Skip to comments.A Quick, Compelling Bible Study Vol. 19 – The Magnificent ‘Magnificat’ Edition
Posted on 07/19/2020 4:55:23 AM PDT by Kaslin
Once again, I will begin by telling you that the verses we are studying today The Magnificat from the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55), are among my favorite.
As regular readers of this Bible study series know, I have many favorites in the Old and New Testaments. However, The Magnificat (also referred to as Marys Song) is distinct because my husband and I recite it every night as part of our prayers. Perhaps its familiarity makes it more endearing? Yes, of course. But years ago the reason I suggested including it in our nightly prayers was because I loved the voice of Mary talking to and about God amid her most unusual circumstances that prompted the prayer.
For those unfamiliar with the story (and remember that I write this study for you), here is the pre-Magnificat background.
Mary is a young, unwed Jewish girl (likely still a teenager) who is told by the angel Gabriel that she is pregnant. "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:34).
As if young Mary needs more complications, Gabriel informs her, So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). Yikes! No pressure!
And Marys reply to Gabriel is upheld as the model of obedience to God: I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled" (Luke 1:38).
If interested, read in the Gospel of Matthew how Joseph, to whom Mary was pledged to be married, reacted to this scandalous news. (Spoiler: An angelic intervention was needed.)
Now that we are up to speed on the backstory, Mary, with precious cargo in her womb, travels to see her relative Elizabeth. The circumstances surrounding that visit are also holy and known as The Visitation. (Quickly, read it here, otherwise, I will get bogged down in that fascinating backstory.)
But, I must display the last sentence of Elizabeths greeting to Mary: Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!" (Luke 1:45), prompting The Magnificat:
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" (Luke 1:46-55).
You might want to read this prayer again and again for the layers of Godly wisdom.
Lets start with the name Magnificat. It is Latin for magnifies and also glorifies often used instead of magnifies in the opening verse of many translations including the popular NIV, which reads, My soul glorifies the Lord
Regardless of the translation, Mary is praising the Lord with all her heart and soul, while celebrating and recognizing that God is her Savior. The word Savior is thought-provoking when considering that Mary is carrying the Savior of the world.
Mary also praises God for favoring her since she is of low social standing, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Note that I am using the New Revised Standard Version translation as the basis for this study since it is closer to what we recite nightly. But, I like the way NIV translates how Mary praises Gods recognition of her status, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
Mary may be humble, but she also knows that God has chosen her for His most important mission to mankind, saying, Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
And then she thanks and praises Him, for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
That verse especially applies to our lives. We must thank and praise Him for all he has done for us. And along with that, magnify and glorify Him.
Mary continues by acknowledging Gods permanence, along with the necessity for obedience by conducting oneself and living according to His will. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
She speaks of His mighty power that rules over the proud, the rich and the poor: He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
Finally, Mary voices Gods eternal, merciful promise to Israel and His people:
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."
The Blessed Mother Marys wisdom, devotion, and obedience to God expressed in the Magnificat is among the most heartfelt, emotional, and all-encompassing prayers in the Bible.
Therefore, I hope you have enjoyed learning about it (if for the first time) or re-familiarizing yourself with its poetic beauty and living message that we can incorporate into our lives.
Perhaps now too, you will be inspired to recite it daily.
The world needs Mother Mary more than ever now. Recite the rosary, or even a few Hail Marys, daily.
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, Rabbi, when did you get here?
26 Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.
Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires?
Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.
30 So they asked him, What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.[c]
32 Jesus said to them, Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
34 Sir, they said, always give us this bread.
35 Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
1 John 3:21-23 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 3:21-23
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
Blessed is ANYONE who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to them!
Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the USA, pray for us.
I enjoyed this article very much, but I must nit-pick one thing. The writer says that Gabriel tells Mary that she is pregnant, leading her to question how that could be, as she is a virgin. But the actual Conception of our Blessed Savior does not occur until Mary has consented to this great honor.
Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel departed from her.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
I too often tell God a Bible story while going to sleep. It makes sleep so good and shuts out the cares of the day..
The writer says that Gabriel tells Mary that she is pregnant, leading her to question how that could be, as she is a virgin. But the actual Conception of our Blessed Savior does not occur until Mary has consented to this great honor.
One: The angel did NOT tell her she WAS pregnant. It said the Holy Spirit WILL come upon you.
Two: Mary's 'consent' is not needed or shown; as the angel said this WILL happen to you.
Douay-Rheims Luke 1:31-35
 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.  And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
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