Luke records that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months (Luke 1.56). More than likely, Mary was present to support Elizabeth at the time of John’s birth.
Use your imagination and think about what these two godly women did together for those three months.
— Did Mary help Elizabeth get the house ready for the birth of John?
— Did they talk about how the angel had silenced Zechariah?
— Did they compare notes about close encounters with angels?
— What did their times of prayer look like?
Luke records John’s birth with two short verses. “Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. “
“Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her” (Luke 1.57-58).
Let’s try to imagine the scene of John’s birth.
— Did Mary assist with the birth?
— Did Mary wonder what the birth of her son would be like?
— What form did the praise of the neighbors and relatives take?
The Eighth Day
Please take a few minutes to listen to the YouTube video that Rudy Ross and I produce. Rudy is Jewish and understands the Jewish rituals and their significance quite well.
In the video Rudy and I discuss circumcision, Jewish food laws, and the Sabbath. All three of these signs of their covenant relationship with God were powerful witnesses to the surrounding culture.
At many times in Jewish history, these rites came into conflict with Jewish oppressors. Their steadfast commitment to observe the signs of their covenant relationship with God was a powerful testimony to the reality of God.
Rudy understands the significance of the eighth day like no one else I know. He covers that on the video, too.
Luke describes what happened on the eighth day of John’s life.
Luke 1.59-65 – On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father.
But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.”
They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.”
Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him.
He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God.
Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea.
God works with his people in a promise + fulfillment + response pattern.
— A forerunner for the Messiah was promised by the Old Testament prophets.
— The fulfillment of that promise took place through the miraculous birth of John.
— The response was faith by Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary. Later, we will see a response of opposition to God’s activity by powerful people.
What will this child become?
The neighbors and other relatives asked, “What then will this child become?” (Luke 1.66).
They knew the Lord was with John and expected great things from him.
When we think of our children and grandchildren, we wonder and sometimes worry, “What will they become?”
I am a firm believer in a mother’s prayers. I am sure fathers also pray, but my experience has witnessed the remarkable power of mothers’ prayers.
As we care for our families, let’s determine within ourselves to continually pray for their future.
The YouTube video that Rudy and I produce can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. The videos are 8-10 minutes in length.