A brief discussion from the Gospel of Luke about Mary (the mother of Yeshua) and Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) may shed some clues on why their sons attained such high spiritual stature. Behind godly sons are often godly mothers!
Luke 1:6, Righteous…blameless. Zachariah and Elizabeth (Heb. Elishevah) were totally Torah-observant to the point of being blameless in YHVH’s eyes. This confirms Moses’ words in Deut 30:11–14 that Torah-obedience isn’t outside the realm of human possibility as some in the church erroneously teach today.
Luke 1:28, Blessed are you among women. These words of Gabriel were repeated verbatim in Elizabeth’s prophecy concerning Yeshua (verse 42). Doubtless this was a supernatural confirmation to Mary concerning her role as the mother of the Messiah, for how could her cousin have known what the angel had spoken to her previously?
Luke 1:36, Elizabeth your relative. While Mary was of the royal lineage of David through her father, she also was a relative on her mother’s side of Elizabeth, the priest-wife of Zacharias, who was a daughter of Aaron (Luke 1:5). In Matthew one and Luke three two different genealogies are given for Yeshua, both of which go back to King David. One is presumed to be that of Joseph and the other is that of Mary. In this way, Yeshua was a direct descendant of David legally through Joseph, his step-father, and genetically through Mary, his mother. Does this mean that Mary was of priestly as well as Davidic lineage. Yes, but not patrilineally, only matrilineally. In the Scriptures, tribal lineage was determined through the father’s family line and not the mother’s.
In the case of Mary and Elizabeth, they would have shared common grandparents making them cousins. Their grandfather would have been a priest. In the case of Elizabeth, her father—the son of her priestly grandfather—would have carried the priestly line making her a daughter of Aaron (Luke 1:5). In the case of Mary, her mother would have been her priestly grandfather’s daughter meaning that she was of priestly lineage but not her children, unless she married a priest.
It seems that Yeshua would have carried some priestly blood in his genes, but he was not legally a priest through patrilineal descent. To be sure, Yeshua was a priest, but not one of Aaronic lineage but after the order of Melchizedek, which was the priesthood of the firstborn son passed on generationally. Yeshua was the first born son of Elohim eternally, which is why he is presently at the right hand of Elohim acting as our Great High Priest (Heb 1:3 cp. 3:1; 4:4; 8:1).
Therefore, Mary laid claim to a Davidic as well as a priestly lineage (Jesus the Messiah, by Edersheim, p. 105). This means that Yeshua was not only of direct Davidic lineage but was of priestly lineage as well.
Luke 1:39, Now Mary arose. Those with similar divine missions or callings naturally want to be with others like them. Such divine encounters are too unbelievable and incomprehensible for those who haven’t encountered something similar that it is hard to relate to those who have. This is probably why, in part, the prophets of old, at times, lived together in a community. Those who see into the spiritual realm and operate by faith are constricted spiritually when they have to be around those who don’t.
Luke 1:41–45, When Elizabeth heard. During this greeting, Elizabeth had a spiritual encounter that helped her to connect the dots to understand what was going in YHVH’s divine plan for John and Yeshua. Zechariah would have revealed to her the angel’s previous message (vv. 13–17). Now when the babe leapt in her womb at Mary’s arrival and she was filled with the Spirit (a visceral experience), and then prophetic words came out of her mouth, this was evidence and confirmation to both of them of YHVH’s plans for their sons. YHVH has supernatural ways of conveying his divine will to his people, so that only people of faith will see and understand. All others, unless confronted with visible signs and empirical evidence (as verified by logic, or observable evidence or experience), will dismiss these spiritual revelations and circumstances as delusion. The unbelievers usually resort mockery and scoffing ridicule. Those who walk by faith and hear the voice of YHVH and know his ways of communication are undeterred, however, as they follow the Elohim wherever he leads them.