Magnifying the Lord
(Angels at Christmas #3)
Introduction: The last couple of weeks we have considered the angelic messages that were given to Zechariah and to Mary. In the next to weeks we will consider the angelic encounters that took place with Joseph and the shepherds. This morning we are taking a look at what happened when the two people whose lives were most drastically changed after receiving the message of a promised son.
1. Miracle mothers meet vv.39-41
a. After Mary is told that Elizabeth is also going to have a special child, she goes to visit her.
b. It is between a 3 and 5 day journey to get Judah from Nazareth. She probably did not travel alone. It was dangerous to travel the back country as thieves would often be lurking.
c. When Mary showed up at Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s place it must have been quite a meeting. Imagine the contrast, Elizabeth who as you remember was well advanced in years was pregnant, more than six months along. Here comes Mary, a girl probably about 14 years old who has just become pregnant as the Holy Spirit implanted the Son of God in her body.
d. Perhaps Mary went because she wanted to see for herself if it was true or more likely because she had in common with Elizabeth some unusual circumstances when it came to their pregnancies, but for whatever the reason she shows up probably unexpected at their house.
e. Now when pregnant women get together they might talk about a lot of things ranging from how bad their morning sickness is, to if they think that they are carrying a girl or boy, to what color the nursery will be, to if they have scheduled their husband for surgery!
f. This meeting was quite different. As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s voice, her baby leaped in her womb. This leaping was the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit and was promised in verse 15 when Zechariah was told of the impending pregnancy!
g. John as an unborn baby jumped inside her as the Holy Spirit came upon him because he was in the presence of the unborn Jesus.
h. The Holy Spirit does not stop with John, He also fills Elizabeth. She doesn’t leap but it does have a supernatural effect on her.
2. Miracle mother shouts vv.42-45
a. When the Holy Spirit fills Elizabeth it says that she began to cry out with a loud voice. She actually is prophesying. It is not that she is simply yelling out statements. She is giving information that she could not even know aside from the filling of the Holy Spirit.
b. Blessed among women are you. It was the desire of every Jewish woman to bear the promised Messiah and Mary had been chosen for the task.
c. Blessed is the baby you are carrying! Blessed means to “speak well of” it is the word from which we get “eulogy”. Normally people give a eulogy at a funeral. After the person is gone, someone gets up and tells about all the wonderful things that the person did. They are spoken well of. Here the speaking well of is prophetic. He is blessed for all that He has already done as the preexisting second person of the Godhead, and for all that He will do in the future.
d. She then makes another statement that is driven by the Holy Spirit. She calls Mary the mother of my Lord and she is overwhelmed by the fact that she has had the privilege of being visited by her yet unborn Lord. It is a title that was given to describe submission given to your master.
e. Her last statement speaks of the faith of Mary. She says you are spoken well of because you believed what the Lord had told you through Gabriel and because your reaction was to say, “I am the bondslave of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word”.
f. No put yourself in Mary’s place. Some very strange things have happened to her lately. First this angel comes to her and tells her that she is going to have a son even though she has never been with a man. She is told that all things as possible with God and that she can check it out with Elizabeth, a relative of hers who although she should not be able too, is having a baby of her own. When she gets to Elizabeth’s house, she is greeted by a woman who begins to shout out more information about Mary’s situation and the unborn babies position before Mary can even break the news to her.
g. What else can Mary do? She breaks out in singing!
3. Miracle mother sings vv.46-55
a. Ever have to just break out in song because you were so overjoyed?
b. This song is known as Mary’s “Magnificat”.
c. Its name comes from the first word that Mary uttered after observing the reaction of Elizabeth. She said magnify or make great the Lord, to deem or declare great.
d. Her second statement demonstrates the fact that she knew that she was a sinner in need of saving. She said “my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior. She made it personal. Have you done those same two things? Have you realized that you too are in need of a savior? Have you made it personal?
e. She goes on to sing about the many blessings that are going to befall the people of the world.
i. Herself – she realizes that she has a special privilege that no other woman in history will ever have. She will mother the Messiah! She has been graced by God even though she sees herself as a lowly bondslave, the Mighty One has done great things for her!
ii. Her People - Israel – He will help them in his great mercy and fulfill the promises that were made to their fore fathers even though as a nation they walked away from God. He will make good on His word. He will rescue them from their true enemies of sin and Satan once and for all.
iii. Humanity – God’s mercy is available to all peoples of the world from generation to generation to those who respond to Him appropriately. He will deal with justly with those who are proud and exalt those who will humble themselves before Him. To those who will truly seek Him they will go away filled and to those who feel they have no need for Him, they will go away empty.
Conclusion: I don’t know what tune the song was sung to but it does have a wonderful message even today. God’s mercy was going to be extended to us. It was coming in the form of His Son. He would be made flesh and would live among us. To see Him was to see the Father. In life He showed us how to live. In death He laid down His life for us. Because of His resurrection we too can defeat death. No wonder Mary broke out in song. Every time we think of what He had done, we should too!