A Walk through the Book of Luke
February 25, 2023
“And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on, all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.”
Yesterday, we saw Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. As Mary entered Elizabeth and Zechariah’s home, she greeted them. But she was not ready for what happened next. Mary must have been overwhelmed by her cousin’s greeting.
The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth, and she immediately knew that Mary was pregnant and that the baby she was carrying was the Son of God. Elizabeth even praises Mary’s faith.
“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”
After hearing Elizabeth’s praises heaped on her, Mary also breaks into praise. She praises the Lord in a poem, a song that has become known as “The Magnificat.”
The Magnificat is Latin for “My soul magnifies.” So the first line of the Magnificat says,
“My soul magnifies (or praises) the Lord.”
Mary is overwhelmed. She praises God and addresses Him as “God my Savior.” In her own way, Mary understands what is happening. She is pregnant with God’s Son, whom her husband Joseph and she will name Jesus. Her pregnancy has occurred for a specific reason. To allow Jesus to enter the world as a child while maintaining his heavenly presence and power as God’s Son.
My favorite line from the Magnificat comes in verse 50.
“His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation.”
Mary is not speaking of people’s fear of drowning, being fired from their job, or death. Instead, in this context, fear connotates the respect and awe we should have for God.
As you can see in the passage (above), Mary speaks of God’s many deeds. He has brought down rulers, lifted up the humble, and finally, how:
“He helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful.”
Just a quick reminder. It is generally accepted that Mary was a very young girl (perhaps 14 years old) when she became pregnant with Jesus. She was pregnant with the Son of God, so it stands to reason Mary, like Elizabeth, was filled with the Holy Spirit. Her eyes, heart, and soul had been opened to many things. It only stands to reason that she would proclaim the Glory and wonders of God to the world.