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BEHOLD, this could be the day!

advent devotional christmas don't miss the wonder

Mary is stunned with the news that the angel Gabriel has spoken. 

BEHOLD, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus…  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 1:31, 35 ESV, my emphasis)

The Holy Spirit had indeed enveloped her like a cloud and the presence and power of God had filled her entire body.  It was much like she had imagined when the teachers in the synagogue had read the stories of the pillar of cloud that followed the Israelites as they journeyed through the wilderness, and also described the cloud of glory filling the temple so the priests could not perform their duties. (Exodus 13:21, 2 Chronicles 7:2)

 And BEHOLD, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.

(Luke 1:36-37 ESV, my emphasis)

Mary immediately leaves for Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home in the hill country of Judea. Can you imagine the scene as Mary arrives on the doorstep and Elizabeth sees her for the first time? 

Mary knows about Elizabeth’s pregnancy because Gabriel had announced it to her.  But the visit is unexpected for Elizabeth, and she hasn’t been told yet that Mary carries a baby, and that baby is the Son of God.

Elizabeth, now six months pregnant, opens the door and sees her niece.  We don’t know the greeting that Mary brought, but the effect was so powerful that Elizabeth is immediately filled with the Holy Spirit, and baby John leaps in her womb. 

Elizabeth’s reaction is loud, passionate, spirit-filled, and prophetic.  In her response back to Mary she uses a word that we read six times in Luke 1 and 2: BEHOLD.


Behold means to pay attention because something new is being introduced. It is something that is unexpected, seems impossible, yet it will happen. The writer wants to redirect your gaze because your life is about to change! This is WONDER; let it awaken astonishment in your heart.

The Gospel of Luke chapters 1 and 2 are filled with the word BEHOLD:

  • Gabriel tells Zechariah: BEHOLD - you won’t be able to speak because you didn’t believe the message God sent to you about John. Luke 1:20
  • Gabriel and Mary: BEHOLD you are about to have a baby and you will call him Jesus. Luke 1:31
  • BEHOLD - there’s more. Your senior aunt Elizabeth is pregnant too! Luke 1:36
  • Elizabeth says to Mary - YES INDEED - BEHOLD as soon as I heard your voice the baby in my womb leaped for you. Luke 1:44
  • Mary’s song BEHOLD generations will call me blessed. Luke 1:48
  • Angels to shepherds - Don’t be afraid, BEHOLD, I bring you good news of great joy for all people. Luke 2:10
  • Simeon takes baby Jesus in his arms - BEHOLD this child. . . this is one I have been waiting to see. Luke 2:34

Friend, BEHOLD, this could be the day in your life that the sun breaks above the horizon with something new and unexpected. 

The situations that seem impossible and weigh heavy on your heart are about to disappear in the light of God’s revelation. 

The prayers you have faithfully brought to the throne are about to be answered with God’s grace and mercy.

Take notice of the BEHOLD moments


Look today for something that makes you say: WOW, that’s amazing, thank you Lord, I remember Lord and I praise you!

TODAY. . . 

  • Look for a Mary, a woman experiencing the unexpected. Remind her that God is with her.
  • Look for an Elizabeth who needs to know that nothing is impossible with God.
  • Look for the shepherds, the people who need to hear the Good News.
  • Look for Jesus, the Savior who came to earth for you. 

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