Highlights In Today's Reading:
Luke lays groundwork for non-Jews to understand the Truth about Jesus (1:4). Birth of John the Baptist foretold (1:5-25). Birth of Jesus foretold (1:26-45). John born (1:57-66); his mission (1:67-79), his growth (1:80). Angel declares Jesus Son of the Highest and Son of God (1:32,35). Mary divinely blessed (1:46-48).
God sent the angel Gabriel as a special messenger of Good News to Mary of Nazareth, saying: Thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. . . . Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His Name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David (1:28,31-32).
Luke recorded that Mary was troubled at . . . what manner of salutation this should be (1:29). Joseph was equally troubled (Matt. 1:19), so much so that he even contemplated a divorce to end his legal engagement to Mary, though her condition required death by stoning under the Law (Deut. 22:20-21).
Then we read that Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth (Luke 1:39-40). Zacharias, a priest, was married to Mary's cousin Elizabeth. Mary lived in Nazareth, about 70 miles north of Jerusalem. It appears this young Jewish girl had journeyed alone for about three days to Elizabeth's home.
When Mary greeted her, Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit). And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (1:41-43). How delightful this must have been to Mary's heart! Instead of suspicion, there was a miraculous confirmation from Elizabeth who felt so unworthy and yet so privileged to be in the presence of the mother of her Messiah.
Then the Holy Spirit inspired Mary to say: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior (1:46-47). Hers was the highest kind of prayer, for it asks for nothing — it simply rejoices with praise and thankfulness: For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His Name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation (Luke 1:48-50).
Thought for Today:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee (Is. 26:3).
1:40 saluted =greeted, embraced; 1:46 magnify =exalt, praise; 1:54 holpen =helped.
For Luke 1:17: See Mal. 4:5-6. Luke 1:50: See Ps. 103:17. Luke 1:53: See Ps. 107:9. Luke 1:71: See Ps. 106:10. Luke 1:76: See Mal. 3:1. Luke 1:79: See Is. 9:1-2; 59:8.
Pray for Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Officials: Rep. Hilda Solis (CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) • Country: Guyana (705,000) on the northeastern coast of South America • Major languages: English and Amerindian dialects • The government is becoming increasingly Marxist, radical, and atheistic • 36% Hindu; 28% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 9% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His love (Ps. 63:3).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:19