Text: Luke 1.39-45 – “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Introduction: My friend Terrell and his son who is bi-polar. “Pray for my son.” Many people think that they can have these strange feelings in their stomach much like butterflies and that is faith and they feel blessed. But true faith acts by obeying God in complete surrender to God’s will. And true blessing only comes with true faith.
I want to speak to you this morning on Elizabeth’s Song. This is a Song of Praise, but more than that a Song of Beatitude and really the First Beatitude of the New Testament period. It is the first of Five Songs in these first couple of chapters. We took what is actually the third Song first, because I felt it went along with the narrative of the introduction of Zechariah.
By the Filling of the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth sings her Song with Four Verses that declare the Blessings of God: Blessing on Mary, Blessing on Mary’s Child, Blessing on Elizabeth and finally, Blessing on All who believe God’s Word.
I. First Verse ~ The Blessing on Mary
“Blessed art thou among women…”
A. This is a Hebraic construction that means “You are the most blessed of all women.”
B. Why? What makes her blessed? Well, it is nothing inherent to Mary herself. In other words, there is nothing in Mary that caused God to choose her, just as there is nothing in any man that God should look upon him and grant mercy to him. “There is none righteous…” How many? “None! No not one!” Salvation remains the same for all men, women and children, including Mary, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” This is consistent with God throughout history.
C. In the Hebrew culture, a woman’s blessedness was tied to the bearing of children. Not like today’s culture where women are considered blessed upon their educational accomplishments or advancements in their careers or achievements in their community. It all hinged upon their bearing and rearing of children.
D. There is a marvelous display of humility on Elizabeth’s part. She is told her son will be great – but NOT this Great! Her son was the Forerunner of the Messiah – Mary’s is the Messiah! And Mary acknowledges a greater beneficiary of God’s goodness on Mary.
~ Greater Calling
~ Greater Privilege
~ Greater Child
Against the grain of tradition that set the Elder in greater Status than the Younger, Elizabeth recognizes the Younger to be recipient of God’s greater blessing.
E. This reminds me of Elizabeth’s son, John, Who said, “He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for He was before me.”
“One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose.”
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
I wonder how much greater influence the church would have if we practiced this kind of thinking even among ourselves. You know we are instructed to do so: Philippians 2.3 – “Let nothing be done through strife of vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” The Blessing on Mary was because of God. Any blessing on you will be because of God and nothing that you deserve.
II. Second Verse ~ The Blessing on Mary’s Child
“and blessed is the fruit of thy womb…”
A. Mary was blessed of All women because God chose her to carry the Savior of the world. But also, Mary’s Child is blessed. She is blessed, He is blessed even more. In what way? He is God. We must never forget He is man. The God-Man!
B. As man, He is the most blessed child ever born. He will receive all the unmixed, unmitigated blessing of the Father. He will be holy, undefiled, separate from sinners, perfect, sinless, the One who will inherit all that the Father possesses. He will be given a redeemed humanity who will forever glorify, praise and honor.
C. This begins with Elizabeth who “Loudly” proclaims the declaration given by the Holy Spirit that affirms not only the Blessing on Mary, but on Mary’s Child as well. This is a sort of Prophetic Confirmation of what was told Mary by Gabriel and a confirmation of what was given to Elizabeth’s husband by Gabriel.
This filling of the Holy Spirit catapults her into this Song of Praise and Blessing, but it then takes a seemingly strange twist: Elizabeth speaks of the Blessing of Elizabeth.
III. Third Verse ~ The Blessing on Elizabeth
“”And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
A. Anytime there is a true working of the Holy Spirit on a person’s life a mark of humility, unworthiness and amazement will attend as well. καὶ πόθεν μοι – this is literally, “And Why Me? This is the response of anyone who has been visited by God. This is the response of anyone who has been saved: “Why Me?” There is a absolute sense of unworthiness and amazement. There is no haughtiness or attitude of deserving anything from God.
B. “The Mother of My Lord…” notice it does not say, “Mother of God” this is a wrong reading. This is greater than some family visitation because they were cousins. This is again an exclamation of awe that Elizabeth’s Lord has visited her. Proof of this she says is, “my child leaped within me when he heard your voice.” This is a remarkable thing, John, who is six months in the womb, three months from birth, who Gabriel said, “He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb” begins to prepare the ways of the Lord!
The Blessing of Mary, the Blessing of Mary’s Child and the Blessing of Elizabeth, but there is a final blessing mentioned.
IV. Fourth Verse ~ The Blessing on All Who Believe God’s Word
“And blessed is she that believed…”
A. The Blessing is closed with sort of a General Beatitude. “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Blessed is she is certainly Mary, but notice, this is not addressed to Mary. Elizabeth doesn’t say, “Blessed are you, Mary.” This is in the 3rd Person. Anybody who then believes that God fulfills His promises is going to be blessed. It is a General Blessing using Mary as an example.
B. John 3.14-15 says, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” It was so important Jesus reiterated it in the next verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
C. Belief or faith is not simply a subjective faith, but a faith based upon what God says and then a voluntary and complete surrender to God’s will. This is how she manifests her belief and it is exactly the same for all others. Listen to what the Apostle says of Abraham.
Conclusion: How are you Blessed by God? “Blessed is she who believed.” Blessing comes from God, like the text in Romans says, “If we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our LORD from the dead.”