Mary visits Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45)

Summary

Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant. When Mary entered the house and called a greeting, Elizabeth felt her baby move within her. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said “You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” She went on to say that her baby jumped with gladness at the sound of Mary’s voice.

Understanding the text

  • Elizabeth is Mary’s cousin. She is now elderly and she and her husband, Zechariah, have never been able to have children. Now Elizabeth is pregnant as God has worked a miracle so they can conceive.
  • Their child will grow up to be John the Baptist, the person whose role in life is to prepare people for Jesus.
  • Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth when both of them are expecting their babies. Elizabeth’s baby “leaped in her womb” when Mary entered the house and called a greeting.
  • This incident shows that even though they are not yet born, John acknowledges the superiority of Jesus and recognises that Jesus is God’s son.