“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his offspring forever.’” Luke 46-55
Mary is often portrayed as lofty and exalted. Truly, she is one of the most fortunate women in all of history. It’s right for us to call her blessed. Mary herself knew that all future generations would call her blessed (Luke 1:48). Yet, more than anything, her lips praised God for His blessing to her undeservedly. Mary magnifies not herself, but her lord in this song. We hear Mary confess her lowliness and contrasts it with God’s greatness. She says that God’s mercy is for those who fear Him, not for those who believe they are good people of high morals (Luke 1:50). In fact, she tells us that God shows His strength by scattering the proud and bringing down those who brag about themselves. Mary was not just making up a fine-tune, but recounting God’s faithfulness as recorded in the Scriptures. She identifies God’s mercy and loyal love solely based on His promises, such as His covenant to Abraham. When we recognize our need for His mercy in light of our utter unworthiness we are the objects of God’s honor and blessing. God is the one who gives blessings (Pslam 72:17). When the angel appeared to Mary, she was terrified (Luke 1:29). She was but a young girl from a seemingly obscure town. The message from the angel was that she had found favor from the Lord. Her response was to be a willing servant of the Most High God.
Mary is not worthy of her blessedness in her own merit but in God’s gracious choice. He uses an ordinary woman to show His extraordinary love and faithfulness toward lost souls. All of us are bent on breaking God’s law. The law given to Moses showed us how inept we are at keeping God’s perfect standard of holiness and unable to enter His heavenly courts on our own—the glory of His presence and being free of the pain of sin and death. Life eternal is something that has to be granted based on the free gift of Jesus’ perfect life poured out for us on the cross. Mary gave birth to the perfect child who was fully human and yet fully divine. It had to be miraculous and from the Holy Spirit and yet also in fallen flesh and blood to represent humanity (Gal 4:4-5). What was it like for Mary to have a son who never, even once, sinned? The Bible tells us that Mary had other children with Joseph after the virgin birth of Jesus (Mark 6:3). James who later believed and became an instrumental figure was one of His brothers. He wrote the letter of James in the New Testament. Did Mary struggle to not favor Jesus over her other children? We know they had a hard time believing—they must have envied Him greatly. Mary was blessed but not perfect. There was a time when she too along with Jesus’ earthly brothers didn’t understand His mission and even tried to keep Him from God-given ministry (Mark 3:31, Matthew 12:46).
Jesus at the beginning of His ministry addresses Mary as “woman” to compare His deity with her humanity (John 2:4-5). Jesus would prove to be the Son of God when His time came to die and rise. She was merely a created being who wept under His feet. Mary, like all men and women, was un-mistakenly and lovingly made in His image; yet He was her Savior. In the magnificent song Mary penned in this passage, she rejoiced in this her Savior. It was from the promised seed—Christ, whom she and the entire world would be blessed (Gen 22:18). More than being the earthly mother of Jesus, the blessed are those who hear God’s Word and seek to abide in it (Luke 11:27-28). Praise the Lord for His choice in you and me who are in Christ—to be His servants and testify of our blessed Savior!