March 7th Mary’s song of praise
46: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48: For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49: For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50: And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51: He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52: He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 53: He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54: He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55: As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. 56: And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
John the Baptist is born
57: Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58: And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. 59: And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60: And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. 61: And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62: And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63: And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. 64: And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 65: And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 66: And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
The prophesy of John’s father
67: And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69: And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70: As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72: To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73: The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74: That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75: In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76: And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77: To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78: Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79: To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 80: And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
After Elizabeth’s prophetic greeting Mary responds in a greeting of amazing depth of insight. If ever women were filled with the Holy Spirit and prophecy this is it. Mary’s song is touching and glorious. She speaks of her low estate and of Gods glorious purposes to be fulfilled in her life. After John is born Mary returns home three months pregnant. This is when Joseph finds out that she is with child and considers divorce. And this is the time when the angels visit him and as a response he marries Mary. But that is Matthews Gospel. Luke carries on describing the naming of the child John and of the events which follow. Its interesting that Zachariah is struck dumb because of unbelief and type of the Prophets of Israel unable to speak the word of God because of unbelief. Zachariah describes the whole purpose of Israel’s existence as. to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Then he speaks of the child John. - Thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke records his progress. Physical, Spiritual and his isolation until his time come to serve God.