Mary’s Song of Praise

Key Verses: “Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
—Luke 1:46,47, New King James Version

Selected Scripture:
Luke 1:46-55

TODAY’S KEY VERSES fall uniquely at the time in which many Christians observe the birth of Jesus. His birth as a man, which occurred nine months later, was accompanied by many miraculous overrulings by God. He came as a newborn baby and not a fully grown man. He was born in a manger to illustrate the humility of his coming. He was to be the King of Kings yet seemed so defenseless given the supremacy of Rome. Divine power kept him from all danger and harm. Of great magnitude also is the fact that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was a virgin.

Gabriel, the angelic messenger of God, visited Mary to explain the miraculous circumstances now to come into her life. He said, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28, NKJV) Mary feared, not know what was happening. However, she was assured that she need not fear, but rather, realize the blessing that was about to come upon her. There must have been a significant degree of wonderment on both the part of Mary and of Gabriel. Mary was amazed at being told that she was going to be the mother of Israel’s deliverer, and Gabriel was in awe that the “Logos” of God, whom he knew in the heavenly courts, was now to be made flesh and be born of this holy young maiden.

Upon hearing the news that her cousin Elizabeth had conceived a child in her old age—another miracle—Mary went to visit her. Upon entering the home of Zacharias, the sound of Mary’s voice reached Elizabeth’s ears. “When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”—vss. 41-44, NKJV

The Holy Spirit filled Mary’s heart, and she began to extol the high praises of God. She acknowledged that she was a maidservant of the Lord, not one who should be exalted and worshipped. Mary gave humble thanks that many generations to come would refer to her as “blessed,” for indeed she was. She further praised God for his divine equity, soon to be expressed in his kingdom. The proud would be scattered and made powerless—the meek would inherit the earth. The mighty would be deposed from their thrones, and the lowly would be exalted. The great outworking of the Abrahamic promise was at hand—in his seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed.—vss. 46-55, NKJV

We are not given Mary’s age at the time of Jesus’ birth. However, noting Jewish customs of the time, it may be concluded that she was in her early to middle teenage years. We pause to consider the reality that her devotion to God was well formed and vigorous at an early age. Young Christian women—and men—should take encouragement from her example. Give honor and respect to the gift of faith that works in you. It will lead to a lifetime of rich blessings from God, a life “more abundant.”