Luke: Mary Visits Elizabeth; The Magnificat

Read Luke 1:39-56

A remarkable meeting of Mary and Elizabeth followed by Mary’s Song, The Magnificat. The two women play such a significant part of the male dominated history of our ancestors. It seems fitting that Luke would take time and space to honor them by recording an exciting moment when they meet during pregnancy: Mary with Jesus and Elizabeth with John the Baptist. Mary pours our her soul in the words of the Magnificat as a result of this moving moment.

The key word I take from this meeting is humility. Mary and Elizabeth show themselves as completely humber servants of the Lord Almighty. Neither attempt to jockey for position as better or more fitting. They are equal heirs in the kingdom of God.

God Does What He Says He Will Do

In the Gospel of Mark, we focused on that which Jesus did, His actions. One of the key aspects of Luke’s writing is to demonstrate that God keeps His end of the covenant–He does what He said. This is one of the big take-aways from reading the Bible in general, something I hope to encourage more people to do on a consistent basis this year.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

After the angel’s visit, Mary hurries to meet Elizabeth, to this other miracle firsthand. Mary’s excitement is eclipsed by Elizabeth’s reaction:

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41

Even in the womb, Elizabeth’s baby is stirred by the Spirit. The meeting causes Elizabeth to make some astounding proclamations:

  • Mary is blessed among women
  • Mary’s baby is blessed
  • Elizabeth is richly favored by Mary’s presence

Elizabeth’s loud announcement ends with this fitting tribute:

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45

Mary’s Song — The Magnificat

Mary’s humility is noteworthy and provides an example for us to consider as we think about our prominent positions as heirs in Christ’s kingdom:

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. Luke 1:46-48

Mary receives the blessing from Elizabeth in complete humility by pointing to the One who is the Lord of all. Although Mary will be remembered throughout generations, it’s His mighty works and great deeds that cause us to sing.

The last words punctuate the significance of Mary’s song:

just as he promised our ancestors. Luke 1:55

It is this very promise that inspires us to follow Jesus. This promise inspires us to write, to sing and play music, to help others selflessly, to be the creative beings God calls us to be.

As the new year kicks off in full swing now, I pray you will be inspired by the humility of the one young lady chosen by God as worthy to carry His Son.


Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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