Luke's Messiah (04) - Promised Deliverance
Luke’s Messiah (04): Promised Deliverance
Luke 1:46–55 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 1:48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 1:49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 1:50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 1:51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 1:52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; 1:53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. 1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 1:55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Prepared Deliverance - The Bible prepares us for the Annunciation of a virgin birth with a series of similar cases of women who are barren who by God’s power give birth to firstborn sons: Hagar/Gen. 16, Sarah/Gen. 18, Hannah/1 Sam. 1-2, the wife of Manoah/Jdg. 13, Isaiah/Isa. 7, and Zechariah/Lk. 1. In the fulness of time God sent His Son. Mary’s unique role is still a model for us because her example is the culmination of a long anticipation of promised births.
Promised Deliverance - Mary’s celebration of God’s redeeming work expands from “for me” to “for Israel.” Mary ends her song triumphantly (1:55-56): God remembers his people and acts in mercy. He is the covenant-making God and (now clearly) the covenant-keeping God. The word he spoke to Abraham (see Gen. 12:1-3) is now coming to fulfillment. All the nations will be blessed in Mary’s baby. Mary’s seed is Abraham’s seed. The blessing promised back in Gen. 12 is one of peace, restoration, wholeness, and joy for the world. The family of Mary will bless all the families of the earth.
Prayerful Deliverance - Mary’s praiseful song is a model. Mary prays in faith. Very little had changed in a visible way in the world at the time she sings. Herod and Caesar were still on the throne. Unrighteous leaders of Israel were still in place. There were plenty of oppressed and needy believers. Yet she praises God (by faith) for mighty deliverances. Let us honor her by following her example.
1) Give praise for your conversion by grace. She said God is my Savior, my Deliverer.
2) Give praise for God’s character of glory. She exalted the Covenant Lord as mighty, holy, merciful, and strong.
3) Give praise for God’s changes of power. She praised God for bringing down the mighty and exalting the humble. God is subverting the powers of the world through Jesus.
4) Give praise for God’s covenant of mercy. She praised God for remembering Abraham’s promise “to his offspring forever.”
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more