Summary: Three qualities in Mary’s life that pleased God.
Magnify The Lord
We are often Inspired and motivated by great people. But we value different kinds of greatness.
• Talent (artistic, athletic, intellectual)
• Achievement; success
It is my hope today that we will gain inspiration from the one of whom it was said… “You are highly favored! The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28, NIV)
When you read the story of Mary, you find that she enjoyed a mutually pleasing relationship with God. God favored and exalted Mary. But Mary also exalted God.
When you consider how common Mary was, what made her so special? It wasn’t wealth. She seems to have been from a poor family. It wasn’t’ a long track record of experience. She was a teenager. It certainly wasn’t social influence or standing. She came from an insignificant family in an insignificant village of an insignificant tribe.
Nazareth is a town in Galilee of which it was said, "Can anything good come from there?"
What was it about Mary that caught God’s attention? Why did God focus the spotlight of redemptive history on one so common?
A. Uncommon faith
When the angel of the Lord told Zechariah that Elizabeth would have son in her old age, he doubted. But when Gabriel told Mary she’d give birth to the Messiah, she did not doubt.
Both pregnancies were equally impossible. One woman had gone through menopause and the other was still a virgin.
Mary did have one very obvious question: “How, since I’m still a virgin?”
But she accepted the angel’s answer. When he told her she’d become pregnant by a miracle of God she was okay with that. After all, her senior citizen relative Elizabeth was already pregnant. Nothing is impossible w/ God.
Mary praised God and submitted to His will in spite of this unexpected twist and all of the uncertainties that came with it.
B. Uncommon humility
"I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true." (Luke 1:38, NLT)
Mary was not too proud to face the inconveniences, dangers, shame and rejection that would come with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. She was not so determined to have the life of her dreams that she would refuse to fulfill God’s dream. She had the humility to lay aside what she willed to surrender to what God had planned.
How about you? Can you serve God on His terms in spite of how others may judge you?
C. Uncommon joy
In the New King James Version, Luke 1:28 reads, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you.”
Mary’s joy was most evident in her praise of God when she visited Elizabeth. In a brief moment Mary spontaneously composed a poem consisting of portions of the Old Testament, mostly from the Psalms – passages she had memorized. Her “song” is known as the “magnificat”. This is because in the Greek and Latin translations the first word of verse 46 is “magnify”.
The Greek word is megaluno. We’re very familiar with that prefix, mega, as in megaphone, megalocardia (an enlarged heart), megalomaniac (a person with delusions of grandeur).
Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord.”
We can make objects appear larger than they really are with the use of a magnifying glass or microscope (these glasses make my notes appear large enough for me to read). But we can’t make God bigger.
Mary declared that God holds the place of greatest prominence and importance in her life.
1. Look who He is.
My soul glorifies THE LORD[supreme authority]
47 and my spirit rejoices in GOD MY SAVIOR [supreme divinity]
49 for the MIGHTY ONE has done great things for me [supreme in power]
HOLY is his name [supreme in purity & perfection]
2. Look what He does.
50 His MERCY extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
51 He has performed MIGHTY DEEDS with his arm…
Literally, “He has showed strength with his arm.”
“mighty” is kratos. It is the same root for “create”. In an act of irresistible power
God spoke, the elements yielded and obeyed Him.
He is still showing His mighty deeds; saving, transforming, healing, grace for suffering, answering prayers, protecting.
JUSTICE: 51b he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He will make everything right.
FAITHFUL promise-keeper: 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.
Mary’s praise magnified God, giving Him the most prominent place in her life because of who He is and what He does.