I love (love, LOVE) that there are multiple references to preborn life in Scripture. The authors of the Bible, inspired by the Creator, God Almighty, referenced babies in the womb a number of times. It’s wonderful to know that God is intimately involved in creating life, that He is involved in birth, and that He is a good Creator.
One of my very favorite stories is that of John the Baptist in the womb, and his mother Elizabeth. It’s during the Christmas story, so I know that many have heard this wonderful story, but it bears repeating.
“The Baby in My Womb”….
Mary was a young woman, likely a teen, engaged but not yet married. God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Mary that God had chosen her to bear the Jesus, Son of the Most High. Mary was understandably perplexed about how this would be. Gabriel answered: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35, ESV) Gabriel, the angel, also told Mary that her relative Elizabeth–who was too old to have a baby–had by a special gift of the Lord conceived a son with her husband Zechariah, and she was six months pregnant.
Mary went to visit Elizabeth. I’ll let you read this part of the story from the Word:
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” ~ Luke 1:39-45, ESV
Preborn Life in Scripture
How cool is that? Preborn baby John the Baptist recognized preborn baby Jesus from his mother’s womb! The Holy Spirit informed Elizabeth that Jesus was Lord at that very point–in His mother’s womb, and that little John the Baptist was jumping for joy in the womb just to be in Jesus’ presence. This is just my observation, but at that point, Elizabeth would have been between 6-9 months pregnant, and Mary would have been 1-3 months pregnant (the way we calculate pregnancy now).
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Image: The Visitation, Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674), Public Domain
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.