Today we began reading the Gospel of Luke. Its’ first chapter is unique among the 4 gospels in that it gives a detailed account of the spirituality and resultant words of Mary who was to become the mother of our Lord. We also read the visionary prophecy of Zechariah, who was to become the father of John the Baptist.
Mary is revealed as an intensely spiritual woman: what we call a ‘Song of Praise’ (and the R.C’s – ‘The Magnificat’) reflects words from many Psalms, such as Psa. 34 v.2,3 and 35 v.9. This ‘Song’ takes up verses 46 to 55 of today’s chapter. It starts, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Magnifies? When a remarkable miracle occurred at Ephesus (Acts 19 v.17, “fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.” Extolled! That is rendered as “magnified” in the A.V.
Mary’s next words are, “and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” Do we rejoice, magnify and extoll our Creator as much as we should? Mary’s “soul” does this, that is, her very being does this, all her thought processes are involved. Will not our spirit of mind experience the same when our faith is turned to sight at the actual coming of Jesus!? Surely it will! But if our faith is strong now and we “reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding” [Col. 2 v.2], this should be increasingly our experience now.
When we are physically aware of our Lord’s “appearing” he will fulfil the vision of Mary we read in v.51,52. He will have “shown strength with his arm” and have “scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts” and have “brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate.” This vision should be so overwhelming to us – that really feel humbled.
Let us try hard to share Mary’s vision. She achieved this through being thoroughly familiar with God’s word, most of all the Psalms: look at Psalms 89 v.13, 98 v.1 and 118 v.15 in relation to her words we have just quoted. When the “house of prayer for all nations” exists in reality and we, by his grace, have the utterly wondrous blessing of being there, then our hearts and minds will magnify the Lord to the uttermost when the promise of the angel to Mary becomes a reality and the child to be born “will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”