Mary is told by Gabriel that she will bear a son, he will be named Jesus, he will be great, the son of God. He will rule over Israel and all the earth.
Much like Zechariah, she was uncertain at this news, but Mary was not lacking in faith, like Zechariah was, but instead ignorant the physicality of how she could bare a son, and had not been with a man. Zechariah was a priest and therefore would have known that God has done this kind of thing before.
Luke 1:36 – the news of pregnancy will end the shame of Elizabeth, having wanted a child her whole life (being barren was considered a sign of sin), but the news for Mary will create shame on Mary in the community, for being pregnant outside of wedlock. Gabriel tells Mary about her cousin Elizabeth being pregnant, giving her a place to go when her reputation is shattered. Elizabeth was uniquely in a position to understand Mary’s shame.
Luke 1:38 – Mary says “here I am” use me as you see fit, to God. This is how we should respond when we are called by God as well.
Luke 1:39 – Mary travels close to 100 miles to Elizabeth’s home, with no indication that anyone travelled with her. If Mary had become pregnant by sinful relations, the last place she would want to go is to the home of a priest, Zechariah.
Elizabeth knew that Mary was with child because she was told her son would be the forerunner of the coming messiah, and when she saw Mary, John leaped in her womb.
Luke 1:56 – Zechariah and Elizabeth didn’t tell their family of the new baby until after Johns birth. Mary does not return home until after Johns birth. Meaning she would likely have served as a midwife for Elizabeth, preparing her with an education on childbirth, that would come in very handy 6 months later when she would deliver with no one but her husband to help