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Published on Nov 18, 2012
John the Baptist's Birth and Preparation (3): Unborn John Leaps for Joy! (Luke 1:39-45) by Rev. Angus Stewart I. The Occasion II. The Significance Matthew Henry on Luke 1:41: "Now began to be fulfilled what the angel said to his father (v. 15), that he should be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb; and perhaps he himself had some reference to this, when he said (John 3:29), 'The friend of the Bridegroom rejoiceth greatly, because of the Bridegroom's voice,' heard, though not by him, yet by his mother." Prof. Hanko: "Several things are clear from [Luke 1:39-45]. First, the text mentions twice that the voice of Mary was the immediate cause of John's leap of joy within the womb of his mother. Therefore, it was the voice of Mary which communicated to John, within his mother, that Christ himself was present. Second, although John's response to Mary's voice was certainly miraculous, it was also the beginning of his work of announcing the coming of Christ, a work which he would complete with Christ's baptism in the wilderness of Judea. This work John could and did perform only as a regenerated and qualified forerunner of Christ the Messiah. Third, Elisabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, was able to interpret this leap of joy within her as an announcement of Christ's coming and presence. There was no other way she could possibly have known that Mary was to be the mother of the Lord. Finally, John's leap of joy was evidence of his regeneration. Not only did John take up his work, but he took up his work with joy, a joy which could only be borne out of a regenerated heart" (We and Our Children, pp. 143-144).