In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Mary and Elizabeth were both such faithful women! Elizabeth, through her son, John, recognized who Jesus was instantly. And she didn’t doubt, not even for a moment. Instead, she rejoiced in God, both for blessing Mary with such an honor, and for blessing her with a visit from her Lord. Then she reminds Mary and herself that God is fulfilling His promises to Israel through them. God is going to save His people.
Then Mary gives this lovely speech, praising God. There are a few main points in her song. 1. She is rejoicing in God for her blessings. 2. He has shown strength and mercy, giving us all we ever needed. 3. He fulfills every promise He has made to His people. A Messiah is coming. This song is special because it shows great wisdom. It is not necessarily the kind of thing you would expect to hear from a young woman like Mary. It reminds you of a Psalm, possibly of David or one of the other great writers. Yet it comes from a woman.
I love that. The very first thing to happen in Luke’s gospel is that a woman has stronger faith than her husband. Next, a woman sets the example of what following God and trusting Him completely looks like. Then the women get together and show that they are also wise. The women of the gospels have been full of surprises so far, and shown that they are NOT the weaker sex. Clearly that theme will continue in Luke.