When we hear “With God nothing is impossible” do we really “get” that with God nothing is impossible? When Jesus walked the earth He said with God all things are possible and all things are possible to him who believes and if we have faith as a mustard seed nothing will be impossible for us. But we hear the words, “For with God nothing is impossible”, only once in Scripture, BEFORE Jesus was born when the angel Gabriel said it to Mary in Luke 1:37. (click on image→)
We must face impossible situations before we can live in the realm of possibility with God. If we never experience true earthly impossible situations than we cannot truly “get” how nothing is impossible with God! And by the way, impossible situations don’t need to be bad, just humanly impossible.
Gabriel told Mary nothing was impossible after he told her she was going to conceive and give birth to the Christ Child. This was impossible in the natural because she was a virgin and would not be having sex to get pregnant. Then Gabriel told her someone else was pregnant. Luke 1:36 “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.” This was also impossible in the natural because Elizabeth had been barren her entire life and no longer got her monthly cycle so could not get pregnant.
We can imagine Gabriel saying “For with God nothing is impossible” in answer to an unspoken thought from Mary. After all, he had just told her about two impossible pregnancies! Think about it! It would have shocked Mary enough to hear she would be pregnant but add to that her old, barren cousin is pregnant too? In her head she might have thought “That’s impossible!” I can almost imagine Gabriel “hearing” her thoughts thus responding quite simply “For with God nothing is impossible”, shocking her even more! And then when Mary hears those words, it really clicks for her “NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE!” Not her pregnancy, not Elizabeth’s pregnancy, NOTHING!
Her very next words were “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be according to your word.”(v.38) Mary is ready to run with the impossible revelation within! Gabriel leaves her presence without further instructions so she does the next plausible thing, she runs to the city of Judah to greet Elizabeth (the old, barren, pregnant lady) and share her good news. (I wonder if she told her fiancé Joseph that she would be gone for a while).
In all likelihood Mary knew little about pregnancy or birth, so what comfort and excitement in knowing her cousin was in a similar situation so she was not alone. I wonder if Mary rushed to Elizabeth because they had a close relationship and she couldn’t wait to share her miraculous news, or if she was so excited to see her older cousin pregnant, or both.
Pregnant women are a rare breed for sure! Try eavesdropping on two pregnant ladies and you will hear details you never needed to know because they love to share every minute detail. These were first time pregnancies for both women but most assuredly, Elizabeth would be able to share helpful information to young Mary about what she could expect in the coming months, being six months along herself.
But something amazing happens when Mary arrives at their house. “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” (Luke 1:41, 44)
Baby John is so excited to meet his Savior who is tucked away in his own mother’s womb that he leaps for joy in his mommy’s womb! Imagine that experience! Pregnant women get to enjoy the movements of their unborn children within the womb for several months. Sometimes women complain more than marvel at those movements, whining about their babies kicking and pushing on their ribs, or pushing down too hard, or how it feels like a boxing match going on inside! Yet it is an indescribable sensation to feel babies move about, stimulated by certain voices and sounds.
But John literally leaped with joy! We get the impression this wasn’t John just swimming around, stretching, or enjoying his freedom in mommy but that Elizabeth was visibly shaken (in a good way) by his leap, not to mention she got filled with the Holy Spirit. This was a defining moment in Elizabeth’s life, and John’s as well, as they met Jesus in spirit and in truth!
Now for anyone who might doubt what unborn children feel, experience, or hear, this little narrative proves how intricately woven the unborn child is at six months in development. John HEARD, John RESPONDED, John LEAPED, and John FELT emotion. Not to mention the connectedness of mother and child. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting in her own ears, John responded. How cool is that!
Elizabeth, now filled with Holy Spirit, has full revelation of Who Mary is pregnant with and comprehends the privilege of being in their presence. She is humbled that Mary and Jesus have come to visit her. Picture Mary beaming with delight as the word of the angel is confirmed when Elizabeth prophesies over and blesses her, without Mary saying a single word. “Then she (Elizabeth) spoke out with a LOUD voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.’” (Luke 1:42-45)
Mary has said very little from the time of her visit with Gabriel up to this point. But after Elizabeth speaks Mary explodes with rejoicing. It is as though she can’t hold it in anymore. She is PREGNANT with GOD!!!!! Now it’s her turn to prophesy! When you read this, remember who Mary is – a lowly virgin girl from Nazareth who found favor with God. Remember she is now pregnant with the Christ Child, a girl who simply said “Yes” to God!
Luke 1:46-55 “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, and He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.”
That is an amazing narrative which ushers Mary and Elizabeth into their three-month visit together. What a special time for these two women. First of all, Zacharias, Elizabeth’s husband can’t talk! Imagine two women together for three months with no man to interrupt their conversations! (that was supposed to be funny). Here they are, both supernaturally pregnant, both knowing they were giving birth to sons, both names given by God, both knowing the purpose of their boy’s lives, and both first time mommies. Elizabeth pregnant with John, the one who would prepare the ways for the Lord, going before Him, prophesying and giving the knowledge of salvation to people (Luke 1:76) and Mary pregnant with Jesus, the Savior of the world. We can only imagine what their conversations were like those three months; amazing, enriching, encouraging, and full of the wisdom and knowledge of God. Just as God was preparing His boys in the womb, He was preparing the mothers to raise and let go of them.
Whether you are reading this before or after Christmas we have the same opportunity to experience with God nothing is impossible! We, like John, can leap with joy when we hear His voice and get the revelation of Jesus Christ! We too can be pregnant with the things of God. We too can overflow with praise, with “Yes and Amen’s”, and with servant hearts. We too can listen to what God says and reply “Let it be according to your word!”
Just as pregnant women revel in the life growing within them, we as followers of Christ, as those who abide in Him can revel in the Life growing inside of us! Mary and Elizabeth were two very special ladies! We are special too! They saw themselves as God saw them! We too must see ourselves as God sees us!
Today, let’s explode with rejoicing in God our Savior, with our souls magnifying the Lord like Mary! He regards our lowly states! He is Mighty and has done great things for us! Holy is His Name! His mercy is on those who fear Him! He shows strength in His arm and scatters the proud! He puts down the mighty and exalts the lowly. He fills the hungry with good things and the rich He sends away empty. He helps His servants because He remembers His mercy. He spoke to our fathers and He speaks to us today!