Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41-1:41)

“When Elizabeth

Heard

Mary’s greeting,

The child leaped

In her womb.

Elizabeth was filled

With the Holy Spirit.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ, ἐσκίρτησεν τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ

 

Luke indicated that somehow John, the six-month old fetus in Elizabeth’s womb, recognized Mary and her pregnancy.  Luke said that the baby or child (τὸ βρέφος) heard Mary’s greeting to Elizabeth (καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ).  Then John lept in the womb of Elizabeth (ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς).  Luke also said that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ).  Notice that Elizabeth, like Mary in verse 35, was also filled with the Holy Spirit.  Later in this chapter, Zechariah, in verse 67, will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Clearly Luke emphasized the importance of the Holy Spirit to these main characters.

Advertisements

Mary goes to Judea (Lk 1:39-1:39

“In those days,

Mary set out.

She went

With haste

Into the hill country,

To a Judean town.”

 

Ἀναστᾶσα δὲ Μαριὰμ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα,

 

Luke established a further connection between John and Jesus as he had Mary go to visit Elizabeth.  This was not an easy trip, about 80 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem.  Luke said that in those days (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις), Mary rose up (Ἀναστᾶσα δὲ Μαριὰμ) and went with haste into the hill country (ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς), to an unnamed town in Judae (εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα).  Many believe that this town was Ein Karem, about 5 miles west of Jerusalem, which would make sense since Zechariah would be close to the Temple.  This trip of Mary must have taken at least a week or so, depending on the roads and who went with her.  There was no explanation of who was with her on this trip.

The slave of the Lord (Lk 1:38-1:38)

“Then Mary said.

‘Here am I!

The slave

Of the Lord!

Let it be

With me

According to your word!’

Then the angel

Departed from her.”

 

εἶπεν δὲ Μαριάμ Ἰδοὺ ἡ δούλη Κυρίου· γένοιτό μοι κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου. καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτῆς ὁ ἄγγελος.

 

Luke brought this conversation between the Angel Gabriel and Mary to a close.  She fully agreed with the plan, so the angel left.  Luke indicated that Mary said (εἶπεν δὲ Μαριάμ) that she was a slave of the Lord (Ἰδοὺ ἡ δούλη Κυρίου).  Most translations prefer the softer “servant” or “handmaid” rather than “slave,” but the Greek word “ἡ δούλη” indicates a female slave.  Mary wanted everything to be done to her just as the angel of God had said (γένοιτό μοι κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου).  With that, the Angel Gabriel flew off or left her (καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτῆς ὁ ἄγγελος), because he had accomplished his mission.  The stage was set for the birth of John and Jesus.

The child of Elizabeth (Lk 1:36-1:37)

“Now,

Your relative

Elizabeth

Has also conceived

A son,

In her old age.

This is the sixth month

For her

Who was said

To be barren.

Nothing is impossible

With God.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ Ἐλεισάβετ ἡ συγγενίς σου καὶ αὐτὴ συνείληφεν υἱὸν ἐν γήρει αὐτῆς, καὶ οὗτος μὴν ἕκτος ἐστὶν αὐτῇ τῇ καλουμένῃ στείρᾳ·

ὅτι οὐκ ἀδυνατήσει παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ πᾶν ῥῆμα

 

Next Luke made the connection between the upcoming birth of Jesus and that of John.  Elizabeth, although older, was a relative of Mary.  She could have been an aunt of a second cousin.  Their age differences would not make them first cousins.  Besides, they lived in different areas, Galilee and Judea.  Elizabeth was a daughter of Aaron, but there was no such claim for Mary.  Was this an attempt to link Mary to the Levitical priesthood via her Levitical relative?  Perhaps Luke wanted to show a closer relationship between John and Jesus.  Luke indicated that the Angel Gabriel told Mary about his previous mission to Zechariah and Elizabeth.  He told Mary that her relative Elizabeth (καὶ ἰδοὺ Ἐλεισάβετ ἡ συγγενίς σου) had also conceived a son (καὶ αὐτὴ συνείληφεν υἱὸν), in her old age (ἐν γήρει αὐτῆς).  She was, in fact, already six months pregnant (καὶ οὗτος μὴν ἕκτος ἐστὶν αὐτῇ).  Elizabeth had been called barren or sterile (τῇ καλουμένῃ στείρᾳ).  The Angel Gabriel concluded that nothing was impossible with God (ὅτι οὐκ ἀδυνατήσει παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ πᾶν ῥῆμα).  He could overcome old age and virginity to produce a son, just like Sarah in Genesis, chapter 18:14.  Now the plan of God was clear to Mary.  She had no reason to fear anything.

The Holy Spirit and the Son of God (Lk 1:35-1:35)

“The angel

Said to her.

‘The Holy Spirit

Will come upon you.

The power

Of the Most High

Will overshadow you.

Therefore,

The child to be born

Will be holy.

He will be called

The Son of God.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται Υἱὸς Θεοῦ.

 

Luke then has the Angel Gabriel reveal the whole plan.  Just as in Matthew, chapter 1:20, the angel told Joseph that the child conceived in Mary was from the Holy Spirit.  Luke did the same here.  This Angel Gabriel answered Mary (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ).  He said that the Holy Spirit would come over her (Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ).  The power of the Most High God would overshadow or envelop her (καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι).  Her child would come forth or be born holy (διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον).  He would be called the Son of God (κληθήσεται Υἱὸς Θεοῦ).  This was a very theological statement uttered by the Angel Gabriel.  This child, Jesus would come about because of the Holy Spirit.  Elohim, the most high God, would overshadow her, the way that Yahweh had overshadowed the tent of dwelling with the covenant in Exodus, chapter 37:1-9.  This presence of God in Mary would make her pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The unique act of Jesus’ conception was a fully Trinitarian action involving the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit within the womb of Mary.  Obviously, the Son, her son, Jesus, would be born as a holy human person, clearly and rightfully called the Son of God.  This was a very developed theology of Luke, who always stressed the role of the Holy Spirit in his writings.

Mary questions the angel (Lk 1:34-1:34)

“Mary

Said to the angel.

‘How can this be?

As I am a virgin.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ Μαριὰμ πρὸς τὸν ἄγγελον Πῶς ἔσται τοῦτο, ἐπεὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω;

 

According to Luke, Mary was a little put off.  She asked this Angel Gabriel (εἶπεν δὲ Μαριὰμ πρὸς τὸν ἄγγελον) how was all this going to happen, since she had not known any man sexually as a virgin (Πῶς ἔσται τοῦτο, ἐπεὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω)?  Was she questioning or confused?  She was concerned about what was going to happen next.

Everlasting kingdom of Jacob (Lk 1:33-1:33)

“Jesus will reign

Over the house

Of Jacob forever.

There will be

No end

To his kingdom.”

 

καὶ βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ἰακὼβ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, καὶ τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.

 

Luke indicated that this rule of Jesus would be over the whole house of Jacob (καὶ βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ἰακὼβ) forever (εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας).  No longer would it just be Judah or Judea, but all the tribes of Israel, or the sons of Jacob, would be reunited.  This sounds like a political and religious unification of Israel.  However, there would be no end to his kingdom (καὶ τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔσται τέλος), since this was not a temporary rule, but an eternal one.  The house of Israel would be united under Jesus forever.  It did not exactly work out that way.