“Come, Magnify Jehovah God With Me!” Songs of Christmas: Mary’s Song of her Truly Magnificent Theology! Luke 1:46-55

Luke 1:46-55Amplified Bible

The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
“For He has looked [with loving care] on the humble state of His maidservant;
For behold, from now on all generations will count me blessed and happy and favored by God!
“For He who is mighty has done great things for me;
And holy is His name [to be worshiped in His purity, majesty, and glory].
“And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him.
“He has done mighty deeds with His [powerful] arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And exalted those who were humble.
“He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent the rich away empty-handed.
“He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
Just as He promised to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

My wife and I love Christmas carols.

They are what make the Christmas season so special and memorable.

This is probably true of the majority of us.

The tunes and the words remind us of what this season is all about.

They remind us of growing up, singing these very same songs in a candlelight Christmas eve service and sometimes (this year) of Christmas on a Sunday.

They remind us of sitting on the couch in our living room, watching the lights on the Christmas tree sparkle while listening to carols on the radio and TV.

Yes, Christmas carols are one of the things that make Christmas, Christmas.

Did you just happen to notice that such songs magnifying and praising God for the Savior’s birth were always part of this celebration?

Just read your Bibles ….

Such songs actually began to be sung before the Savior was even born.

One of the songs is sung by young Mary, and the other is composed by the aged Zacharias – there are actually five songs in these first two chapters of Luke.

Two by women, two by men, and one by the heavenly angels.

English Theologian and Hymn Writer Henry Burton, writing at the end of the 19th century, likens these two chapters to the entryway of the grand cathedral of the Gospel.

Imagine, as you enter the doors to this cathedral, the first thing you encounter is glorious music.

On the one side are Zacharias and Simeon, the one chanting his Benedictus, and the other his Nunc Dimittis. Facing them, as if in antiphony, are Elizabeth and Mary, the one singing her Beatitude, and other her Magnificat; while overhead, in the frescoed and star lighted sky, are vast multitudes of the heavenly host, enriching the Advent music with their Gloria’s.

Henry Burton

Burton goes on like this for some time. It is wonderful reading, and very poetic.

It seems when reading his sermon that we are being ushered slowly into the crystal halls of grace, our hearts begins to beat with the excitement of standing before the throne and bowing before the feet of Almighty God.

That is the point of music.

To invite us, to call us, to prepare us to meet God.

Luke beckons us into his Gospel with beautiful music that calls us to worship God.

He has put together his choir.

Two women, two men, and the angels as backup vocals.

Burton says that at first, the songs seem too loud.

They seem deafening, out of place, confusing.

This struck a note with me, because that is exactly what I thought when I was reading and re-reading and meditating on the opening two chapters of Luke.

These songs seem to be so misplaced, abrupt and strangely out of character for people like Mary, Zacharias and Simeon.

But Burton points out that they are intended to be deafening, for look what event in history they proclaim!

How disheartening, sad and empty it would be if Messiah had come to earth, and there was no words to tell of it or song or music to proclaim His arrival.

Matthew, Mark and John do not include any of these songs, so how thankful we are to God that the Narrator Luke did.

Can you imagine Christmas without Christmas carols?

What an absolute tragedy it would be if the first Christmas had no music to announce Messiah’s coming.

Burton says

“had there not been a burst of song, [and that the most joyful burst in history], we [would] have listened for the very stones to cry out, rebuking the silence.”

This is seen to be true as we look at Mary’s Song.

It is found in Luke 1:46-55.

It is sometimes referred to as the Magnificat, which is a Latin term from the opening word of Luke 1:46.

It means, “To magnify.”

Mary’s song is all about magnifying Jesus Christ as Lord.

Though He has not yet been born, she wants to sing His praises and magnify Jehovah God’s name.

This is where all such songs begin – with praise to God for what He has done.

Let us break this down a bit.

I. Praise (Luke 1:46-47)

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Mary reveals something very significant about praising and worshipping God.

Although verse 46 comes first, it is in the present tense, whereas verse 47 is in the past tense.

In other words, her soul magnifies Jehovah God, because her spirit has already rejoiced in Jehovah her God.

A spirit that rejoices in God leads to a soul that magnifies God.

Biblically, the soul is the root and seat of our emotions.

It refers to our inner self, our emotional center (Psalms 6:3; 10:3).

It is through our souls we relate personally and emotionally with other people.

But the spirit is altogether different.

The spirit is not our emotional side.

It is the side of us that relates to God.

It is the part of us which knows who Jehovah God is, and what He is like, and what He wants from us.

It is the part of us which understands what Jehovah God has done for us, and all that Jehovah God has given to us.

When Mary says that her spirit has rejoiced in God, she is saying that she has understood who God is.

She knows what He has said in His Word.

She believes in the truths He has revealed.

