1998-12-16 - An Ordinary Woman
The Christmas Characters Series, Part 6
She was a preacher's wife, a quiet, behind-the-scenes woman. She was just a simple wife and mother. But about her son, Jesus said:
Mat 11:11a (NKJV) Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.
She didn't seek out attention or fame. Yet her son was the forerunner of our Lord and Messiah. She raised the child who would have the crucial role of preparing the way for Christ. Who was that woman of whom he was born? Her name was Elizabeth. There is not a lot in the Scriptures about her. But we can glean some inspiration from what is there.
Luke 1:6 (NNAS) They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
Elizabeth was righteous. She was obedient to God. She was a dedicated servant of her God. We are told to live blameless lives (i.e. 1 Cor. 1:6-8), but few people are described in the Bible as achieving that standard; Elizabeth is among them - living blamelessly, "without fault or defect." (Strong's). She was the Proverbs 31 woman come-to-life.
Elizabeth gave credit where credit was due. She praised God for His provision:
Luke 1:25 (NLT) How kind the Lord is!" she exclaimed. "He has taken away my disgrace of having no children!"
She was humble:
Luke 1:43 (NLT) What an honor this is, that the mother of my Lord should visit me!
We see obedience again when it comes time to name her child. Cultural expectations led people to assume she would name the child after a relative. But the Lord had directed her to name him John, and she obeyed. She was intent on pleasing God rather than people.
Luke 1:59 (NLT) When the baby was eight days old, all the relatives and friends came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, "No! His name is John!" "What?" they exclaimed. "There is no one in all your family by that name."
Humility, a thankful, praising attitude, obedience -- such "ordinary traits." And yet God used them mightily, to raise up a child who would become one of the most instrumental figures in Christian history - one who was foretold for centuries (i.e. Isaiah 40:3-5) -- John the Baptist. If God can use an ordinary woman such as Elizabeth, He can also use us. Sometimes we think God can only use a Billy Graham or a [fill in the name of a dynamic personality at your church or in your community]. God can also use us, in our "ordinary" lives, in our "ordinary" homes, workplaces, schools, lives. As parents, spouses, friends, teachers etc., we can touch individual lives, and those individual lives are precious to God. He will then use them to touch others, and them to touch others …. Think about your circle. Is there an individual you can pray for, reach out to, disciple if you are a mature Christian? With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can all be Elizabeths.
: ) Jan