Zacharias and Elisabeth: Filled with the Holy Spirit

Last week, we took a look at Elisabeth’s reaction when Zacharias arrived home with the news of his visit from Gabriel.

Elisabeth was filled with wonder at all that was happening and could feel her shame removed.

The scripture then moves to Gabriel’s visit to Mary, before bringing the two stories

Mary arrived for a visit with Elisabeth

together.  Upon hearing the news of Elisabeth, Mary has gone to visit her.  We are told that Elisabeth is “a kinswoman” to Mary, although we are not told the exact relationship.  However, it does seem that it must be a rather close connection, but whether that is an aunt, cousin or another type of relationship we do not know.

So, the angel has appeared to both Mary and Zacharias and Elisabeth is great with child in her old age.  We pick up with Mary going to visit Elisabeth and Zacharias.

Luke 1:39-45 (ASV)

Imagine the conversation between two women. Zachariah listening and taking it all in.

39  And Mary arose in these days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah;
40  and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth.

“she fled to those whom God had inspired, so that they could understand her condition and know her innocence—to those who were as Joseph needed to be inspired, that he might understand.”
{The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

Mary probably longed to be with someone that understood her situation and had experienced the same miraculous experience she had.   There are some experiences that no matter how much we strive to understand, we just cannot comprehend unless we have been there.

41  And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit;

the babe within Elisabeth jumped for joy when Mary arrived for her visit

The child within Elisabeth leaped for joy and was already filled with the spirit of God, when Mary approached.

Elisabeth was “sufficiently to have a supernatural knowledge of things and to utter prophecy.”  {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

42  and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

“Indicating intense, ecstatic joy. What joy must have filled the hearts of these two women as they realized that one was to be the mother of the long-expected Messiah, and the other of his Elijah-like forerunner!”    {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

Mary, the Mother of the Lord

“On Mary’s arrival, Elisabeth was conscious of the approach of her who was to be the mother of the great Redeemer. At the same time she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and under his influence declared that Mary and her expected child were most blessed and happy, as peculiarly honoured of and dear to the Most High God.”   {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

43  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me?

“Mother of my Lord. The word Lord sometimes denotes divinity, and sometimes superior, master, teacher, or governor. It was given by the Jews to their expected Messiah; but whether they understood it as denoting divinity cannot now be ascertained. It is clear only that Elisabeth used it as denoting great dignity and honour.”  {Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament.}

Elisabeth was thrilled to see Mary

Elisabeth recognizes that Mary is the mother of the Lord, possibly even before the young woman is able to tell her all that has happened to her.

44  For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Notice that the babe Elisabeth carries leaps within her room at the arrival of Mary.  The child leaps for joy.

45  And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord.

“The language of Elisabeth, Oriental poetry, is that of an inspired prophet.”   {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

“From these expressions of Elisabeth we may learn—

The blessing of a child

1st. That the spirit of prophecy had not entirely ceased among the Jews.
2nd. That the Holy Ghost is the source of light, comfort, and joy.

3rd. That everything about the birth of Jesus was remarkable, and that he must have been more than a mere man.

4th. That the prospect of the coming of the Messiah was one of great joy and rejoicing to ancient saints; and,

5th. That it was a high honour to be the mother of him that should redeem mankind. It is from that honour that the Roman Catholics have determined that it is right to worship the Virgin Mary and to offer prayers to her-an act of worship as idolatrous as any that could be offered to a creature. For—

1st. It is not anywhere commanded in the Bible.

2nd. It is expressly forbidden to worship any being but God, Exodus 34:14, 20:4,5, Deuteronomy 6:13,14, Isaiah 45:20.

3rd. It is idolatry to worship or pray to a creature.

4th. It is absurd to suppose that the Virgin Mary can be in all places at the same time to hear the prayers of thousands at once, or to aid them. There is no idolatry more gross,

Elisabeth and Zacharias visit with Mary eventually ended

and of course more wicked, than to worship the creature more than the Creator, Romans 1:25.”  {Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament.}

Elisabeth spoke with eloquence at the arrival of Mary.  She spoke words of prophecy, which is of things to come.  Elisabeth was filled with the holy spirit and rejoice.

Today, we do not really know what it is to be filled with the holy spirit.  We regard people that claim to be filled as crazy or fakes.  However, we continue to be complacent and pray for revival.  What would happen if all of those of us that are believers were to be filled with the holy spirit?   One thing is for sure, we would see the spirit of great revival that we long for.

Have you ever been filled with the holy spirit?


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