<<the mother of John the Baptist>>

Both Elizabeth, (who was a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus) and her husband Zechariah (who was serving as a temple priest) “were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and regulations blamelessly” (Lk 1:6). She lived at the same time as Jesus.  Her story is told in Luke 1:5-80.

Lessons from her life: * Both she and Zechariah were “old…and well on in years” and had no children in spite of their prayers. However, God stepped into the situation, and a baby was promised. This is another account of when persistent prayer is effective. When the answer comes, acknowledge, “The Lord has done this for me…Nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:13,18,25,37). He will outwork His purposes in His time and way, even when it is impossible by human reasoning. He wants trusting, obedient ‘vessels’ to work through, faithfully serving and being involved in Kingdom business even when our personal dreams don’t seem to be fulfilled. Am I living for God regardless of my prayers seemingly being unanswered? 

* The parent’s lives have a huge influence on their children’s values and goals. This principle, coupled with the angel’s words, must have guided the way Elizabeth and her husband brought their son up and, ultimately, in the fulfilling of his special calling to prepare the way for Jesus (Lk 1:14-17). Even if you don’t have children of your own, the influence of your lifestyle in some measure is being transmitted to young impressionable lives. Is the unseen deposit that I am imparting to others God honouring?

* Unborn babies pick up attitudes and stimulus from the mother and even other sources (Lk 1:41-44). What expectant mothers communicate to their developing child will have a profound effect on them in later life. Words and even unspoken mental attitudes can be projected onto others – if these are healthy and positive they will bring liberation, peace and joy but if they are negative and critical they will bring bondage and discouragement, frustrating the purposes of God in the life of the one towards who they are directed.

* Elizabeth was able to enter into Mary’s joy and gave her encouragement too (Lk 1:45). Don’t be so consumed in your own affairs that you cannot enter into the joy and sorrow of others (Rom 12:15; Phil 2:4). A genuine friendship must allow free interaction and sharing of experiences and emotions, giving and receiving. This is not done in a ‘preaching’ manner, rather an honest sharing as equals, understanding that often when one party is up emotionally the other may be down.

* Elizabeth was not swayed by the crowd who wanted to name the baby after his father.  Boldly she declared, “He is to be called John” (Lk 1:60). She was not deterred by peer pressure from obeying clear instructions that had been given over nine months previously. Do not allow the passing of time to weaken your belief or cause you to compromise your principles in areas where others would seek to undermine your stand, instead know and hold to what God has told you.

See also: John the Baptist, peer pressure, Zechariah.