Mary Visits Elizabeth39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[e] a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’
When I began to research the virgin birth, I was quite surprised that the only reference to it appears in Luke. What follows is conjecture and guess and pushes the story of the new testament. But it is fun to pursue non the less.
So you have in Luke 1 the story of two women. Elizabeth, who is old. And an angel comes to her and says that the lord will provide her a son. And her husband Zechariah will not speak again until all this happens.
Now, Paul makes an odd reference to the birth of Jesus, calling it an Abortion or Abortivo. The line in question is:
I Corinthians 15:3-8: "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."
So at first I thought Abortion? Or, perhaps it was a cesarean section done in old times? No, it didn't seem right. By untimely born, Paul is referencing the advanced age in years of Elizabeth.
The telling of the Tale of Luke sorta bears this out:
Angel appears to Zechariah and fortells of great son named John
Mary visits Elizabeth at six months of pregancy
Mary asks the angel how she can give birth as a virgin
Three months later Mary returns home (presumably after the birth of John)
Mary has a child who she calls Jesus.
Ok now this next part will astound you. Lets say that you were Mary and Joeseph afraid to have a child because of the persecution and census. And the elderly couple, too old to raise a new infant. What if after 3 months, the infant was brought back with Mary and Joeseph without Marys knowledge, then she awakens in the manger, with the infant beside her. a "birth" of an infant. She would have been amazed, but not question as it had been foretold to her by the angel Gabriel.
The child's title is Jesus - Yashua. The Chrestos - the oracle of God. But his NAME his birth name, is John.
Ok hold on. I know it sounds mad. But one phrase from Elizabeth sticks it:
After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25 ‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.’
So she was disgraced for getting pregnant so old. And went away for five months in seclusion. Then came back. But where is John?
Another hint - When Mary visits elizabeth in her sixth month of pregancy Elizabeth tells Mary
"And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44
Very interesting indeed! So maybe at that point, Elizabeth KNOWS what is going to happen but Mary does not! Of course bible thumpers will say simply that it is a reference to Mary going to give birth to Jesus. But how would Elizabeth know anything about that Elizabeth was not supranatural and Mary was NOT PREGNANT!
56 And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.
Six months pregnant, then THREE MONTHS MORE = BIRTH! This is not a coincidence!
Lets look at Mark 1. Of course there is the statement that John baptized Jesus. But perhaps that is simply allegorical. Mark does not say he witnesses it. It begins with a description of JOHN as the wild man who is preaching and is arrested.
Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” 9 Although King Herod was very sad, he had made a promise, and his dinner guests had heard him. So Herod ordered that what she asked for be done. 10 He sent soldiers to the prison to cut off John’s head. 11 And they brought it on a platter and gave it to the girl, and she took it to her mother - Matthew 14
Now, go back a little and you will find something amazing in Matthew:
At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard the reports about Jesus. 2 So he said to his servants, “Jesus is John the Baptist, who has risen from the dead. That is why he can work these miracles.”- Mathew 14:1-3
AHA! AHA!!! Amazing. So they say it even in the bible! So what might have happend? A faked death. John (Jesus) is in prison and they arrange ANOTHER to take his place and death. Another head is given to Salome. Jesus/John escapes the prison or is released as another and then he has a problem. John has to be DEAD. So who will he be now? He remembers the tale of his birth and the name given to him by the angels and declares himself JESUS.
What does John 1 say about all this?
6 There was a man named John[c] who was sent by God. 7 He came to tell people the truth about the Light so that through him all people could hear about the Light and believe. 8 John was not the Light, but he came to tell people the truth about the Light. 9 The true Light that gives light to all was coming into the world!
10 The Word was in the world, and the world was made by him, but the world did not know him. 11 He came to the world that was his own, but his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who did accept him and believe in him he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They did not become his children in any human way—by any human parents or human desire. They were born of God.
So John as a prophet was not accepted by the Jews. He needed to reinvent himself as Jesus. And he knew that at some point this would need to happen.
So Jesus was of the Bethany Clan, a rich family in the Gallilee Essene region. They had many houses and areas of land.
When one reads John, we must distinguish between John the Baptist, and John the Apostle. The first part is a recount of John the Baptist. But it is not the direct witness of John. Here we hear the tale of John meeting Jesus:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, “Look, the Lamb of God,[h] who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the One I was talking about when I said, ‘A man will come after me, but he is greater than I am, because he was living before me.’ 31 Even I did not know who he was, although I came baptizing with water so that the people of Israel would know who he is.”
But really the DIRECT account of John does not happen until
The First Followers of Jesus35 The next day John[j] was there again with two of his followers. 36 When he saw Jesus walking by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”[k]
37 The two followers heard John say this, so they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following him, he asked, “What are you looking for?”
They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” (“Rabbi” means “Teacher.”)
39 He answered, “Come and see.” So the two men went with Jesus and saw where he was staying and stayed there with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
Now. John goes to the baptism area and sees someone he recognizes as JESUS. Was this John? The person turns and doesn't say "Hi I am Jesus" he says "what are you looking for?"
One of the first thing that happens is the amazement of Nethaniel. Nethaniel is AMAZED that Jesus knows who he is.
Philip was from the town of Bethsaida, where Andrew and Peter lived. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the man that Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about him. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
46 But Nathanael said to Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip answered, “Come and see.”
47 As Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said, “Here is truly an Israelite. There is nothing false in him.”
48 Nathanael asked, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree, before Philip told you about me.”
Bethsaida is in Gallilee. So Jesus may have visited family as John and very well met or seen many people when he was younger. And he would have met many many of the more powerful families and their children being from the Bethany clan.
If Jesus was an infant that just APPEARED by Mary one day, perhaps his utterance in Matthew 11:11 might make some more sense. Of himself, born of Elizabeth, as John, he was the greatest born of women. But as Jesus, of Mary, not born of women, he was the greatest of all.
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist
Finally we have Herod Antipas who knew John the Baptist well, seeking out to see Jesus to dispel the myth that Jesus was the Ressurection of John! But Herod never meets Jesus! Not until much later!
Herod’s Perplexity7 Now Herod the ruler[b] heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. 9 Herod said, ‘John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?’ And he tried to see him. (Jesus)
Herod is also upset that he was tricked by the three wise men. But what is their trick?
This is confusing until you realize that it is Father and son Herod being referred to, Herod, and Herod Antipas.
Did the wise men pick up JOHN from Elizabeth and transfer him to Joseph and Mary as JESUS thus hiding the child? The plot thickens. The trick that the wise men performed on Herod is never called out! So what was the trick? Does Herod say "Hey JOHN the Baptist, It's YOU I KNEW IT!" when they bring Jesus before him!
I think this doesn't happen because it is HEROD who knew John the Baptist, but it is his son Herod Antipas who presides at the time of crucifiction. This explains why no one knows of him as John.
It is interesting to put modern intrigue into this common tale and look at how well it illuminates much of many texts which just seen thrown out there and out of place. It ties much together. In the end, there is no knowing.