This is the beginning point of all true worship magnifying Jehovah God—an understanding of the facts about Jehovah God.

Emotions and feelings are not necessarily part of true worship.

There are people who believe they have neither magnified or worshipped God unless they get goosebumps and chills, or break out in tears, or end up shouting at the top of their lungs with excitement.

That is soulish worship, but not spiritual worship.

Mary reveals that true worship of God begins with the spirit.

It begins with an understanding who Jehovah God is, and what He has done, and all that He has given to us.

If you do not take the time to read, study and understand the deeper truths of Scripture, you cannot truly worship Jehovah God from deep within your spirit.

Jesus says in John 4 that true worshippers worship God in spirit and in truth.

True worship of Jehovah God flows through the spirit based upon the solid foundation of the Word of God.

Where the Scriptures are not understood, the spirit does not get involved, and there can be no true worship.

Sometimes, the emotions and feelings of the soul get involved.

This is what happens to Mary here.

She says that her soul magnifies, and praises and delights in the Lord.

In other words, she is very emotional, and very excited about God. But this only happened because her spirit willfully understood and rejoiced in God her Savior.

A lot of people say they can’t worship unless they feel like it.

They also think they are not truly worshipping unless they feel something.

Mary reveals true worship of God will sometimes lead to feelings, but not always.

True worship of God does not focus on feelings, but on what God has done for us, and what God has given to us.

When you come to church on a Sunday, or when you sit down on Monday morning with a cup of coffee to listen to your worship CD, listen to satellite radio and read your Bible, and pray – what do all these things stand for?

Is it to get a tickle or a tingle from Jehovah God?

Is it to feel the brush of angel’s wings?

Is it to sense the Spirit falling fresh upon you?

These sorts of things are wonderful when they happen, but they do not necessarily reveal that you have worshipped.

True worship is in the Spirit, not in our emotions, and is based on the truth, not on how we feel.

Do you want to worship God? Get into the Word of God, and ask the Spirit of God to open the truths of Scriptures to your mind.

Sometimes the soul will jump in and you will get that tingle, and that rush, and heart beating wildly…but not always, and maybe not very often.

True worship does not depend on our emotions being highly activated, but depends on spiritually connecting to, understanding the depth of Scriptures.

We know that this is how Mary worshipped.

Mary had a mind that was thoroughly soaked in Scripture.

We know this from the way the angel speaks to her, how she responds to the sudden encounter with the angel Gabriel.

We know it from the words Mary speaks.

We know it from the way Mary lives and raises Jesus.

We know it from the way she interacts and relates with her husband Joseph.

We also know it, because this song of hers is very similar to the song of Hannah, long barren and scorned for it when prays to God, and she gives birth to Samuel.

And the song of Miriam, when the Israelites escaped the Egyptian army by passing through the Red Sea.

In this song, which is ten verses long, there are fifteen discernable quotations from the Old Testament.

Mary’s mind was saturated with Scripture.

Mary knew the word of God, and it came out of her when she worshipped God.

How do you and I respond to the truths of God?

With scorn, ridicule and deep seated hardcore disbelief?

With a lackadaisical yawn of boredom?

How about the thought of responding like Mary?

These truths are eternal truths, rich truths, inspiring truths.

If you allow God to speak to you through His Word, there will be times when you want to break out in song for the magnificence of what Jehovah revealed to you.

For Mary, worshipping God was the greatest, most exciting thing she could do.

The truths and promises she learned about God from Scripture caused her to rejoice in and throughout her whole entire being.

She worshipped God in spirit and in truth.

She rejoiced in the God of her salvation.

She magnified the Lord, and exalted His name.

In the rest of her song, we see some of the truths of Scripture she had learned and was exited about.

She sings about how the Messiah will benefit her, how He will benefit the world, and how He will benefit Israel.

Her benefits are found in Luke 1:48-49.

II. Mary’s Benefit (Luke 1:48-49)

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.

Mary says all generations will call her blessed, and that God is Holy.

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant.

For He (Jehovah) who is mighty has done great things for her.

She is called “Holy Mary, Mother of God.”

She is definitely the mother of God, and she is definitely blessed, but it is God alone who is holy.

She was a sinner just like the rest of us.

But Jesus was born without sin because He did not have an earthly father.

Instead, God, who alone is holy, is His Father.

Mary reveals her knowledge of this in these verses.

First, she speaks of her own lowly state.

This of course, refers to her own humility and lowliness of mind.

But it also refers to her sinful condition.

She understood that she was a sinner.

The word Mary uses here is also used in Philippians 3:21 to refer to the body of sin that we all find ourselves in.

Philippians 3:21 speaks of our body of humiliation, in direct contrast to the body of glorification we will receive in heaven.

The main difference between our body now, and our body in heaven, is sin.

Mary knows she is a sinner.

This is why she is lowly and humble.

