Thoughts Story 4
1: A more traditional possibility:
MARY VISITS ELIZABETH:
In mid-July of 6 BC, Mary was planning to travel south to visit her relative Elizabeth, and planned to return before the early rains.
Mary’s visit would serve several purposes. It would get her out of Nazareth so that Joseph could not be accused of having had sex with her before they were married. Then she could also confirm the angel’s message that Elizabeth was pregnant, and check on Elizabeth’s health if she was. And finally Mary would have the companionship of someone who was also being moved by the Holy Spirit.
Packing quickly, Joseph arranged for Mary’s transportation south. Mary would join a traveling group in Capernaum, a day’s journey east of Nazareth, beside the Sea of Galilee. Then, with a male escort, make the 100-mile Jordan River Valley route from Capernaum to Jerusalem in five or six days, while avoiding Samaria. She would travel past Jerusalem to get to the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth, who lived southwest of Jerusalem about four miles, in a village called ain Karim, which means “spring in the vineyard”.
When Mary finally arrived, and entered the house, she greeted Elizabeth, saying “Shalom (peace).” At the sound of Mary’s voice, Elizabeth’s six-month-old fetus kicked hard, taking Elizabeth’s breath away. Her gasp gave the two women the subject to begin a long talk.
Elizabeth had an unusual response. ‘Now I understand why John, the name we will give our son, kicked when he heard your voice. He recognized the Holy Spirit in you.’
Elizabeth, after hearing the full explanation, was amazed by Mary’s willingness to agree to carry this baby, and concluded by stating how much she admired Mary for agreeing to do the Lord’s will. It takes a lot of faith to see beyond the social stigma and to do the will of God anyway. Elizabeth and Mary could not help but express the awe that each felt when they considered that both of them, just regular folk, had been chosen to be part of God’s plan, and not the rich, the religious leaders, or the royal family. This is just what had happened to Hannah when she found herself pregnant with Samuel.
Mary left in late September, just before the early rains began, to return to Nazareth even though it meant leaving before Elizabeth went into labor and had her baby.DAB