by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46-47)
Two Jewish ladies, each carrying children recently conceived, met to discuss their circumstances. Perhaps billions of mothers, before and since, have had similar encounters, but since this meeting between Mary and Elizabeth was so special and precious, perhaps we can all profit by its study.
The first thing we notice is that their conversation turned immediately to God, to praise of Him for His goodness and grace. No doubt each one experienced all the common difficulties and discomforts of these months but chose instead to dwell on their blessings and the greatness of God.
Mary especially, in the discourse introduced by our text, burst forth in a torrent of praise, singing of the virtues of her Savior and reveling in His grace (vv. 46-55). He had chosen her despite her unworthiness. Her present misunderstood circumstances were not in view at all, just her precious communion with her Lord and His gracious dealings with mankind. In all these things, she “rejoiced.”
Note that there is no hint of doubt in her song, neither is there a shrinking back from His holiness. In these verses are no fewer than 15 quotations from the Old Testament. Mary knew God’s Word well and sang it back to Him. Furthermore, she sings in humility, not calling herself “mother of God,” as some do today, but sings of “God my Saviour.”
These two mothers provide a model for each of us, especially those blessed with childbearing. May each encounter focus on Him, not just on temporal events. May our fellowship be centered in Him and in His Word, not just with friends or family. May prayer and praise burst forth from our lips, not just idle conversation. May we know all the joy and confidence of Mary and join in her song. JDM