Five Ways Mary Shows Us How To Magnify God - Luke 1:46-55
Our text this morning is found in Luke 1:46-55.
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Mary, has just been told by Gabriel that she would have a child.
This child would be the result of the Holy Spirit overshadowing her. (Luke 1:26-33)
This child would be the Messiah and He would be called the Son of God.
Mary has also been told that her relative Elizabeth has also experienced a miracle in her old age. She also would be giving birth because nothing is impossible with God (1:37). Then in Luke 1:39 we read these words, “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country.” Immediately upon her arrival Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and the child in her womb leaps for joy. Then they both begin to magnify the Lord.
In our text, Mary seeks to magnify the Lord. This means that she seeks to glorify God, to declare the greatness of the Lord, to increase and to enlarge His fame and His wonder.
How will Mary go about magnifying the Lord?
There are five ways that we see in our text that will answer this question.
We will see that only the saved can magnify the Lord. (saint, redeemed, justified)
Mary magnifies the Lord from the depths of her soul
Mary speaks about the nature and character of God
Mary speaks about the deeds of the Lord
Finally, Mary will magnify the Lord with a humble disposition of heart
#1 Only the saved and redeemed can magnify the Lord (2 points)
#1 We see this when Mary says, “...my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (1:47)
First, we see that Mary magnifies the Lord with her spirit. She does not magnify the Lord with external worship or through carnal ways.
Secondly, we see that Mary calls God her Savior. Mary was not perfect as some have said. Mary, like all of us, needed a savior.
Third, Mary rejoices in God for her salvation. She does not rejoice in any goodness in herself. Nor does she fail to rejoice because she is unsure of what God was doing. She rejoices in God her Savior.
#2 We also see that Mary is magnifying the Lord for His salvation in Luke 1:48 when she says, “...for He has looked upon the humble estate of His servant”. When Mary speaks of her humble estate, she is not only talking about her lowly status in life. On the contrary, she could boast of her lineage from King David.
She is not referring to her poor economic or social status in society. Rather, she speaks of her sinful state. This Greek word is used four times in the New Testament and each time it is primarily used to speak of a persons sinfulness and vile state.
God looks upon her in her ‘humble estate’ and responds with saving mercy.
#2 Mary magnifies the Lord from the depths of her soul
Mary says, “My soul magnifies the Lord” This is not something she is doing from a superficial level. She magnifies the Lord with all of her mind, with all of her will and with all of her emotions. Let me give three examples as to how she does this.
In regards to magnifying God with all of her mind, she has done this in several ways.
She has believed the words that God has spoken to her. Mary testifies to this when she says in Luke 1:38, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Elizabeth testifies to Mary’s faith when she says in Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she who believed that there wold be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary has also remembered God’s word in the scriptures to help her magnify the Lord. Her song is a compilation of many phrases and passages in the Old Testament that she is recalling. She uses passages from 1 and 2 Samuel, from six different Psalms, Isaiah, Micah and from Job. Mary is giving us an example of what Paul speaks of in Colossians 3:16 which says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Mary has sought to understand with her mind all that was told to her by the angel.
In Luke 1:29 she was trying to discern what the greeting that the angel had given might mean.
In Luke 1:34 Mary sought to understand a question that she had. Mary is choosing to respond in faith and to rest in the Promise given to her.
Mary magnified the Lord with all her will. This is clearly seen again in Luke 1:38, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Mary magnifies the Lord with her emotions. Mary speaks of this in Luke 1:47 when she says, “...and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Mary has much to be concerned and about and she may still have many questions; but despite all of this she rejoices in the Lord.