The story of Elizabeth only appears in the Bible in the first chapter of Luke in the New Testament. However, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, is also later referenced in Luke 7:28, “Among those born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.”
Elizabeth’s life was most certainly blessed. She was a daughter of a priest of Israel with a lineage traced back to Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. She was named after Aaron’s wife, Elisheba or Elizabeth, which means “God is my oath.” Her husband, Zacharias, was a respected priest, and they were faithful servants of God. But, Elizabeth was unable to have children, and the community viewed this as a curse from God.
Regardless, Zacharias and Elizabeth continually demonstrated their faithfulness to God. In those times, the inability to bear children was grounds for husbands to divorce their wives. However, Zacharias and Elizabeth believed in God’s faithfulness and chose to continue to hold onto His promises. As time passed, Elizabeth grew older and became well beyond her childbearing years.
One day, Zacharias was in the temple, and the Angel Gabriel appeared before him. Gabriel explained that Elizabeth was to give birth to a son, and his name should be John. God specifically chose Elizabeth to be the mother of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. So, not only did God fulfill His promise to Elizabeth to grant her a child, but He also knew that both Elizabeth and Zacharias would provide their son the faithful upbringing that would help him fulfill his prophesied ministry.
When God chose Elizabeth to be the mother of John the Baptist, her life was was transformed. Her reputation as a barren woman changed into a miraculous woman who was pregnant at an old age to fulfill the Word of God. In Luke 1:25, Elizabeth expressed her gratitude for God’s blessing: “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
Elizabeth also encouraged Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Mary came to visit her while she was pregnant with Jesus. Elizabeth’s words to Mary in Luke 1:45 are inspirational words that all Christians can embrace, “The Lord has blessed you because you believed that He will keep His promise.”
After Elizabeth gave birth, she and Zacharias followed the Angel Gabriel’s command to name their son, John, and he grew up to become a faithful messenger of Jesus. It takes an exceptional mother to raise a son who would have such a high calling. Elizabeth taught him the Holy Scriptures, including the prophecies that related to him and his purpose.
What should we determine from Elizabeth’s life of faith? First, God was faithful in His promise to her. Elizabeth believed in God’s promises and gave birth to a son in her old age. Her story allows us to believe that God will fulfill His promises to us despite impossible circumstances.
Elizabeth’s message of faithfulness and longsuffering demonstrates that our faithfulness will lead to the fulfillment of God’s promise to His children.