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Part Two: Reverence
by Alex M. Lindsay
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Reference: Luke 1:39-56

When Mary was confronted with an angelic visit, which would change her life forever, she showed faith and submission (Luke 1:26-38). As Elizabeth put it simply, Mary believed (Luke 1:45) and great things were going to happen in her life.

Mary's visit to the home of Elizabeth - Luke 1:39-40
Soon Mary's devotion to God would find ways to express itself to other people. Mary had been told of the special grace shown to some of her relatives - Zacharias and Elizabeth. She sought the fellowship of those who would most appreciate the gracious workings of God in her life. To her surprise and delight, she was greeted with a faithful declaration of the blessedness of her child - our Lord and Savior.

Elizabeth's Testimony - Luke 1:41-45
Not only was Elizabeth filled with God's Spirit and under His influence, so was her unborn son! The babe leaped for joy in Elizabeth's womb, as he was enabled to perceive the Son of God in Mary's womb! Elizabeth's Spirit-filled praise mentioned two important things about Mary:

  • Mary is blessed among women - not above women. She is blessed for believing. Her faith would be fulfilled. Her submission to God was well-invested.

  • Mary is the mother of our Lord. There is confusion when she is called "the mother of God." She is the vessel, used by God to give a human body to the Son of God. This body would be used, as a sacrifice to be offered to God, for our salvation from sin (Hebrews 10:4-10). Mary did not bring the Son of God into existence. He is eternal (Exodus 3:13-15 [cp. John 8:58]; John 1:15; 3:11-13; 6:31-35,46,62; 8:42, 48-59; 13:3; 17:5;) Mary was a vessel to bring Him into the world as a human (John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:16-17; Philippians 2:6-8; Galatians 4:4-5). Christ's deity and humanity came together within her womb. Mary looked at her blessedness with great humility (Luke 1:48)

Note: Some maintain that the title, "mother of God" is only to clarify the deity of Jesus, but many have taken this term to venerate Mary excessively. She has been attributed holiness and power, which is beyond the teaching of Scripture. She has even been called "The Queen of Heaven and Earth", - "The Co-Redeemer" of the human race and "The Mediatress of All Grace." ["Mediatress" = feminine form of "mediator"]
Be clear on this matter. Mary is not superior to other humans. The eternal God has no mother. Salvation is a work of the LORD alone - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is only one Redeemer. There is only one mediator between God and man - the man Christ Jesus. See Isaiah 44:24; 45:21-25; 47:4; Romans 3:24; I Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 9:12; Jonah 2:9 (cp. Ephesians 1:3-7,12-14; I Peter 1:1-2); Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:1-6; Acts 4:12; I Timothy 2:5-6; Titus 2:11-14.

Mary's Reverence - Luke 1:46-56
Mary's soul and spirit were filled with praise for God (Luke 1:46-47). God's Spirit gave her unction. Mary's heart and mind were also filled with Scripture (Psalm 1:1-3; 119:97; II Timothy 3:15). She was not a formally trained scholar, but Mary was able to cite Scripture from the Psalms and from the song of Hannah in I Samuel 2:1-10. In Luke 1:48-55, she stated eight wonderful things that God had done. The emphasis was on God's holiness, greatness, mercy and faithfulness to His promises. Can we, like Mary, use the Scriptures in our language to pray, and to praise and honor God? See Psalm 56:10; 138:2; Hosea 14:2.

Three months later, when she returned from visiting Elizabeth, Mary was now starting to show her pregnancy. It is then that the Angel Gabriel visited Joseph, in a dream, to comfort and instruct him (Matthew 1:18-25). Mary's faith, submission and reverence enabled her to not have to worry or to fear.

What it means to magnify the Lord? - Luke 1:46-47
Let's consider a magnifying glass. It is used to make the words on a page appear larger, easier to read. It does not actually make the words larger. It only gives the viewer a closer, clearer, better perspective. To do this, the magnifying glass needs to be close to the page it is magnifying. We want others to know the Lord. It is hard, even impossible, for them to understand and appreciate the Lord (I Corinthians 2:14). We must be close to the Lord ourselves and be available to others, so that they can see Him through us (Matthew 5:13-16). Paul desired that his life / his body would be an instrument of magnifying Christ to others (Philippians 1:20-21).

To do this with our life and body, we need to first magnify the Lord with our inner man (mind, heart, soul, and spirit). See Philippians 2:5; Romans 12:1-2. Mary magnified the Lord with her soul and spirit. Consider the work we need to do on the inside of us, if we want to be like Mary and glorify the Lord (Philippians 4:4-9).

See II Chronicles 6:14; Psalm 25:1; 119:2; Micah 6:8; John 4:24; Romans 1:9; 7:22. If we take this seriously, there will be conflict / spiritual warfare within (Romans 7:14 - 8:16; Galatians 5:16-17; Psalm 25:1-22). The Lord is looking at our hearts and is ready to help (I Samuel 16:7; Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:7-9; Hebrews 4:12-16; Psalm 139:23-24).

Originally delivered December 15, 2019
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