41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. – Luke 1: 41-45
Up to now, only God, Gabriel and Mary knew what was about to happen in Bethlehem. It must have been an overwhelming experience and heavy load for a teenage girl like Mary to bear. Was she mad? Had she been hallucinating? Who could she trust to tell? Who would believe her? How would she know that it was not all some cosmic joke being played on her? The answer to all of these questions was summed up in a word – Elisabeth.
Elisabeth was the cousin of Mary, who had her own miraculous birth going on. In her old age, she had conceived and was already six months pregnant by the time Mary got her news. God then placed Elisabeth in the life of Mary at the right time for these reasons:
1. To let Mary know that she was not the first or only one who God was doing miracles for. That Elisabeth was having a child at her age was proof to Mary that God could do anything and that He routinely worked miracles for people she knew. This was not a miracle she had to read the scriptures to learn about. All she had to do was ask her cousin.
2. To let Mary know that somebody else could confirm what He had told her. When Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, before she even breathed a word about what she had experienced, the baby inside of Elisabeth (who later became John the Baptist) leaped at the sound of her voice. Elisabeth received the Holy Ghost and confirmed Mary’s role with these words: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”
3. To let Mary know that it was not only confirmed, but that it would come to pass. In Luke 1: 45, Elisabeth goes on to say: “for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” “Don’t worry Mary.” said Elisabeth in so many words. “I can confirm that what you thought happened to you really did happen and that what God said is going to happen to you really will.” Thank God for the Elisabeths in our lives who provide examples for us, encourage us and empower us to keep walking until God brings His word and will to pass in us. That is miraculous!