We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank the Lord for keeping us and giving us the privilege to be in His house.
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit…Luke 1:39-41
This was an amazing event. There was a connection between Mary and Elizabeth. They both had similar, amazing experiences.
Elizabeth was married to Zechariah. They were old but childless and they asked the Lord for a child. After their prayer, although they did not immediately have a child, they continued serving God and being faithful to Him. They feared God and lived blameless lives. Zechariah continued faithfully with his duties as a priest. They focused on God’s work and what God expected. An angel spoke to Zechariah as he went about his duties.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. Luke 1:13
Zechariah heard it, but it seemed to make no sense. The angel continued explaining what kind of a child they would have and what he would accomplish. Zechariah seemed even more confused and he asked, ‘How is such a thing possible because I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years?’ Zachariah wanted to know from the angel who he was as he tried to make sense of it.
19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. Luke 1:19
Miracles happen in the lives of God’s servants. That which was impossible became possible. God took note of their faithfulness and showed them mercy in their old age. This miracle happened in Elizabeth’s old age.
A similar thing happened to Mary. The difference was that the angel spoke to her. She was betrothed to be married and then she was told that she would have a son and what His name would be. Mary asked how this would happen as she had no boyfriend, nor relationship. How would she fall pregnant?
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.
Who was the angel who appeared to Mary? The same angel Gabriel who had appeared to Zechariah.
After Elizabeth had received the news about her child, she concealed herself for 5 months. After the angel appeared to Mary she hurried to Judah to Elizabeth. When she arrived, she greeted Elizabeth. There was a connection between them and the baby within Elizabeth’s womb leapt.
This is a time of rejoicing and feasting. When we greet one another, is there something that happens within - just like this baby moved in the womb? Both Elizabeth and Mary were filled with the Holy Spirit, and it moved to the babies within them. Believers are like Mary and Elizabeth. We have a child within. Is that child of God or Satan? Is the child alive and well? If an unbeliever met you, would he/she receive life or death from you? If that Child is alive within, he will jump with joy. If that does not happen, this festive season will be tumultuous and confused. People who have never drunk previously drink alcohol during this season so that they can rejoice with their families. The Child within you will die and the people you were meant to help will also die. When Mary and Elizabeth greeted one another, the child leapt. When you are with your friends and relatives, is the Child restored or does he die? If that Child is not alive and you meet family and aim to please them, that Child will be worse off than before.
If the Child is alive and you have an abundance of food, the Child will leap and remind you that your neighbours also need food. If the Child is alive, you will ensure that everything you do will keep it alive and not harm it. It is important to ensure that the Child is alive. If it is not alive, anything that comes from you will also be dead. If that Child is sick, that which exits your mouth will be sick. Although you may try to be proper in front of others, that will also fail.
Even though Mary was a virgin, this announcement did not trouble her. This found her living faithfully for the Lord as a young person. Elizabeth did not run up and down trying to get hold of a child but faithfully continued and the blessings overtook her. Continue serving the Lord and those blessings will overtake you. It is my prayer that this Child may be alive within me, otherwise how will I be able to face the things of the world? What a disgrace if after many years, the Child within me is dead.
It is a blessing when God’s children meet and through the fellowship, the Child is invigorated. We visited Zimbabwe recently. (Now when you relate the wonders of God, some people get upset but I relate this event to illustrate the fact that if you meet someone in whom the Child is alive then the Christ child within you is invigorated.) A man who was the delegate for his government at Rev Stegen’s funeral addressed us. He said that when he arrived at KSB something happened that he had never experienced before – he experienced complete peace. He said the Spirit of God moves at KSB. He does not know of any place he could go on holiday where he would experience such peace. The next time he comes, he wants to come for a holiday. He came from Zimbabwe and found the Child and the Holy Spirit of God, and he also experienced spiritual life.
At the end of a long discussion with the officials, he asked us to pray for their country as they had not received rain. On that day, there were no clouds in the sky. Before we got downstairs, clouds had gathered and when we reached the bottom, it had started raining. It was a good, solid rain. If you have the Christ Child and He is alive, those whom you meet will experience that same life and it will invigorate them too. It did not rain for one hour. Until we returned home, they had consistent rain.
Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting and she was filled with the Holy Spirit and that which the angel announced about John, was fulfilled. When Jesus’ birth was announced, it was said that He would save His people from their sins and the government would be on His shoulders. John would turn the hearts of the people, and even kings, back to God and his birth would bring joy to many. Each man had a task that God had ordained for them before birth.
Mary was with child and when Elizabeth heard her greeting she received the Holy Spirit from Jesus in Mary’s womb. If Jesus is alive in you, you will bring life to those around you. If you are pregnant with demons, you will demonize those in contact with you. If you are pregnant with pornography, you will defile everyone around you. If you are filled with stubbornness, you will breathe it onto those around you.
When these two women met, because of what was within them, the Child rejoiced. You will not have Jesus within and give birth to Satan. You will not have Satan within and then speak Jesus. You will be exactly that which you have consumed. Because of the prophecies spoken over the lives of these two women and because Mary had Jesus within her, the other child (John) was invigorated.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus. At this time 2000 years ago, Mary was searching for a place to lay her head, but we are like kings, having received the Christ Child. He was born in a stable with cattle dung, but he was the King. Every door seemed closed to prevent His birth, but it did not stop Him and He was born in a lowly stable. At His birth, the earth was shaken, and it was clear that the One on whose shoulders the kingdom would rest had been born. The earthly king did his utmost to destroy Him, but he was unable to do so because the government would rest on His shoulders and every knee will bow to Him. They did everything in their power to eradicate Him, but it was prophesied that He would save His people from their sins. A struggle ensued from his birth until his crucifixion when men tried to go against that power, but it had been given to Him. When that Roman soldier stood at the cross and the blood and water from Jesus’ body sprayed on his face, his eyes were opened and he said, ‘Truly this man was the son of God.’ It was prophesied from His birth that He would save His people from their sins.
Where are the blameless Elizabeths and Zechariahs today? Where are the Zechariahs who faithfully continue with their duties in the temple and are not distracted by the fact that what they had yearned for has not been accomplished? Where are the Marys of this time who find favour with God? Are they just seeking marriage? Because your prayers have not been answered do you drink alcohol and spend your time with prostitutes? Matriculants spend their time in a never-ending party of immorality and drink after their final year. Where are the young people who are blameless before God? Nowadays you must watch out for drunk young people. Where do they get their drink from? Their parents.
Christmas comes once a year, but the Christ Child should be alive every day of the year. If the Child is alive all the people we meet will receive spiritual life and the festive season will be one of joy because of the Christ Child. This is the greatest gift that God has given each one - whether you will receive Christmas gifts or not. Earthly gifts cannot compare to the gift of God which is Jesus Christ. This gift is freely available to everyone - whether rich, poor, respected or not.
Conclusion Michael Ngubane
This inexpressible gift surpasses all other gifts. Every person can receive this gift.
A child of God who is not united with Christ and without the Holy Spirit, has a problem. These mothers were required to live lives that reflected the calling they had been entrusted with. Mary had such a great responsibility to bear - the Child, the Saviour of the world. God must have looked all over the world and noticed Mary, the only one whom He could entrust - to bear the Child through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When these two women greeted one another, something happened within and to the children they were carrying. These women were special people; one carried the Saviour of mankind and the other, the one who would turn the hearts of the people to God.
If you do not have this Child, if He’s not there at all, remain behind. Admit that you once had the Child, but now there is no movement. There might only be ashes left in your life but there may be a spark that can be blown into flame. Get right with God and confess your sins.