Secondly, she also recognizes that she is a servant.

She refers to herself as the Maidservant of God.

She does not deserve anything from God, but wishes only to serve and please Him. Yet though she is a sinner and a servant, God has seen fit to bless her.

She recognizes that all generations will call her blessed.

This is not a statement of pride, but is a remembrance of what the angel had already told her. When he appeared, he proclaimed, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women” (1:28).

And this is true.

She has been blessed.

She is the most favored woman on the face of the earth.

But did you know that you can be blessed more than Mary?

Later in Jesus’ life, He is teaching, and a woman shouts out from the crowd, “Blessed is the womb that bore you…” Jesus responds by saying, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28)

Jesus was not trying to downplay the significance of Mary’s blessing.

He was putting her blessedness in perspective.

We have already seen the Mary was blessed because of her knowledge of and obedience to the Word of God.

Jesus reveals that if you and I want to be blessed just as much, if not more, than Mary, all we have to do is do the same thing she did – read the Word of God, and study, meditate upon the Word of God, hear the Word of God and just “DO IT.”

This is what it all comes back to.

The Word of God must be read, studied, meditated upon, heard and obeyed.

This is where true worship of God springs from.

This is where true blessings from God come from.

If you want to worship God, you must get into the Word.

If you want to be blessed by God, you must get into the Word.

Mary’s song reveals all of this.

She understands what God has said.

She understands who God is.

She understands what God has done.

She understands what God has done for her.

And in Luke 1:50-53, she understands what God has done for the world.

III. World’s Benefit (Luke 1:50-53)

And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

Mary sings that Jehovah God responds in two ways to the two different kinds of people in the world.

There are those who fear God and those who obey Him, and those who are proud and arrogant.

The ones who fear God and obey Him receive His mercy and provision for their needs.

They are exalted.

Those who are arrogant and haughty are cast down and scattered.

Fearing God is a respectful obedience of Him.

He shows his mercy to those who fear Him.

The greatest act of mercy God has ever shown is in sending Jesus Christ to the world to save sinners such as you and I.

Though we deserved only punishment, God did not give this to us, but gave us His Son Jesus Christ instead – ALL who believe in Him alone receive eternal life.

Mary implies that this good news is not just for her generation, but can be passed down from generation to generation.

The good news is for all people.

The blessings of God through Jesus Christ are for everybody, if they will just believe in Jesus.

We see the opposite happens to those who trust only in themselves.

The proud trust in themselves and in their own plans.

God scatters these plans and does not let them come to fruition.

He “breaks their measures, blasts their projects…brings them low, brings them down…[and He does this] by the very counsels with which they thought to advance and establish themselves.” (Psalm 138:6, Proverbs 16:1-9, 18-19, 18:12, 21:4)

They lay traps for others, but God causes them to fall into it themselves. Their pride leads only to their own destruction.

Before Jehovah God, the plans of the haughty will come down to nothing.

In the book of Esther, Haman sets out to destroy the people of Israel and magnify himself.

But the story ends with him losing everything he had worked for, and even getting hung on the gallows he built for his enemy, Mordecai.

Though God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, His handiwork is seen everywhere in exalting the humble, and bringing down the proud.

Even in the rest of history, the higher men rise, the further they fall.

Kings and princes – those who set themselves up the highest, “the one’s above all the rest” – fall the fastest furthest from the throne of God.

This is what Mary sings.

While the proud are brought down and left empty handed, the humble and lowly are filled and exalted.

This is not because their plans were so great, but because their God is greater.

This is the benefit God has poured out upon the world through the coming of the Messiah.

Luke 1:52Amplified Bible

“He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And exalted those who were humble.

This was a wonderful promise for people in Mary’s day.

The common people of that day were almost helpless when it came to justice and civil rights. They were often hungry, downtrodden and discouraged (Luke 4:16-19), and there was no way to ‘fight the system.’

…Mary saw the Lord turning everything upside down: the weak dethrone the mighty, the humble scatter the proud, the nobodies are exalted, the hungry are filled, and the rich end up poor!”

I want to see the world turned upside-down.

I want to see hungry people fed.

I want to see tyrants removed from their petty thrones.

I want to see broken lives put back together.

I want to see people who have little know the blessing of God’s lavish care.

I want to see clever people discover that God’s foolishness is true wisdom.

That isn’t the kind of world we live in, is it?

But is such a world coming?

Mary sings of a world in which social relationships are up-ended; she sings of an upside-down kingdom created by Jehovah God, ministered by divine grace.

If you are a disciple of Jesus, you live in that kingdom already.

Oh, I realize that kingdom isn’t fully here.

But the faithful discipleship of people like Mary is helping that kingdom show its face throughout the world.

This reminds us of the beatitudes we read in Matthew 5 and Luke 6.

Such truths are very comforting, even for us.

When you are wronged, God will set it straight.

