TEXT: Luke 1:39-56.
Mary was a very special person in the eyes of God. She might not be looked on with such favor in her hometown and the tongues probably started to wag as they realized that she was pregnant. Is it any wonder that soon after she received the angels's message that Elizabeth was similarly blessed that she paid her an extended visit? Maybe it was for reassurance but maybe it was to get away from the rumors and scandal that would obviously arise. Today, I would like to say that God wants to bless us as He blessed Mary 2000 years ago.
When we look at this passage we can make a couple of observations.
I. MARY WAS BLESSED BY GOD
When Mary approached Elizabeth she must have been shocked with the statement that she made. She said "Blessed are you among women, and blessed in the child you will bear! But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
When we consider it Mary is the most famous woman in the world and her name has the highest recognition of all names. Many women have been famous in their time but after their death they are soon forgotten, but not so with Mary. We cannot think of Christmas or the nativity without Mary.
She was also blessed because she had the privilege of bringing the Son of God in the World. Elizabeth recognized that from the beginning. How could she have known this except God had revealed it to her? Again what name is more famous than the name of Jesus. We have been looking at the most famous people of the century and the millenium but Jesus has had such an effect in the world that he is the center of our whole system of dating years. We date time B.C "before Christ" and A.D. "In the year of our Lord". But more than being a famous man and a central figure in history He was the very Son of God.
She also was blessed to bring the suffering Savior in the world. The wise men brought a gift of myrrh, an embalming spice to the Christ Child. Christ was born to die. Here we see the paradox of blessedness. Mary had the joy of being the mother of the Son of God, yet the sorrow of seeing Him hang on a cross. And isn't that so true of our lives also. To be chosen by God means often a crown of Joy and a cross of sorrow. God does not chose a person for ease and comfort, God chooses a person to use that person. Often in the process we too will have to bear our cross, we too are called upon to bear the agony and the glory. But, contrary to the promises of some modern day preachers, Jesus did not offer to give us health and wealth, he promised tribulation and persecution in this life. A modern preacher had it correct when he said Jesus Christ came not to make life easy but to make men great.
II. THE WORLD IS ALSO BLESSED BY GOD
Elizabeth's adoration of Mary and the Child that she would bear caused Mary to break forth in spontaneous praise to God. This the most famous of biblical songs is often referred to as "the Magnificat" because it begins with that word in the Latin version of the Bible. She glorifies God for being mindful of a humble person such as her and exalting her so that for all generation to come she will be considered blessed of God. But she focuses not just on herself and her joy but on the impact that Jesus will have on the world at large. This is a song replete with significance. William Barclay indicates that she is pointing out the revolutionary nature of Jesus' coming to earth as signified in verses 50 to 53. In His coming he says:
- God brings a moral revolution - He scatters the proud in their inmost thoughts. Christianity is the death of pride. The two cannot co-exist. It is our thoughts that corrupts and fills us with pride. When we think we are better than others we destroy ourselves for selfishness always destroys a person.
- God brings a social revolution - He brings down the rulers from their thrones and has lifted up the humble. Christianity puts an end to the world's labels and prestige. Christianity is not about class and position but righteousness and obedience to God and His Word. Barclay tells the story of Muretus, a poor wandering scholar of the middle ages. In an Italian town he fell ill and was taken to a hospital for waifs and strays. The doctors were discussing his case in Latin, never dreaming he could understand. They suggested that since he was such a worthless wanderer they might use him for medical experiments. He looked up and answered them in their own learned tongue, he said "call no man worthless for whom Christ died." Christ erases ranks and grades.
- God brings an economic revolution - He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. Our world seeks to amass as much as they can get. The greedy got richer this millenium year. The computer people are rolling in the dough because they convinced everyone that all computers had to be made Y2K compliant. The fireworks people had to have raked in millions, if they didn't make it in business this year they never will. The champagne people sold out all around the world as people were zealous to toast in the New Year. Christianity throughout the years has brought about an economic revolution. The Christian society is one where no man dares to have too much while others have too little. We read of Barnabas in the New Testament who sparked a movement of sharing in the New Testament church. God calls us also to a life of simplicity and sharing.
We are faced with the reality today that like Mary that we too are blessed.
God has been good to us.
F. E. Marsh has enumerated some of these blessings:
- An acceptance that can never be questioned. (Eph. 1:6).
- An inheritance that can never be lost (I Peter 1:3-5).
- A deliverance that can never be excelled (2 Cor. l:10).
- A grace that can never be limited (2 Cor. 12:9).
- A hope that can never be disappointed. (Heb. 6:18, 19).
- A bounty that can never be withdrawn. (I Col. 3:21-23).
- A joy that need never be diminished (John 15:11).
- A nearness to God that can never be reversed (Eph. 2:13).
- A peace that can never be disturbed (John 14:27).
- A righteousness that can never be tarnished (2 Cor. 5:21).
- A salvation that can never be canceled (Heb. 5:9).
Today we need to ask ourselves the question - How can we apply God's blessing to our lives today? How can we demonstrate thanksgiving in our lives considering we have been so richly blessed. How can Christ revolutionize your life in 2000?