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Mary and Elizabeth

"There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea [see Herod The Great and The Herods], a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. " (Luke 1:5-7 KJV)

"For with God nothing shall be impossible"

As described in the verses above, the elderly parents of John the Baptist were childless, and would have remained so, "because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years," if not for The Lord's miracle. At about the same time, another miraculous conception was about to occur, not to an elderly lady, but to a young virgin. The angel Gabriel was The Lord's messenger in both cases; he had already appeared before John the Baptist's father (i.e. "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God," Luke 1:19), and then to Mary.

Mary and Elizabeth

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." (Luke 1:26-28 KJV)

Mary did not understand how this could be. She was just an ordinary girl, not accustomed to either appearances by angels, or their announcement that she would become the mother of a King.

"And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David [see Israelite Dynasties]: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:29-33 KJV)

Mary was amazed; how could a righteous young girl be with child?

"Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34 KJV)

The Lord's answer, as delivered by Gabriel.

"And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:35-38 KJV)

Fact Finder: Both Jesus Christ and John the Baptist were born from miraculous conceptions, first John, then Jesus. What was the purpose of John the Baptist, a man who would not have otherwise existed?
See John's Last Days

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