Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist, is a beautiful example that waiting on the Lord often brings unexpected blessings.
Elizabeth was the wife of Zechariah, cousin of Mary and mother of John Baptist. Elizabeth was unable to have children and was well beyond child bearing years when amazingly she conceived a son. Her husband, Zechariah, was visited by the Angel Gabriel and given the blessed news in the temple. Unable to fully believe what he was hearing, Zechariah was made mute. While Elizabeth was pregnant, she was visited by Mary, the expectant mother of Jesus. Upon hearing Mary speak, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy. Elizabeth gave birth to a son who they named John as the Angel Gabriel had commanded and Zechariah's ability to speak returned. Their son John became John the Baptist, the prophet who foretold the coming of Jesus.
Here is Elizabeth's remarkable life story from the Bible:
• Elizabeth was the childless wife of Zechariah
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. (Luke 1:5-7, NIV
• An angel appeared to Zechariah while serving in the temple, saying their prayers would be answered and they would have a son
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:11-17)
• Elizabeth conceived and was in seclusion for five months
After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.(Luke 1:24, NIV)
• Elizabeth was visited by her cousin Mary who was pregnant with Jesus
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-40, NIV)
• Elizabeth and her unborn child recognized Jesus in Mary's womb
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:41-45, NIV)
• Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest of all men
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11, NIV)