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  • Evelyn Collins

The Baby Leaped With Joy at the Voice

Young girl's head and hands on pregnant mom's belly

As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

— (Luke 1: 44 NIV)

My older girl, Rhonda, was five years old when we were expecting our youngest daughter, Angela. Nine months sounds like a long time, and it may feel like it to some expectant moms. However, for me, it was a monthly miracle as a tiny body formed from an embryo into an intricate human being with the ability to hear, feel, and move. The development of a precious infant is miraculous. Our thrilled little kindergartener would place her small palms on my enlarged belly to feel the baby’s imperceptible flutters.

Early in my pregnancy, I realized my baby was aware and responded to certain sounds even in the beginning stage. Rhonda was full of energy and chatter. Whenever Rhonda entered the room, her animated voice excited the unborn baby. The baby knew the voice and responded with a frenzy of enthusiastic movements.

At first, Rhonda spoke and watched as the baby danced with delight. She told her friends the baby obeyed her and invited them over to see her sister respond. Rhonda understood that although the infant knew her voice, she didn’t understand the meaning of her sister’s words, so her first words were always, “Kick baby kick.” Then, as if on cue, arms and legs moved as the baby jumped. The neighborhood kids laughed, convinced that her baby sister understood and obeyed whatever she said. I marvel at the fact that my unborn child knew the voice of her sibling.

Mother reading Christmas story to daughters in front of Christmas tree

Holy Scripture tells us about an incident when John, as an unborn baby, was aware of the presence of Jesus. It began when the presence of the angel Gabriel appeared and told Mary that she would conceive the Messiah. Also, he proclaimed Elizabeth, who was old and barren, was expecting a child. So, Mary rushed to see her relative and entered the home.

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1: 41, NIV).”

Angel Gabriel announces Mary will conceive the Son of God, Jesus.

Elizabeth felt a sudden movement inside her womb as John the Baptist recognized the familiar sound of Mary’s voice and leaped for joy. The Holy Spirit entered the mother and baby, filling the room with a sense of divine presence. Then she prophesied that Mary’s baby was the fulfillment of prophecy.

Throughout his life, Jesus communicated with God through the Holy Spirit. He told his disciples that he would send a comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with them. Now the Spirit of God lives within those who believe in and follow Christ.

God often communicates through the Word of God, which is our defense against the devil and sin. Over time, new Christians learn to distinguish between the deceiver’s lies, our thoughts, and the Holy Spirit’s promptings. We become more aware because the Spirit reveals spiritual things to us, much like he did to Elizabeth when she prophesied. Our discernment of God’s nature and his will increase. The Bible and the Holy Spirit encourage and motivate us to act in obedience to God’s Truth.

Jesus is the good shepherd, and we are his flock. His sheep know and follow him because we have that same Spirit, but we must recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice and respond. He promises to lead his sheep to eternal safety. Although we have free will and may wander, no person can snatch us from his loving hands. His security is life for all eternity.


Praise God for the inspired Word of God within the Bible and the Holy Spirit that lives in followers of Christ. We are thankful that the Holy Spirit reveals and leads us. May we always recognize, listen, and obey the Spirit of God.

Your turn

How do you respond when you recognize God’s voice? 

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