possible in God’s Presence.
What if we are the very people who will transfer Joy to other people?