In Luke 11:27, a woman declares:
“Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”
Back in Luke 1, Elizabeth had declared to Mary:
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
Mary responded by saying:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, or he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed…”
Yet when Jesus responds to the woman’s statement of Luke 11:27, he says:
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Which leaves me confused. Not regarding the content or truth of what Jesus says, but rather the purpose of what appears to me to be a purposefully broken parallel between the two conversations. Why does Luke present such a sharp contrast between the two events?
For some reason this sequence reminds me of Jesus’ claim in Luke 7:28:
“I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
Is the transition away from Mary blessedness analogous, that her blessedness is in the context of the shadows of night, and that in the dawning of the new day / new creation blessedness takes on a new order of magnitude, dwarfing that which came before? In other words, is the transition between Luke 1 and Luke 11 pointing to the turning point in redemptive history when the word became flesh and dwelt among us?