What did you learn from Sunday’s sermon, “Mary’s Song”?
Q1: What two things happened when Mary visited Elizabeth?
Q2: Did Elizabeth know Mary was pregnant?
Q3: Why is Mary blessed?
Q4: Is Mary’s song about herself?
Q5: Is Mary’s song pure worship?
Q6: Does God forget His promises?
Q7: Are we descendants of Abraham even though we are not Jews?
Sermon Summary & Answers
This Sunday, we continued in Luke 1:39-46. Remember, Luke is an historian of the first order, and he continues on with his goal to tell us the exact truth about the things we believe. He begins with the miracle that God is invading the earth, in the human condition. As we learned last week, Luke starts with an old man and old woman who was barren all her life. The old man, Zechariah, is visited by Gabriel and will have a child named John born via miraculous conception. Now, six months later, we move north to Galilee, and in Nazareth, there was another visit from Gabriel to a young virgin, Mary, who is engaged to a carpenter, Joseph. Mary is told she’ll have a son born to a virgin conceived of the Holy Spirit! It’s unbelievable, but she surrendered herself to the will of God.
Well, Gabriel told Mary that her relative, Elizabeth, also conceived a son, and Mary goes to visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth was probably the only woman Mary could go talk to about her situation. Luke records this meeting between these two women and likely got the details from Mary herself! Luke 1:39-41, we read that baby John leaped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit! These two responses are connected together and recalled in detail. This is what happened. So, having been filled with the Spirit, Elizabeth declares with a loud voice blessed are you and the fruit of your womb, and how has it happened that the mother of the Lord would come to me? Elizabeth’s words are revealed from the Holy Spirit. She didn’t know Mary was pregnant! Yet, she immediately acknowledges the child himself is most blessed! Under the illumination of the Holy Spirit, she recognized the child is the Son of God. This is the first time anyone referred to Jesus as my Lord. It happened in an instant! As Mary said hello, baby John leapt for joy in the womb! He leaped as if to say with his mother, this is my Lord. John is already filled with the Holy Spirit at conception and confirms they’re in the presence of the Son of God.
Mary and Elizabeth are there with their children not yet born but very present! Mary is blessed not because she is worthy. Don’t make the mistake of turning this moment into something ordinary that you miss the extraordinary reality. She isn’t blessed because she is Mary but because she believed! Her blessing is the blessing of faith, which is available to all who believe. God’s grace acts in a peculiar way toward us. Mary is ordinary like you and me and like us is blessed because of her belief. Elizabeth says she is blessed because she is obedient to the faith! Mary reacts by singing the hymn of incarnation, a spontaneous eruption of praise in Luke 1:46-55. John MacArthur would note this as a classic example of pure worship, a hymn to God, who is incarnate in Christ, and in Mary’s case, in her very womb. Mary, having grown up Jewish, her song is filled with Old Testament scripture. 1 Samuel 2:1-2, like Hannah, Mary’s song is very similar. She is drawing her praise from what she knows about God! Mary is filled with a lot of emotion surely, but she is fixed on the truth from which her joy springs, and that’s what church music should do. Emotion must spring from information. Mary knew God’s word, and she drowns her praise in the word of God.
This is not a song about Mary. It is a song about God and what He is doing. She rejoices in God her savior. She says I’m nothing but a sinner in need of a savior! She calls herself a slave, the lowest place, yet now most blessed place. She realizes what a privilege it is to carry the Son of God and is sure all generations will consider her to be blessed. Notice, this is about all generations not just her. This is the real Mary. A humble sinner, benefactor of God’s mercy, and blessed with an undeserved gift. But not just for Mary, for generation after generation to any and all who fear him!
In Luke1:50, Mary is looking back at God’s past mercy and ahead to future blessings outside of time for all who will ever fear Him! In Luke 1:51-52, God acts against the proud and for the humble. This is how He acts and how He always acts. Her worship is reflective of Israel’s history but not every detail. When we do a deep study, it becomes the study of David and Abraham and Job and Daniel, but these characters existed and happened so we can learn about God not them. It is God’s story written through their lives. Mary sees that. Luke 1:53, we see a picture of those who know they need God and those that think they don’t need God because they have all that they need. The blessing of poverty is knowing you need God! Luke 1:54-55 notes the conclusion, when God helps, it is not in reference to the recipient, as if there is someone out there worthy to receive. When God helps, it’s because of His mercy! His mercy is expressed in reference to His promises! Promises He spoke to Abraham realized, now that Mary is carrying Jesus! God doesn’t forget His promises. They’re true, and she carries the realization of that.
What does that have to do with you since Luke writes that this is for Abraham and his descendants. I mean, this is God’s promise to the Jews, right? That’s not true; even though, it is true. It is not all about Abraham but also about Christianity. If you’re a Christian this song is about you. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Christian, you just have to understand the promise God made. Paul was told to carry word to the Gentiles, and he wrote to churches in Galatia concerned for them. Galatians 1:3-5, Paul is writing to believers in Galatia, not Jews. Well, maybe there were a few Jews there, but in Galatians 3:1-3, Paul asked if they believed by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Paul asked them to consider, how did it begin? With faith, not by keeping the law. Nobody earns Christ. If we began by faith, why would we imagine now to take up the law and works. That’s foolish. If it all began by the Spirit then live and walk by faith. Then, Paul takes the non-Jew Christians back to their history, which is not Roman forefathers but the Jews! Galatians 3:5-7 says even so, in the same way Abraham believed God, and that’s what made him righteous. It was not his own, he gained it by faith. Those who believe are sons of Abraham. That’s who we are. Galatians 3:8 says God would justify the Gentiles by faith. This was preached beforehand to Abraham that all the nations would be saved and before it ever happened, Abraham believed. Those are our roots! Galatians 3:26-29, there are no Jews or Greeks or male or female. We are all one in Christ. We are Abraham’s descendants. That was Mary’s song and our song; blessed are the descendants of Abraham.
“Like Mary, my soul exalts in my God. My spirit rejoices in my Savior because He has regard for my humble state. He’s looked on me with mercy and done mighty things for me. I believed. I feared him, and He kept His promise. He saved me.
If He’s done the same for you, this is your song.
This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.
What’s your song?”Pastor Steve Wilson
Did you find this quiz and sermon summary helpful? Log on to gccbg.com/blog each week for the latest Q&A. Jessica will send the link out in the Midweek church emails. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- John leaped in the womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
- No, Elizabeth’s words are revealed from the Holy Spirit. She didn’t know Mary was pregnant!
- Because she believes.
- No, it is about God and what He is doing.
- God doesn’t forget His promises. They’re true, and Mary carries the realization of that, Jesus.
- Yes. Those who believe are descendants of Abraham.