Our focus today is one small verse, Luke 1:56 “Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” Since John and Jesus were cousins, Elizabeth and Zachariah must have been Mary’s Aunt and Uncle. They were older and earlier in the chapter Luke described them, “Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.” Mary was a young virgin probably about the age of 16. Zachariah had been struck mute for his disbelief at the news of their coming child so this was a quiet household. We were told in verse 26 “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy,” the angel came and gave the news to Mary that she was to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah. A few days after receiving the news Mary went to see Elizabeth. 39 “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.” Mary would have stayed with Elizabeth until she was about ready to deliver and then returned home.
What does this tell us about these women? Elizabeth was Mary’s confidant. They shared the joy and expectations for their coming children as to what life would be like for them, their families and what the children would accomplish for God. These were things that they could not share with anyone else. They comforted one another as Mary helped Elizabeth in her last months of pregnancy and talked with her as Zachariah was mute. They enjoyed a friendship and companionship as women. Elizabeth was undoubtedly a mentor, a wise adviser, teacher and coach. Mary had gone to Elizabeth for comfort and understanding and she gave support and love in return.
What about you? Do you have friends that you confide in? Do you seek their comfort and help in times of stress or confusion? How do you support one another? God calls us to be in relationships with others just as He desires we are in relationship with Him. There are many places in scripture where we are commanded to love and support one another as friends. In John 13:34-35 Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Who do you have in your life that you call friend that you can share your hopes, dreams, problems, confusions and faith in God? Mary had Elizabeth to turn to at this time in her life, what about you?
Friends are a true gift from God. I have a dear friend, Joan, who God brought into my life when we were young married women. We have worshiped, studied, prayed, played and enjoyed one another’s company over the years. When hard times came, we supported one another, stood by each other’s side as we cried and shared a hope found only in Christ. I know that no matter what, I can call on her and seek her help, comfort and support. I think this is the kind of love and support Elizabeth and Mary gave to each other as ‘sister’ in Christ. If you have a supportive sister or brother in Christ, let them know how much they mean to you today. Give them a call, send them a note or have a cup of coffee with them and share. God has given them to you just as He gave Elizabeth and Mary each other.
Praising God for His provision of friends,