Elizabeth’s commitment to Jehovah
Published 11:50 am Friday, December 12, 2008
Scripture: Luke 1:36-45, 57-58
Aim: To teach the pupil that surrender and obedience will produce a strong confidence in the Lord.
Golden Text: “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things, which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).
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The angel Gabriel came to a Jewish maiden, Mary, and informed her that she would conceive by the Holy Ghost and bring forth the Son of God, Who would sit on the throne of David (meaning the throne of Israel.) Last week’s lesson focused on Mary’s response and commitment to do as the Lord had spoken to her through the angel. This week’s lesson focuses on Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Elizabeth, being Mary’s cousin, Mary came to visit her after the angel informed her that Elizabeth was six months pregnant (Luke 1:36).
I. The greeting of Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:39-41, 44). An unusual thing took place when Mary came into her cousin Elizabeth’s house. Elizabeth was surprised because her six-month-old baby “leaped in her womb” in response to Mary’s voice (vs. 41)!
Six-month-old John the Baptist recognized the baby that Mary was carrying was very special. Now, that is really something. John the Baptist responding to the newly conceived Son of God! Who said that babies in the womb are not persons? Here a six-month-old responds to a newly conceived baby. Certainly all the intelligence and development had not come, but they were certainly exampling the truth that babies in the womb are persons. What a case against abortion!
II. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:41). Throughout the events of the announcements concerning Jesus’ and John’s births the Scriptures inform us that God the Holy Spirit was actively engaged in a definite way. Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Thus we see the powerful ability of the Holy Spirit. He causes Mary to conceive without a male partner. He enters into people in order to enlighten them and use them to the glory of God.
III. Elizabeth exhibits her confidence in God and His promises (Luke 1:42-45). First, she spoke out loudly to Mary (and any one else near enough to hear), “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (vs. 42). Second, she announced the divinity of Mary’s newly conceived baby, Jesus the Son of God. She called the baby her “Lord” (vs. 43). Third, she told Mary about John the Baptist’s response to her voice and her baby (vs. 44). Fourth, she blessed Mary for believing God and obeying Him (vs. 45). Elizabeth, lastly, announced her confidence in God and His promises. “For there shall be a performance of those things, which were told her from the Lord” (vs. 45). Elizabeth recognized that God keeps His promises and performs His word.
Those who truly recognize these two things have come to a place of confidence in God that strengthens faith and produces more faith. When one believes and obeys the Lord, he grows in faith.
IV. John the Baptist was born and acknowledged by Elizabeth and Zacharias, her husband (Luke 1:57, 60, 67). The birth took place on schedule (vs. 56). All the neighbors and kin folk wanted to name the new baby after his father (vs. 58-59). Elizabeth again exhibited her faith in God’s promises. She boldly announced that the baby already had a name (of course, she was referring to the name given to Zacharias, “John” (vs. 60).
Zacharias then related his confidence in God by announcing a prophecy concerning John and Jesus, the Messiah, after being filled with the Holy Spirit (vs. 67-79).
Thank God that He is dependable. When He promises, it is fulfilled. When He foretells events, they come to pass. He promises to save all those who come to Him by His Son, Jesus Christ, and we can have the confidence that He will forgive and cleanse the sinner. Amen!