Mary, the mother of Jesus, received some news one day that would change her life. The angel Gabriel said to her, “The Lord is with thee” (Luke 1:28), and she would definitely need this assurance for the news he was sent to give her. The angel told her that she would conceive and give birth to a son. She was a young, pure teenager who had never had physical relations with a man. “How shall this be seeing I know not a man?” she asked (Luke 1:34). Though she did not fully understand, she believed the message and wanted God to be glorified through her life. In her “Song of Praise” that we read in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel account, we see seven things that she magnified. Please refer to this chapter as you read below for greater understanding.
First, Mary magnified the Lord (46). The word translated “magnify” is the Greek word megalunei, which means “to make great.” This is done like a telescope, which brings something large and distant into clear view. It is not magnified like a microscope, which enlarges something small. Mary wanted her life and her response to the news to bring God closer for others to see. She said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” This means she wanted her affections and personality (all the impulses that control the body) to glorify God. Jesus prayed in John 17:5 that God would glorify Him. Mary never prayed that God would glorify her. She wanted God to be glorified, and Jesus is God. One name attributed to Jesus is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” May He be magnified!
Mary magnified her joy (47). She said “my spirit hath rejoiced in God.” We cannot magnify the Lord for what He is doing until we rejoice over it. She referred to God in this verse as her Savior because Mary needed to be saved from sin, too. No one can sing, rejoice, and magnify God until God is his Savior.
Mary magnified her humility (48). Her reference to her “low estate” showed her proper self-esteem. Mary did not consider herself as a “mediator” between God and man. Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man. At the first miracle Jesus performed, Mary said to the disciples, “Whatsoever he says, do.” When she said all generations would call her blessed, it was not because of her own worth but because of God’s grace. Blessedness comes after “believing” (1:45). The phrase “He hath regarded” (48) reflects her humility as what was pleasing to God and what was outstanding in His sight. God hates pride! The word “I” does not appear in Mary’s “Song of Praise.” She refers to herself as a “handmaid.” Charles Spurgeon said, “The higher a man is in grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem.” Mary was high in grace.
She magnified God’s blessings to her (49). She was confessing that God had made her into something special. Bill Gaither’s song “Something Beautiful” comes to mind. “He made something beautiful of my life,” the song says. God’s greatness can do great things in you, for you, and through you. She didn’t tell what she was doing for the world, but what God was doing for her. She stated, “Holy is his name” and not “holy am I.” What the angel had told her in 1:35, she now experiences personally.
She magnified God’s goodness to all (50). Beginning in verse 50, her praise switches to what God has done for others not just for herself. His mercy sweetens the attributes of might and holiness. It is the Lord’s mercy, not Mary’s. His mercy is available to all, but it is only upon all that fear Him. Only one woman could be the mother of Jesus, but everyone ever born can receive His mercy!
She magnified the Lord’s power (51-52). With His extended arm, He gathers or scatters. Pride and humility - one brings destruction, and one brings honor. Pride is wrong even if it is only in the “imagination of their hearts.” Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 16:5). The Lord will destroy the house of the proud. (Proverbs 15:25). God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6). Humility puts you in a place where God can use you, for He cannot use the proud.
She magnified the Lord’s provision (53). This was prophetic. He fed the poor physically and spiritually. Are you hungry? The measure of your hunger is the measure of God’s supply. Are you rich (feel self-sufficient)? You will miss all of God’s supply and go away empty.
She magnified God’s faithfulness (54-55). He is the same today as He was for Mary, Jacob, and Abraham. God chose Mary, Israel (Jacob), and Abraham not because any of them deserved it but because He is a God of mercy and compassion.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together (Psalm 34:3).