One of the ways that the Lord God confers a different status to an individual is by filling them with the Holy Spirit. The Lord God has done so often, for that is how He has used individuals to utter prophetic statements, using them to disclose His will and His word. So it was for
The amazement that
The two individuals in the Gospel Reading are also quite unexpected. A barren woman and a virgin are both with child. And not only will births occur, but one son is filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb and will be the last prophet of the Old Testament and the other Son is the Lord God incarnate. But this is the Lord God’s work, His actions that make people and places unique. Even in unexpected ways, the Lord God does so to accomplish His good and gracious will to bring salvation to His fallen creation.
These great divine acts are why
That is why everything in the Gospel Reading hinges upon the statements that Elizabeth makes about Mary’s Son: “Blessed is the fruit of your womb!” and “the mother of my Lord should come to me.” For that is what brings the uniqueness of the entire event.
It is the presence of that Son of the Most High that leads to the pre-born John’s leaping. It is the understanding of what has taken place which inspires Mary’s song of praise. The desire for people to know the identity of Jesus is why the Lord God pours out His Holy Spirit upon
Everything in the Gospel Reading hinges upon the identity of Mary’s Son and what He would accomplish for her and Elizabeth and John and you. The great praise that
As the people in Zechariah’s house bear true witness about Mary’s Son, so you may hear and believe. Their inspired testimony carries the Holy Spirit to you. Through it, you know the identity of Jesus: He is the Lord God incarnate. He is the “Shepherd of
How does Jesus accomplish this for you? How does He give you a blessed and unique status? By what He has done to fulfill His Father’s will for you. His appearance in time had that great purpose. In the words of the psalm, Jesus declares: “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God, as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book.” And what was that will? It was what the Lord God declared through the prophets: to take upon Himself human nature, live perfectly among us, and to offer His life as a ransom for many.
You heard the effects of Jesus’ accomplishing the Father’s will: “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The Jesus who was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man offered Himself for you. He takes upon Himself your human nature and substitutes His holiness for your sin. He takes your curse and gives you His blessing instead. For that is what was foretold about Mary’s Son. That is His uniqueness, a uniqueness to benefit Mary, Elizabeth, John, and you.
The unique identity of her Son is what Mary believed. It is why she is blessed, just as the Spirit-filled
So you also are blessed, for you have been made special. You are shown the mercy of the Lord God that is “for those who fear Him from generation to generation.” You are given to recognize Jesus as your peace with God. You can now exhort Him to “stir up Your might and come and save us!” And He does so, as He makes Himself present in His words for to receive and believe. The mother of your Lord does not stand in your presence, but her Son places Himself here in His audible and visible Gospel. And through it, you are made His disciples, children of the Lord God, recipients of forgiveness and everlasting life—a blessed state indeed!
Everything hinges upon His unique status. The fruit of Mary’s womb is blessed, for He is the Lord. And so you are blessed, for you have been made holy through the mercy of the Lord God. You have been sanctified by the offering of His unique body for you. May you receive and keep with humility the blessed state that has been given to you, so that it will be granted to you to see with your own eyes John,
T In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.