Cousin to Mary and wife to Zacharias, she played a pivotal role in the pre-Christmas story.
Elizabeth is listed in Luke chapter 1 as a righteous and blameless woman yet she suffered with infertility. In those days, barrenness was considered a curse from God. But what Elizabeth didn’t know for many years was that God had not denied her request for a child; he just delayed the answer.
Until the perfect time…until Yahweh was ready to send an angel to Zacharias and plant His seed within a virgin.
We aren’t told how old Elizabeth was when she suddenly conceived a boy child who would become John the Baptist. But she and Zacharias were both old enough that it was considered a miracle.
During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, her young cousin Mary became pregnant through another miracle – a conception through the Holy Spirit, prophesied for centuries and containing the Divine.
Mary traveled to Elizabeth’s house to spend time with her. What conversations they must have had – both of them pregnant, one with a messenger and the other with the Messiah. Elizabeth no doubt mentored Mary even while she protected her from the wagging tongues of gossips. Mary no doubt blessed Elizabeth who felt her child leap in the womb when Mary entered the house.
After Elizabeth gave birth, she supported her husband in the choice of their son’s name. “John,” she said. “His name shall be John.”
From the beginning of the Christmas story, God included women and their giftings to pave the way for His Son’s ministry. He designated Elizabeth as a main character and a parallel element in the greatest Story ever told.
Perhaps Mary and Elizabeth spent countless hours together watching their sons grow, teaching them proper manners and showing them how to appreciate godly women. And in the candlelight at day’s end, Elizabeth and Mary probably prayed for their boys who they knew would have a major role in the salvation of mankind.
Each woman bore a son, then gave that son back to God, trusting in Yahweh’s divine purpose.