Luke 1:39–45

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (ESV)

Why did the unborn child become happy at the voice of Mary's greeting?

Christians of different denoinations are encouraged to answer.

  • Protestants of different denominations
  • Roman Catholicism
  • Orthodoxy

The answer is in the very text you quoted. Notice that Elizabeth attributes it to joy over hearing the voice of the "mother of my Lord." This attribution is made while "filled with the Holy Spirit", so we can take it as inspired. Unborn babies do respond to sound, I even used to calm our children, when they were in my wife's womb and acting up, by singing to them. Which tells me that unborn babies can be aware of sound and respond emotionally. And taking into account that John was also filled with the Holy Spirit, perhaps even at this point, it is not hard to imagine that even then he might have been somewhat/fuzzily aware that the sounds he was hearing were sounds of blessing and reason for excitement and joy.

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