Jesus’ presence is powerful, and was active even prior to His birth. As the Christmas season winds down, we’re going back in time to before our Savior’s birth to discover the earthly advent of that power. Yesterday we focused on the announcement from the angel Gabriel to Zacharias that his wife, Elizabeth, a barren, older woman, would bear a son. Upon a visit from her cousin, Mary, Elizabeth’s baby “leaped in her womb.”
What led to Mary’s visit, and why would there be a leaping in the womb? Let’s go back to Luke 1 to pick up the account. In verses 26-38, we the angel Gabriel made a second announcement following his proclamation to Zacharias. This time to Mary (Elizabeth’s cousin). Mary was a virgin, yet the angel announced she would conceive and bear a son. That Son would be great, would be called the Son of the Most High, and would reign from the throne of David forever. There would be power in His presence!
That is miraculous enough, but the angel had another message: “By the way, Mary…your cousin, Elizabeth, has also conceived and will bear a son.”
Imagine! Miraculous conceptions by the two cousins (Elizabeth being barren, and Mary being a virgin)! Nothing is impossible with God! What joy must have flooded Mary’s heart when she was proclaimed a favored one, then told her cousin would bear a son. Isn’t it fitting that Mary would go right away to rejoice with Elizabeth!
Now we know the purpose of that visit, and we begin to understand why Elizabeth’s baby (John) leaped in her womb! Read the account again:
Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
I don’t know about you, but studying this passage gives me greater depth of appreciation for the power of Jesus’ presence. Even before the birth of Jesus, God the Father was setting the stage to introduce the power His presence would bring. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus was a power plant! Power characterized His life. His miracles displayed His power. His teaching displayed His power. His life displayed His power. His death, burial and resurrection displayed His power. Yet it was at His conception that the presence of that power was first illustrated in human form!
Dear friend, you and I are impacted by the power of His presence as well! Come back tomorrow as we examine the power of His presence in our lives today!