Mary, after hearing the angelic message, hurried to Zacharias and Elizabeth. They were kindred spirits in this business of God's salvation. She naturally sought their companionship? These women housed a great secret of God in their bodies. Characteristic of this fellowship, Elizabeth's first words, to Mary, overflow with insight and recognition. Lu 1:42b, "Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord." Language such as this is natural for faith. Believers speak, privately and/or publicly. Their heart cannot contain the abundance of blessing God pours out on those who love Him. What have you spoken lately?
GREAT THINGS ARE HERE
God's Spirit composed this psalm in Mary's heart. He also provided for generations of believers to read it from Luke's record. This account is intensely personal. She by stating their effect throughout her being, cf. vss. 46-47. God is Spirit. He made us in His image. Any exchange with Him takes place 'spirit to Spirit' within us. One's soul is the bridge, so to speak, between our spirit and our body. So, both the visible and invisible realms touch it. The corrupt bondage of fleshly lusts damages it. Or united with your spirit, your soul rises to heavenly places. However, it cannot reside in both locations at once. Mary ascends, as the extent of her involvement with God opens before the eyes of her heart!
Our spirit, united with God's, grasps our spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. Scripture, through the apostle Paul, identifies this, cf. Eph 1:15-19. God's Kingdom is not of this world. He uses, or works through, physical things. However, one cannot perceive the things of God through the physical senses. Those born from above enter the Spirit's realm. Mary's discernment of it was increasing, and she welcomed it, as did Elizabeth. Believers, do not hinder your progress. Consider our greater potential in Christ. God's revelation of/in Jesus, helps us grasp the spiritual things of life from above. Yet for continued progress, in the heavenly Kingdom, our increasing involvement is necessary. How could this be otherwise? Will God overpower your heart and mind? Does He have fellowship with those who do not know Him? The essence of companionship is knowing and appreciating the object of affection! God said, of those in the New Covenant, 'They shall all know Me, from the least to the greatest.'
Mary's words, 'He has had regard for the humble state of His bond servant,' validates a primary aspect of God's personality. Isa 57:15b, "I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." God's attention is toward those who hope for His mercy. They are grateful for His kindness, and yield to its purpose, walking with God. Humility recognizes our place before Him, then turns, in repentance, for healing, refusing the flesh by embracing God's truth. One cannot walk in both. So, humble yourselves under God's mighty hand. Turn to Him, daily crucifying your old man, by living in the power of God's blessing.
Count Mary blessed. She gladly enlisted herself with God's agenda, those who do, find great fellowship. God has a unique place for all who come to Him. He does mighty things for believers in His Beloved One. The foremost is forgiveness, reconciliation to God. Then also we have grace and mercy available, helping us remain firm and make progress in the truth. His might works in every believer! How is it apparent in your faith?
GREATER THINGS EXPECTED
Peter spoke, a like promise, when he first proclaimed the Gospel. Acts 2:39, "For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." Mary quotes, knowingly or unknowingly, from Ps 103 when she speaks about God's mercy through the generations, cf. vs. 50. Scripture naturally gives form to our thoughts about God. Do not be surprised to find your heart reflected there. Christ's covenant identifies you with it, cf. Heb 8:10-12. We teach our children to speak with us. God's word teaches us to speak with Him. Our speaking, singing, and praying will then follow the manner appropriate for God's presence. Scripture affirms its nature, if not its precise form, in John's Revelation visions! Are you increasing with Kingdom language?
God's mercy is more than something He does. It's a primary aspect of His person expressed in His name, cf. Exo 34:6-7! Mary highlights how God reveals Himself in Christ, vss. 51-53. These characteristics were true before Jesus came. God does not change. Jesus' coming opens the veil for us to have fellowship with the Father. We know Him more fully in the Son of Man. Jesus is God's arm, invading the cursed domain of the prince of the power of the air. The Son of Man revealed God's perfect strength in the weakness of His cross. He stooped to conquer, then rose again to reign! Our Savior then increases strength in us who once served the frustrated strong man. Jesus involves us in His strength, where we stand in the evil day. However, there is more. We must walk in the light with God. This is what Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and reign ultimately do in believers! For the evil day will end in eternity. God's presence is our destiny! He seats us at this place in Christ.
Jesus dealt with sin's accusation in His own body on the tree. Satan can no longer accuse believers before God. This is God's singular mighty deed, in which Mary has a critical role. Now, take your place in its influence. Prepare for greater things in the world to come! Mighty deeds remain for those aligned with God's cause. They begin in our hearts now. Yet they prepare us for abiding with the Father! So, ready yourself by faith.
Man's ways are not God's ways. Those who love the earth cannot attain the heights of His wisdom, even in the created order. Faith enables believers to benefit from Jesus' lofty words and deeds. Scripture shows how He thrust down the enemy at every attempt. Satan leads the proud in heart, trying to throw off what they see as fetters or cords, cf. Ps 2:3. These restrictions are God's righteousness, not easily resisted. God, in wisdom, made the earth as a battlefield. Those who want to can, temporarily, reject His influence here. This is a strange thing for young Mary to speak of in a psalm! Yet it's the reality behind earthly appearance. God allows earthly rulers to sit temporarily. However, Rome's power, in Herod's family, ended long ago. To what 'ruler' does your knee bow? God's table does not attract those filled with the world. The food that lasts forever attracts only those with an appetite for it. Every word of God truly satisfies the hungry heart. All things are ready. Come to heaven's generous feast!
GREAT THINGS FULFILLED
The Lord God of heaven chose Abram as His friend by a covenant of promise. The people of Israel, heirs of that promise, accepted God's fuller proposal in the desert of Mt. Sinai. God is faithful to His word, cf. vss. 54-55! Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, and others are proof. They were Israelites, Abraham's flesh. Still, this alone did not qualify them. The promise is to believers, cf. Rom 4:13. Elizabeth's words ring out. Lu 1:45, " blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord." Joseph's trusting obedience qualified him as well, cf. Mt 1:18-25.
God was (is) the only reasonable explanation for the Hebrews' existence in the earth. The line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel produced our Savior. These people, as a whole, were (are) not godly. The majority did (do) not have faith. Yet God kept (keeps) a remnant, according to His choice. Only believers enter the blessing of heaven's sovereign choice. Scripture truth echoes, Gen 15:6, Then he (Abraham) believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness." Then more than nineteen hundred years later the Prophet spoke this. Hab 2:4, "Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith." Faith is a primary foundation stone in redemption, the means of our (Gentile) participation in the sure blessings of David. God has always dealt with humanity by favoring those who hear Him with faith. Believe and number yourself among them!
Mary's last recorded words give direction to believers. John 2:5, "Whatever He says to you, do it." She spoke to servants at the wedding in Cana. Let us hear it with confident hope. This insightful young woman casts a beam of light both directions in time. Rom 11:29, " the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." The Spirit's words anchor our soul in hope. God joins us to Israel's tree by the graft of faith, cf. Rom 11:17-18. His promise is certain, as was the life in Mary's womb. Even so, James 1:18, "In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures." (Gene Hutchcraft; PO Box 256, Alba, MO. 64830-0256)