Tuesday- Week 3
(Song of Mary)
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is His name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; 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.
54 He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as He promised our ancestors.”
Note: Today's devotional is quite long. If you have younger children, or are limited on time, you may want to read through and pick out the questions best suited to your target audience.
Mary’s Song, is a response to Elizabeth’s song (also known as Ave Maria) in the verses previous to this (Luke 1:41-45). The Magnificat is very similar to Hannah’s Song in 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
What were some of the similarities between Mary and Hannah’s circumstances?
[Both rejoice at the miraculous circumstances surrounding the birth of their son
Both were of a ‘humble state’ (Hannah in her childlessness and Mary in her status)
Ultimately, each of them knew she was raising her son to give him back to the Lord.]
Mary's Song has four parts:
I. Magnification or praise of the Lord (v. 46-47)
II. Blessing to Mary (v. 48-49)
III. Blessing to the World (v. 50-53)
IV. Blessing to Israel (v. 54-55)
I. Magnification or praise of the Lord (v. 46-47):
Mary glorifies the Lord with her soul, but rejoices in her spirit. What is the difference?
(Hint: read John 4:24)
[We worship with our spirit; we connect to God with our spirit.
Our soul is the essence of who we are (our ‘personality’ so to speak); it allows us to connect emotionally with God and others (Psalm 43:5).
The spirit and soul are connected, but separable (Hebrews 4:12).]
List some of the specific attributes of God that Mary mentions.
[Mindful of my estate, holy, merciful, mighty, promise keeper...]
II. Blessing to Mary (v. 48-49):
What does v. 48a tell us about the type of people the Lord chooses for true greatness?
What reason does Mary give in v. 49a for why future generations will call her blessed?
[He has done great things for her (chosen her to be the mother of Jesus).]
Read Luke 11:27-28. Why do you think Jesus responded in this manner? What perspective was Jesus giving us concerning Mary’s blessedness?
[Though it may seem flippant that Jesus refers to His mother in this manner, He reminds us that God shows no partiality, all who follow Him are equal, including Mary (Acts 10:34-35). When He says we’d be more blessed than even Mary by keeping His commands (John 14:21),He reminds us that our salvation is found in none other than Him and He will share His glory with no one else (Isaiah 42:8).]
Who does Mary say is holy in v. 49?
[God's name (for His name, YAHWEH, represents His essence or being).]
III. Blessing to the World (v. 50-53)*:
Mary recognizes in these verses of the song that the coming of the Messiah would cause a spiritual, political and societal revolution.
In verse 51, Mary exalts the power of the Lord to do what?
[Confound (scatter) those who are prideful]
In both verses 52 and 53, Mary contrasts one thought with another.*
In these verses, how does she compare the Lord’s dealings with the rich (enthroned) versus the humble?
[Dethrones the mighty, exalts (or lifts up) the humble; feeds the hungry, sends the rich away empty.]
IV. Blessing to Israel (v. 54-55):
How was God remembering Israel and being merciful to them?
[By sending the Saviour.]
What promises does Mary refer to that God made to Abraham and her ancestors?
Contrary to the popular Christmas song, Mary Did You Know? by Mark Lowry, The Magnificat is proof in detail that Mary was fully aware of the prophetic significance of His arrival, the implications His advent had for the kingdoms of man, and His intention to save not only herself but her people and the world.
*Parallelism is a form employed quite often in Hebrew poetry. Verse 51 is an example of synthetic parallelism, whereby the first line introduces an incomplete thought or one which raises a question, which is completed by the second line. Verses 52 & 53 are examples of antithetical parallelism. This is where the thought of the first line contrasts with an opposite theme contained in the second line.
Close in Prayer
How has the Lord blessed you? Count your blessings, literally, and say a prayer of thanksgiving for the many blessings He has poured into your life.
Make a Joyful Sound!
Choose a song from Songs for Advent Week 3 or choose your own.