When was the last time you read Luke 1 from the Bible? I’ve always loved this story, but this week when I read it in Ein Karem, Israel was my favorite.
Ein Karem is most likely the birthplace of John the Baptist. Today it is a cute little neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem. Because it is believed that this is where John was born, it is quite a popular place!
In Luke 1 some pretty amazing things happen. A few days ago, we visited Ein Karem and read Luke 1 while sitting right outside of a place named “Mary’s Spring.” That’s Mary, as in the mother of Jesus.
First of all, we don’t know that Mary ever frequented “Mary’s Spring.” It never says in the Bible. What we do know is that a spring or well (source of water) was the most important place of any village. It was a popular social gathering place. This is where women went daily to get water. It was also a place to catch up with friends and hear what’s going on around the village. It’s very likely that both Mary and Elizabeth (see Luke 1) came to this spring on a regular basis.
Across from the spring is land that is not flat, it’s more of a hill that goes down. In Biblical times it was all vegetation. Did you know that vegetable gardens need the spring water, so they are planted lower? That way the water can run down the hill or mountain and into the gardens. Vineyards, however are planted higher. Just a little random information for you incase you are planting vegetataion or a vineyard. 😉
Here are few highlights from Luke 1. If you haven’t read this passage of Scripture in a while, check it out. You’ll get much more from it if you read it yourself than what I’m going to share here. I’m only touching on a few things.
Did you know:
- Mary and Elizabeth were cousins (relatives).
- John the Baptist and Jesus were not named by their by mothers. Both of them were named by the angel Gabriel, sent by God.
- The angel, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband. Zechariah doubted the news the angel brought him. “Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.'” (verse 18)
- The angel, Gabriel also appeared to Mary, Jesus’ mother. Mary had questions (“I’m a virgin how can this be?” verse 34), but she did not doubt. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” (verse 38)
- Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, was older. Well beyond child bearing years.
- Mary, the mother of Jesus, was young … and unmarried. Considered by most to be too young. (Can you imagine the talk around the village about her?)
We have two women, opposite ends of the spectrum. Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist who would go and prepare the way for Jesus. Mary gave birth to Jesus, Son of God, who go and save the world.
Don’t ever say you are too old for God to use you.
Don’t ever say you are too young for God to use you.
Instead, how about let’s say,
I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.
Something to Think About
Do you ever find reasons that cause you to believe God can’t use you? In the name of Jesus, get those out of your head right now. You are never too old or too young (or too __________) to be used by God.