“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” – Luke 1:41
The Bible has no word for “fetus” equivalent to the way it is used in English. The Greek word used here, “brephos,” is the same word used for babies on the other side of the womb. This powerful scene is just like God – to use the weakest of all to point to the most powerful of truths.
First, let us not miss that John the Baptist is doing what he was born to do as he does for the rest of his life: point to Jesus. He will do so again beside the River Jordan when he exclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” and when he affirms his mission in John 3:30, “He must become greater, I must become less.” In this moment, even as he is approximately six months in his mother’s womb, he is already doing what he will do with his whole life: pointing to Jesus.
Let us also not miss that the first person to worship Jesus on earth was a “fetus.” Twenty-four–week old baby John the Baptist is worshipping God incarnate, Who wasn’t even old enough to be protected by many of the new laws in many states.
We know the ultimate cry of John by the River Jordan – “behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world!” But let us not miss his pre–birth cry: “It’s Him Mama, It’s Him!” Perhaps there is no greater passage in all of Scripture that speaks to the value of life in the womb.
“Father, thank you for making me in your image. Help me to value all who are fearfully and wonderfully made, lovingly knitted in the womb of their mothers. Thank you for sending your Son Who emptied Himself and came in order to redeem mankind.”
John Blackmon serves as pastor of Meansville Baptist Church.