In my study I continued looking at the responses by focusing on Mary. Luke’s gospel in chapter 1 verses 46-55 includes “The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise.” But the back story is this (found in Luke 1: 38… The Angel appears to Mary and says, to sum it up, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” You have been chosen by Him to give birth to His Son who is the savior of the world. She says, How can that be? “I’m a virgin.” The Angel says, the Holy Spirit will take care of that, he’s even got a name for you so all the details have been worked out, and oh, yeah, your cousin Elizabeth is pregnant too. And he finishes with “nothing is impossible with God.” Mary says, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.”
This is just the beginning of her response. Even though she might have been confused, she asked her honest question and by faith she took the Angel’s words as truth. She focused not on herself but on the Lord’s plan pointing directly to His provision for salvation…His mercy to His people. Such mercy shows God’s devotion to the covenant He made with his people.
In Luke 1:46-55, she provides her other response…her song of praise. In her song, she doesn’t focus on herself but on God’s mercy, on her and on his people. She says this:
…He took notice of me, His lowly servant girl…He, the Mighty One, is Holy…His mercy goes on from generation to generation…He has not forgotten his promise to be merciful…For He promised our ancestors-Abraham and his children-to be merciful to them forever.
Mary references some passages in Psalms in her song. She notes:
Luke 1:46-55 references Psalm 34:2,3 – This passage says “I will boast only in the Lord” and encourages us to tell of the Lord’s greatness and to exalt his name.
Luke 1:49 references Psalm 111:9 – That among the things that the Lord has done for his people is guaranteed His covenant to His people forever.
Luke 1:50 references Psalm 103:13,17 – He remembers the generations- those who have been faithful to his covenant and obey his commandments. He extends salvation to the generations.
Luke 1:51 references Psalm 89:10 – The Lord is merciful, but also mighty and He has the power to scatter enemies in order to save His people.
Luke 1:53 references Psalm 107:9 – Mary notes that the Lord satisfies the hungry, providing for our needs.
Luke 1:54 references Psalm 98:3 and Isaiah 41:8 – The Lord remembered His promise to be merciful to His people.
Mary’s focus was not on her at all…she didn’t focus on surviving the pregnancy or on what honor this would give her. She thanked the Lord for remembering to be merciful and for his provision of salvation through the child she would give birth to.
Lesson from Mary: it was not about her… it’s not about us…it’s what the Lord has done for us because of his promise to be merciful to his people.
Next time: The response of the Angels