Daily Archive for December 18th, 2015

Mary and Elizabeth

Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin and her father was a temple priest. Zachariah, her husband,  was also a temple priest. He was thought of as a very holy and kind man. Both Zachariah and Elizabeth would have been over 60 when this story took place.  Zachariah was an important priest in the temple and it was his turn to go to the temple and sprinkle incense on the altar and burn it. At this place an angel appeared by the altar. The angel was Gabriel, the same angel that had visited Mary. The angel told him that Elizabeth was to have a baby boy and that his name was to be John.

The name John means ‘The Lord is Gracious’. He was to be called this because God had been kind to Elizabeth and Zachariah by giving them this child. Gabriel’s words to Zachariah meant that when John was to become a man, he was to be the chosen one to tell the people about Jesus. Zachariah didn’t really believe the angel and asked him to prove this to him, so Gabriel made Zachariah dumb, until he believed what the angel had said to him. Elizabeth did become pregnant as the angel had told Zachariah .The words that Elizabeth told Mary when they met show that Elizabeth already knew that Mary was to have a very important baby; and that her own baby would also have something to do with Mary’s baby.

When Mary left Elizabeth and Zachariah and went home to Nazareth, Elizabeth would have been about nine months pregnant and Mary would have been about three months pregnant.
So it would not have been long after this that Elizabeth did give birth to John. When it was time to name the baby, it was natural for the family to think that it would be called Zachariah after his father, as this was normally how baby boys were named. But Elizabeth knew that he had to be called John. The family would have doubted this, so they asked the still dumb Zachariah what he should be called. As soon as he wrote down the boy’s name, as the angel had said, he started to speak again.