Key Verse: “Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
AFTER LEARNING THAT her relative Elisabeth was with child, Mary traveled a considerable distance from her home to visit her. Elisabeth greeted Mary’s arrival warmly, and the record states that her unborn child, John the Baptist, “leaped in her womb.”—Luke 1:39-41
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Elisabeth acknowledged Mary’s unique privilege of being the mother of the one who would become the Savior of Israel and all the human family. She said to Mary, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”—vss. 42-45
Our Key Verse reflects Mary’s acknowledgment in being the recipient of such unspeakable favor. It additionally points out a desire to render gratitude to God for bestowing such honor upon her, and the great joy it brought to her spirit.
Mary’s song of praise, recorded in the ensuing verses, extols how much God had done for her and that he is her Savior. She acknowledges his mercy, noting his power to displace those who are proud and mighty, yet also being able to exalt the lowly. Finally, Mary gives voice to God’s faithfulness towards Israel as she recalls the promises made to Abraham and his seed.—vss. 48-55
After staying with Elisabeth for about three months, Mary returned to her home in Nazareth. (vs. 56) Upon her return, quite likely she became the object of ridicule and slander because she was with child but unmarried. Nevertheless, Mary’s sweet temperament and righteous inclinations were undoubtedly factors that made her God’s choice to become the mother of his Son, Jesus. Whatever difficulties she may have had to overcome in the eyes of any who were critical of her situation, her trust in God’s promises were sufficient for her to be successful in her special calling.
As members of the body of Christ, we should emulate Mary’s example of faithfulness. Like her, we should realize that because we are under God’s peculiar care, his compassion and supervision of our affairs are ever present, and he is most worthy of our praise—“because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” (Ps. 63:3) He is also a God of comfort. We can, therefore, rely on the promise that nothing shall ever separate us from his love. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”—II Cor. 1:3,4; Rom. 8:35,38,39
Ultimately, praise also will be an integral part of the human family’s make up. In the kingdom, they will realize the scope of what the Heavenly Father has done for them through the magnificent sacrifice of Jesus. Mankind will also recognize the part the body members of Christ will play in helping to bring them back into heart harmony with God during that glorious Millennial reign. Let us be faithful!