re: ljmax - God can (and will) use anybody
Where I tend to get a little confused is when Zechariah asked the angel "How can I be sure of this?" and then Mary asked the angel "How will this be?" Is this not somewhat the same question, doubt or curiosity? Maybe not because Mary believed but with her being a virgin she KNEW that in order to conceive that she must have sex. Zechariah (i think he believed) but in order to have a child (in his eyes) you must be in child bearing age. This is what I'm getting out of this. It's possible that Mary knew this was to happen but wanted to know how or what steps needed to be done. And I suppose Zechariah just wasn't quite sure. To me, they both sound a little doubtful but obviously I am wrong because of what Gabriel did. Please help me understand.
We have to keep in mind that the Bible, whether KJV, NIV, etc, are translations of the Greek and Hebrew Textus Receptus (which is to say received text). Meaning and tone can become lose in translation; therefore, according to the Greek text, Zechariah doubted Gabriel and Mary inquired Gabriel. That is the difference between the two. Because of Zechariah's lack of belief, his tongue was silenced. When it was time to name the child, his name was confirmed by Zechariah - not Elizabeth. Sometimes, in order for God to protect us, he has to mute us.
When Mary visits Elizabeth and Elizabeth heard Mary's voice the baby in Elizabeth leaped in her womb. Wow, just her greeting alone. I thought about this...she didn't have to even touch Elizabeth in order for the Holy Spirit to fill John. So, my question is was Mary pregnant at the time...I thought so. OR is it because of what Elizabeth said...because Mary believed what the Lord said to her will be accomplished that Mary is blessed. Even though Elizabeth said blessed is the child you will bear, doesn't mean that Mary wasn't already pregnant.
As you stated, Mary and Elizabeth were both pregnant within a few months of each other. When John sensed Jesus in the womb of Mary, he lept for joy and Elizabeth became filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth became enlightened and aware of whom Mary was incubating in her womb. This led to the proclamation of calling Mary and the child blessed.
But when I look back at Matthew when Jesus was conceived weren't they in the country of Judea? Bethlehem?So Mary is from Nazareth (and I guess Joseph is too according to Luke 2:4), then Mary came to stay with Elizabethh in Judea for a few months, went back home to Nazareth but somehow found her self back in Judea then Jesus was born and then they all returned to Nazareth?
Joseph's hometown is Bethelem. He was living in Nazareth along with Mary. Joseph had to return to Bethlehem to pay the census tax. It was there that Jesus was born (prophecy fulfilled), but he was raised in Nazareth.
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