Blessed Are You

Jesus is Lord

All throughout the Gospels there is a constant question always lurking beneath the surface (or sometimes it is the main event of the stories or words being spoken). The question is, “Who is Jesus?” This question not only is at play in the Gospels, ever since Jesus has lived, someone, somewhere has asked the question of just who exactly this Jesus really is. 

There have been endless debates. Councils. Testimonies. Creeds. Proclamations. And on and on we could go. Yet still, the debate continues. Who is Jesus?

The disciples even give an answer to this question. Some say Elijah. Others John the Baptist. Still more Jeremiah or another one of the prophets of Israel. 

Peter says that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

Today, people of faith might answer this as Savior. Others that Jesus was just a really good guy. And still more say that Jesus never even really existed–he is just a myth. 

But today, I want to focus on Elizabeth’s words found in Luke 1:42-45. Take a quick moment to read this short section of text here.

There are a couple of items worthy of our attention here. Certainly the reaction of Elizabeth’s child in the womb to meeting Mary and the child in her womb is a significant moment. Elizabeth’s (and Zechariah’s) status in relation to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus is another item worthy of attention. But I would like to settle on the words of Elizabeth today. 

Elizabeth pronounces a blessing on Mary and on Jesus at the sound of Mary’s voice and the sight of her presence. Significantly, too, the Spirit fills Elizabeth as she cannot contain this greeting–she must shout it out. Even from the time that Jesus is in the womb, it appears, there has been need to proclaim goodness and blessing. 

I imagine that Mary, hearing Elizabeth’s words, is mightily encouraged. She has just heard seemingly impossible news about her pregnancy, and the first person she goes to meet gives her this blessing: “God has blessed you above all women…” Mary may or may not have been feeling very blessed at this moment, and yet this is the message that the Holy Spirit wants Mary to hear. Blessed are you.

Blessed are you for saying yes to God. Blessed are you for choosing service rather than selfishness. Blessed are you for your faith in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Elizabeth continues, “Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.”

God is at work in the lives of Mary and Elizabeth. God is at work in the larger world around us. And the Spirit prompts Elizabeth to remind Mary of the promises that are made and given to her by the messenger of the Lord. Mary has not been abandoned or chosen for an evil task. She has been given a blessing and a gift, even as difficult as that could have been to hear at that time for her. 

And Elizabeth, by the way, also gives us an answer to the question we are asking today: “Who is Jesus?” Elizabeth responds: “my Lord.” 

The declaration that is given at the end of Jesus’ ministry when he appears to the disciples after his resurrection is given here at the start of his life on earth. Jesus is Lord. 

Today, our goal is to live in the knowledge and service of the Lordship of Jesus. May we dedicate ourselves to the Lord, and all that we do be done in service of King Jesus.