Humble Magnification (Luke 1-2)

“My soul magnifies the Lord, … for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.”  (Luke 1:46-47a)

I often wonder what I would do if I had been in Mary’s position. I can never quite come up with the answer. However, I always find that I can learn things from Mary’s response after talking with Elizabeth as I move forward. Especially in this portion which my translators of my ESV Bible like to call “Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat”.

First off, she is magnifying the Lord. In fact, her soul is magnifying him. Everything that she is is crying out in worship to Him and pointing to how great and awesome he is. And why? Because he looked upon her, upon Israel. He looked and saw, and now he is sending their saviour, though it is questionable how much she understood what that meant. But how am I to know?

Luke goes on to talk about the birth and childhood of Jesus, and all the while I just wonder at Mary’s thoughts. She was in a place of complete worship, her song reminds me much of Psalms. She rejoiced because she saw God working and I am led to believe that as she watched Jesus grow, though she was confused at many times, she relied on these things that she had “treasured up” to “ponder in her heart” (Luke 2:19), and was able to worship in that.

Mary remembers that she is a humble estate. God uses this humble estate to magnify himself, just as Paul spoke in 2 Corinthians about God’s power being made manifest in his weakness, maybe Mary understood it before he did. It fills me with hope that we can learn these lessons from things in our own lives, and that when we understand more of who God is we too overflow in worship to magnify him. One day I hope to write a song of praise as Mary did, in worship and adoration of all he has done. I desire to understand deeper the joy that these characters had. I mean, wouldn’t you?

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