Do you know what I love about the story of Mary visiting Elizabeth in Luke 1:39 and onward? It’s Elizabeth’s attitude and good character. To set the scene, Mary knows she’s having the baby Jesus, so she travels to her relative’s home in a hurry. She was probably overwhelmed and in great need of support from Elizabeth. But what we often forget is Elizabeth’s own situation:
Think about it. She’s pregnant after never having children. As an older woman, this miracle surely deservers more attention. And Zechariah still cannot say a word! Elizabeth has so much to think about, so much to focus on, and so much to consider for her own life. She’s having a baby, too.
But when Mary comes to visit her, Elizabeth immediately shifts her focus to become a great host (Mary stayed with her for 3 months) and a great encourager (she blesses Mary rather loudly and centers her attention on Jesus and not her own baby or her own plans). We observe no jealousy, comparison, or complaining about the situation. We observe nothing but blessing and care for Mary.
What does Elizabeth know that allows for this attitude and behavior?
I imagine that Elizabeth’s highest joy was already Jesus. And she knew God would take care of her, too. She had His attention and didn’t need everyone to fuss over her. Indeed, when her baby comes, all the neighbors and relatives come to share in her joy (58), her husband can speak again (64), and her baby receives a marvelous prophetic word.
Oh, to live more like Elizabeth with a selfless heart that rejoices over others and cares for them even in the midst of our own complicated lives.