Mary then went to the hill country of Judea to visit her elderly, pregnant cousin Elizabeth, Zacharias's wife. When Elizabeth "heard the greeting of Mary,...the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 'But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord'" (Lk 1:41, 43, 45).
Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John the Baptist (v.36). Her greeting confirmed Gabriel's message to mary and probably encouraged her. However, scripture does not tell us Mary was yet pregnant. It merely says Elizabeth called her "the mother of my Lord" because the Holy Spirit prompted her to do so.
Mary's response to Elizabeth has been called the "Manificat" from the first word of the Latin translation. This beautiful passage (vv.46-55) is actually a poem that begins with mary's astounding declaration of unconditional love for and trust in the Lord: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (vv.46-47).
She referred to God as "my Savior," acknowledging her need of salvation. She praised His regard for "the lowly state of his maidservant," acknowledging her subservience to the Almighty and what probably was her lower-class status in Israelite society. She and Joseph were so poor they could only offer a pair of turtledoves as a sacrifice when they dedicated Jesus at the Temple (2:24). She also extoled God's might (Lk1:49), mercy (v.50), strength (v.51), judgment of the proud (vv.51-52), exaltation of the lowly (v.52), and salvation of israel (vv.54-55). Her profound faith in God and His faithfulness, along with her knowledge of scripture, makes it easy to see why God chose her.
Because much unbiblical doctrine revolves around Mary, it's important to examine God's Word to avoid being misled. Nowhere does the Bible teach that mary was immaculately conceived, that she remained a virgin in perpetuity, that she was assumed into heaven, or that she is a coredemptrix in the salvation of lost humanity. The Bible teaches that only Jesus came to Earth as God incarnate to redeem mankind from sin, in fulfillment of what the Jewish prophets foretold.
Nor does the Bible teach that Mary assumed attributes of deity upon her death. Only God is omniscient and omnipresent, so He alone can hear and answer prayer and know everything transpiring on Earth. The Bible teaches we are to worship and pray to God alone.
People whispered about Mary because she was pregnant out of wedlock. However, scripture teaches, "Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly" (Mt 1:19). She was not already a public example, and Joseph was planning to ensure she did not become one.
Jesus also read the Torah in the synagogue, a privilege withheld from men considered illegitimate. Plus, people said of Jesus, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter's son?" (13:54-55). Clearly, His parentage was not an issue. Furthermore, it was important that Jesus be regarded as Joseph's legitimate son because through Joseph came the legal right to David's throne. scripture also teaches Mary had other children after Jesus (vv.55-56). Mary probably was indeed a "fine mother." But she was a finer example of what it means to have faith in God.