Luke 1:36-40

Luke 1:36 (KJB)
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Then Gabriel informs Mary that her cousin Elizabeth has also conceived a baby in her old age. This happened six months ago and the fact that Mary is being told that Elizabeth was in her old age was to support the fact that this was another miraculous conception, like that of Sarah. No longer will Elisabeth be called barren again. In fact she will be highly spoken of among the women because it is normal for a young woman to bear a child but when a woman goes beyond the years of child bearing, then it is a miracle.

Luke 1:37 (KJB)
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Just as the angel spoke to Abraham concerning the fact that Sarah laughed when she was told that she was going to have a baby in her old age, Gabriel states the same principle as was spoken to Abraham. (Gen 18:14 KJV) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Nothing is too hard for the Lord and nothing is impossible for Him. Mary may have thought to herself that Elisabeth was way past child bearing years and wondered how she would be able to conceive a son. Both Genesis 18:14 and Luke 1:37 are great promises of encouragement for the Christian. When we find ourselves in a very rough situation and we see no way out, these verses should take center stage because all things may be too hard and impossible for us, but not for the Lord.

Luke 1:38 (KJB)
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Now Mary had heard the entire scenario from Gabriel, she was ready and willing to be obedient to the Lord in all things that she just heard. There was no hint of doubt in her response as there was in the response of Zacharias. Mary had presented herself in total submission to the word and will of God. Once Gabriel heard her response, he was now ready to go back to Heaven and await his next task. The word “handmaid” in the Greek means “servant.” Mary had shown that she was a responsible, understanding woman.

Luke 1:39 (KJB)
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

As soon as Mary heard the news about Elisabeth bearing a child in her old age, she wasted no time in going to see her cousin. This would have been a trip of about 100 miles (161 km) from Nazareth in Galilee to the hill country in Judea. The name of the town where Elisabeth and Zacharias lived is unknown but tradition has it as Ein Karem, which is near Jerusalem. It was a small town, even today as in the census of 2010, there was a population of only 2,000. The name means “spring of the vineyard.” It attracts approximately 3 million visitors per year. It is approximately 5 miles (8 km) from Jerusalem.

Luke 1:40 (KJB)
And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

Mary went straight to the house of Elisabeth and Zacharias and when she went into the house she saluted them which means she greeted them. It was normally a blessing of peace upon entering the home. It was accompanied with compliments and bowing.