Matthew’s gospel does not include Elizabeth’s story, so we turn to the good Dr. Luke and his own meticulous account of Jesus’ life.
Gospel of Luke
What fascinated Luke, the scientist and doctor, was Jesus’ special emphasis on prayer, the activity of the Holy Spirit, and joyfulness. In his account of Jesus’ birth he highlighted the Holy Spirit’s activity in the lives of five people in these first two chapters. Luke’s chronicle of Jesus’ life is the longest of the four gospels, and many of the details surrounding Jesus’ birth are found only in Luke, including the story of Elizabeth, which he most likely received from Mary herself.
Elizabeth’s story is amazingly rich, and is told in seven strophes:
- Genealogy, Luke 1:5
- Godliness, Luke 1:6
- Grief, Luke 1:7
- Gabriel the Archangel, Luke 1:8-23
- Germination, Luke 1:24-25
- God’s Presence, Luke 1:39-45
- Gratitude, Luke 1:57-64, 80
In one of the more remarkable moments in the Christian Testament, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and within these two women, God could not have been more fully present. Elizabeth, whose unborn son was already filled with the Holy Spirit, Mary, who carried a child conceived by the overshadowing of Almighty God, and now Elizabeth herself filled with the Spirit—God in Three Persons literally filled these two mothers, the aging wife of an elderly priest and a young, unmarried girl.
I think you will find a few surprises in Elizabeth’s story!
Each video is designed to offer background scholarship on the topic, including setting, culture, original language, and archaeology, as well as a theological study.
The “Broken, Searching, Trusted, Powerful” video series is a companion to the book, available on Amazon, and published by Wipf and Stock.