My Soul Magnifies the Lord, Luke 1:46-56
Eric A. Snyder, Minister Farwell Church of Christ
December 16, 2001
The lion was proud of his mastery of the animal kingdom. One day he decided to make sure all the other animals knew he was the king of the jungle. He was so confident that he by-passed the smaller animals and went straight to the bear. "Who is the king of the jungle?" the lion asked. The bear replied, "Why you are, of course" The lion gave a mighty roar of approval. Next he asked the tiger, "Who is the king of the jungle?" The tiger quickly responded, "Everyone knows that you are, mighty lion " Next on the list was the elephant. The lion faced the elephant and addressed his question, "Who is the king of the jungle?" The elephant immediately grabbed the lion with his trunk, whirled him around in the air five or six times and slammed him into a tree. Then he pounded him onto the ground several times, dunked him under water in a nearby lake, and finally dumped him out on the shore. The lion--beaten, bruised, and battered--struggled to his feet. He looked at the elephant through sad and bloody eyes and said, "Look, just because you don’t know the answer is no reason for to get mean about it!"
A young woman asked for an appointment with her pastor to talk with him about a besetting sin about which she was worried. When she saw him, she said, "Pastor, I have become aware of a sin in my life which I cannot control. Every time I am at church I begin to look around at the other women, and I realize that I am the prettiest one in the whole congregation. None of the others can compare with my beauty. What can I do about this sin?"
The pastor replied, "Mary, that’s not a sin, why that’s just a mistake!"
Former heavyweight boxer James Tillis was from Oklahoma and fought out of Chicago in the early 1980’s. On his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa. He got off the bus with two cardboard suitcases under his arms in downtown Chicago and stopped in front of the Sears Tower. he put his suitcases down looked up at the Tower and I said, ’I’m going to conquer Chicago.’" "When he looked down, the suitcases were gone.
Out of Humble beginnings
Mary was so overwhelmed to be a part of God’s plan that she had not choice but to worship him. I imaging that people didn’t believe her when she said that she was pregnant and hadn’t been with anyone else.
She took what could have been a very frustrating experience and glorified God for what he was doing in her life.
What do we know about Mary at this point? She was pregnant, and not married. We know she was a woman of high faith, We know that Joseph had planned to not marry her after this event until an angle told him that he should. If you think our society is harsh on unmarried mothers you should have seen this society. It the future husband desired to do so he could have had the woman killed. So what do you think life was like for Mary? Everyday walking around dealing with the stares of the people, Some people that she had considered friends would no longer speak to her. She would hear whispers behind her back. What do you think they said about Mary? “Her child is illegitimate.” The Bible does not tell us that Mary’s life was hard but given her society we can gather that, In fact I think it got so bad for Mary that she hid for a while the Bible tells us that she went to stay with her cousin, Elizabeth. Now possibly she enjoyed her company But I’ll bet that Mary needed to get out of town, Away from the cold stares of the heartless bigots. She needed a break from the condemnation of fellow sinners.
All of this suggests to me that Mary was humble but strong, and somewhere in all of this she falls in Love with God all over again, She is honored to be a part of His design.
In Luke 1:46-56 This is what Mary says
And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."
God was able to do something Great through Mary’s humility and desire to be used Through God’s greatness and might.
I. Mary worshipped Because of Jesus
Mary says My soul magnifies the Lord, Some texts say glorify or exalts. The interesting thing about this text is this. Mary is saying my spirit, or my soul is a reflection of how Good God has been to me. And from now on when people look at me they are going to see God’s greatness because of what he has done in my life.
For centuries the people were waiting for the consolation of Israel. The one who would be sent to make everything right. And after the last prophet had spoken there was 400 years of silence. Roughly 23 generations born without even a minor prophet to tell them more about Jesus. 17 generations of people had died without hearing from an Isaiah, Malachi, or Joel. Now I’m sure they had some small town prophets.
Since Jesus was born we have had prominent men as ministers in every century for every generation, Even during the middle or dark ages. From the time of Jesus till now we could name prominent church names that most would recognize. From martin Luther to Charlamayne, or Polycarp, the apostle Paul, John Calvin, Billy Graham, Since Jesus we have always has the option of a spiritual Guide to point us to God.
These people didn’t have someone of high prominence for 400 years.
The honor she must have felt to be carrying God’s son who would walk among men. The son who would give life. The son who would be the promised messiah. The son who would one day take the sins of the world. Oh the Joy she must have felt to be carrying the one that would one day carry her.
What would it do for you to have God Growing in you?
Of all the people that ever lived in time and history Mary was chosen to carry the Son of God. And she worshipped God for it.
But God also has something for us. If you want to experience the Joy that Mary felt God wants to offer it to you. He wants to use you if you are humble enough to accept the responsibility. He wants you to be pregnant with the message of the truth of Jesus. He wants you to be full of Jesus and his plan for your life. He wants you to share the massage of hope and healing to those who have been looking for the truth for generations. Will you deliver when it’s time? Will you worship God with Mary because of Jesus?
Finally a real answer has come Mary worshipped because of Jesus.
II. Mary worshipped because she was being used by God
Mary worshipped because God was using her in an incredible way. She was excited about the possibilities and opportunities. She was committed to being who God wanted her to be first and then to allow Him to work in her life.
A life surrendered to God allows Him to do immeasurably more than we would have imagined. He is in the business of people, He grows people, He loves people, and when we have a desire to make it count he used people.
All of us have a desire to matter, our search for significance and the truth is significance is not found in stature, it’s found in Jesus.
If you want to matter to your friends You need to get it right with Jesus first. If you want to be an influence with your family to need to meet Jesus first. If you want to be helpful in your community you better let Jesus in first. It you want to make a difference in the world where else are you going to fine one who can make a difference.
Jesus matters. For those who are not content with drifting through life.
For those who want to make a dent in the world. For those who want our lives to matter. It only matters when you’re with Jesus.
That’s why the Bible says when Jesus comes back He’s not going to ask how much community service you did He’s going to ask do you know me.
And when you know Jesus he will give you things to do.
God looked at Mary and saw a desire to know him better. And gave her something to do. It was because she knew God that she was able to make a difference.
Mary worshipped because she was making a difference and she was being used by God.
My wife has gone incredibly strict on me. Now that she’s pregnant she doesn’t even want to go into anyplace that might have a potential cigarette in it.
She doesn’t eat or drink caffeine. She asks the doctor every question that I could imagine and some I would never think to ask because she wants to do everything right. Because she takes it seriously.
I imagine when Mary found out she was carrying God’s child she took it seriously. And I imagine she had questions that no one else knew. But when God gives a Job he expects us to take it seriously.
III. Mary worshipped because God’s strength and Justice were enough for her
the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Mary knew her history she knew how God’s justice and provision has sustained His people for centuries, She knew of His strength and of His mercy. She praises Him for it in this text.
She praises God for using the Humble.
In 1 Corinthians 1 27-28 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,
Christ came in humility through humility and continues to use the humble.
What about you Can you be humble enough to accept Jesus
Will you be humble enough to proclaim that you have fallen short of God’s mark for your life?
Will you be humble enough to tell a public meeting that you believe that Jesus was God’s son, and that He is the only way to heaven?
Will you be humble enough to ask for his help because your life is missing something?
Will you be humble enough to submit to him in baptism and let him cleanse you from your past?
Will you be humble enough to trust him everyday for the rest of your life?
Will you be humble enough to worship Him and only him. If you need to make a commitment The bible says that you should stand up and say it out loud. Will you be humble enough to stop for directions in your life when somewhere in the back of your mind you insist you know the way.
Will you be humble enough to let Jesus Show you the way