And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
The Lord reveals His revelation to Mary and she responds in worship, but Mary is the not the only one to receive a divine visitor. What is amazing is that every manifestation of God associated with the birth of Jesus Christ is immediately followed by the witnesses worshiping because of the manifestation.
- Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, at his son’s birth, responds in worship. Luke 1:68: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people.”
- The shepherds in Luke chapter 2 are visited by an angelic host while they are keeping watch over their flock by night. It is revealed to them that born unto them, in the City of David, is a Savior who is Christ the Lord. They go to Bethlehem, find the parents and the baby and, in verse 20: “The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.”
- Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the Temple for her purification, according to the Law of Moses, and in Luke 2:29-32 Simeon responds in praise with: “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
- Anna then responded in Luke 2:38 with worship and witnessing: “She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.”
- The Magi in Matthew 2:1-2 see a new star and travel to find the newborn king to worship Him: “About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
Often our response to God’s revelation is whining when it could be worship. Must we be bludgeoned by a 2×4 or will we see the Christmas spirit for what it truly is, one of worshipping God. Before Mary worshipped in the Magnificat, she responded to Gabriel: “Let it be to me according to your word.” Worship is the voluntary, sacrificial offering of praise from an obedient heart to God both for who He is and what He has done. Her obedient worship reminds us that God is:
- MIGHTY for His people (v 49)
As Mary sings about God’s might again and again she refers to his great deeds: Verse 51a: “He has performed mighty deeds with his arm”; Verse 51b: “He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts” Verse 52 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble”. Verse 53 “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty”. Verse 54 “He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful”.
It is not just about might in power but in presence, Mary is singing about God showing up in strength to bring us victory. Because of the mighty deeds of God, sin would be overcome, as God turned the world upside down, or should I say, right side up. When you use a magnifying glass, it doesn’t change the size of what you look at, it changes your perception. Mary’s perception was now enlarged so she tells others through song of how great she sees her God. Mary had an enlarged sense of God’s power and presence and her song reveals a much deeper reason for her appreciation of God, because He is mighty He will not fail you.
- MERCIFUL toward His people (vv 50-54)
Mary’s song reveals three aspects of His mercy: The power in verses 51-52, the provision in verse 53 and the promise in verse 54-55. Mary also names three specific groups that God is merciful to: The helpless (vs 51), the humble (vs 52), and the hungry (vs 53). God’s mercy and justice is seen as the weak dethrone the mighty, the humble scatter the proud, the nobodies are exalted, the hungry are filled, and the rich end up poor. Mary reminds us that all of this would take place because of the Lord as five times she says “He has…” Jesus said “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” and “those who are last will be first, and first will be last” It is God’s mercy that makes the difference and these verses are a great reminder that Jesus came for everyone: Regardless of their status in the world the humble are valued by God, and even the arrogant can humble themselves and become right with God. The oppressed find mercy and help and the oppressors can stop their oppression, and find grace. Those who are weak can be strong in God and the strong can admit their weakness apart from God, and find true strength. Yet we have to come to God on His terms not our own if we want to experience His wisdom, wealth, and His wholeness. When you come to Christ you find forgiveness, so will you must humble yourself, admit your weakness and turn from your sin?