When you are downtrodden, God will lift you up.

When you are slighted, God will bless you.

When you are insulted, God will exalt you.

Of course, the condition for Him doing these things for you is that you must be humble and lowly yourself.

You must immerse yourself deep into the Word of Truth and be obedient to it.

Mary begins her song by magnifying God.

If you have trouble magnifying God, it is probably because you are spending too much “quality time” magnifying only yourself.

If you have trouble magnifying and praising Jehovah God, it is probably because you are trying too hard to displace Jehovah God and sit yourself in His seat.

You had better step down before you get tripped up.

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

This is the benefit to the world.

The final benefit goes to Israel in Luke 1:54-55.

IV. Israel’s Benefit (Luke 1:54-55)

He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.

Although the people of Israel have almost always been in a state of rebellion against God, God reminds them here through Mary He will never forsake them, but will always remember them and will always fulfill His promises to them.

God is on Israel’s side!

Mary once again shows her knowledge of Scripture by quoting one of the promises of God to Abraham from the Old Testament (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:19; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14).

Do not ever let anyone tell you that God has permanently set Israel aside and will not fulfill His promises to her.

If God does not fulfill His promises to Israel, He might not fulfill His promises to us either.

God always fulfills all of His promises.

He does not lie.

Mary shows she understands that the baby in her womb is God fulfilling another promise to Israel.

It is Jehovah God coming to help Israel and fulfill His Word.

Mary’s song is a beautiful reminder of all that God has done for us and has promised to do for those who follow after Him.

It is a new song magnifying Jehovah God that burst from the lips of Mary, based on what she knew Scripture to say.

This song, for me, seems to end way too abruptly.

All of a sudden, it’s just over.

It stops.

Maybe Mary drifted off into humming her tune. Maybe Luke didn’t record all of her song. But I think her song ended just as recorded here—with an abrupt stop.


Because her song is not over.

This was just the first verse of millions more to come.

She sang many more stanzas throughout her life, and the men and women of God throughout time who allow the words of Scripture to penetrate their minds have added many more words to this song.

You and too can Magnify Jehovah God – You and can add our own verses too.

Your life and my life are a stanza in the greatest song ever written.

You and I are part of a divine symphony.

How are you and I playing your pieces?

It’s like the end of the book of Acts.

Acts 28 ends without any conclusion.

It seems natural that there should be an Acts 29.

And there is.

There is no end to Acts, because you and I are continuing to write chapters in that book which records the acts of the Christians in the church.

You and I are Acts 29, and 30, and 31 and on and on.

It’s similar with Mary’s song.

You and I are yet writing more stanzas.

It must never be forgotten that whenever Christ has entered into the human heart, a new song has been put into the mouth of the believer.

Christianity in the heart means music in the life.

A religion or a church without joy is a scorched landscape without the sun.

Christianity without [the] elevation [of music] is as an eagle with broken wings.

Do you want to mount up with wings like eagles?

Do you want to run, and not hide from Jehovah God, run but not grow weary?

Turn to Scripture every single day, asking God to give you a note to sing.

He will show you a verse, or a passage that He wants you to read and think long and hardcore about, meditate upon and pray upon it throughout that day.

These verses pluck on the harp strings of our lives, and Jehovah God will see to it we’ll feel as if there is a constant song on our lips and a bounce in our steps.

You and I may not have a good voice.

You and I may only be capable of making “joyful, joy-filled” noises.

You and I may not have a melodious or very poetic way of saying things.

It doesn’t matter.

God made you and me, and He loves to hear us sing and give praise to His glory.

God gave you and me the wonderful gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

During any and every Christmas season, people will often ask what to give to the person who has everything.

But only God has everything.

So what do we give to the God who has everything?

We exalt Jehovah God!

We magnify Jehovah God!

We give Jehovah God praise!

We give Jehovah God all the Glory!

We give Jehovah God all the Honor!

We give Jehovah God our prayers and our worship!

We give Jehovah God thanks.

That is what Jehovah God wants.

That is why Jehovah God created us!

Learn a lesson from Mary – sing praise and thanks to God this Christmas.

Learn a lesson from Mary – Magnify the Lord God Jehovah every single day!

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Our hearts praise you, O Lord, our spirits rejoice in God our Savior, for you have remembered us, your humble servants. Mighty God, we celebrate the great and mighty things you have done for us—your name is to be magnified and is holy!

From one generation to another you have shown your great mercy on those who honor you. You have stretched out your mighty arm, scattering the conceited, confusing their schemes. You bring down tyrants and lift up the lowly; you fill the hungry with good things, but send the rich away empty. You have kept your promises to us; you have come to our help; you will show your people your love for ever; let the words of our mouth and the first loves of our lives magnify you, our hearts, our souls sing with the heavenly chorus to honor, worship and praise you, O Lord Jehovah.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen


Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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