When Elizabeth hears the greeting of Mary, baby John the Baptist leaps with joy in her womb “and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Elizabeth celebrates the arrival of the Lord and Mary for her belief. Mary then sings a beautiful song of praise and after 3 months with Elizabeth she returns back home to Nazareth in Galilee.
John the Baptist is born and his dad, Zacharias, says, “And you child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins.”
Well when Joseph, who is betrothed to Mary, finds out that Mary is pregnant, he wants to put her away quietly. See, according to the Law of Moses, Mary could of been stoned to death for being an “adulteress” (Lev 20:10) but Joseph, being a just man, desires to protect Mary even during her seemingly unfaithfulness. However, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and explains that Mary’s Son is from God and they shall call Him Jesus, “For He will save His people from their sins.”
We see God at work behind the scenes accomplishing His plans as a decree goes out from Caesar Augustus. The decree calls for the world to be registered. This forces Joseph and Mary to travel to their hometown, Bethlehem, where Jesus is born as prophesied by Micah (Micah 5:2).
After His birth, an angel of the Lord appears to shepherds in the fields and tells them of the birth of Jesus. They quickly go to see the baby in the manager and then they make widely known the birth of Christ.
In accordance with the Law of Moses (Lev 12), Jesus is circumcised on the 8th day and after the days of Mary’s purification they bring Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him before the Lord. Here we meet Simeon who the Holy Spirit told that he shall not die before he sees the Lord’s Christ. “So he came by the Spirit into the temple” and he held the Lord’s Christ and said He is “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” But Simeon also tells Mary that “a sword will pierce through your own soul” meaning that yes, Jesus came to save the world but that salvation will come through Mary having to watch her own innocent, perfect Son be crucified.
Tomorrow the wise men visit Jesus and John the Baptist begins his ministry. Keep reading.
(Luke 1:39-80, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-40)