This is Good News
12/11 – Great Things He Hath Done (Luke 1:-39-56)
Introduction — Here Luke continues the story of God’s great grace to Mary and Elizabeth. Luke tells of the great things God does through them both. By God’s grace, Mary humbly receives the extraordinary message of Jesus’ birth. She quickly goes to the hill country. She travels to a city in Judah. She enters the house of Zacharias. There she greets Elizabeth. When Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting, the baby leaps in her womb. By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit fills Elizabeth. By God’s grace, Elizabeth knows the baby growing inside Mary is indeed the Lord Jesus. By God’s grace, Elizabeth praises the Lord. And by God’s grace, Mary praises the Lord, too. She magnifies the Lord for the great things He has done. She rejoices in God her Savior. Mary praises God for His mercy. She praises God for His strength. She praises God for His work in her life. She praises God for His good care. She praises God for His faithfulness. Mary’s joy in the Lord overflows. Her praise to God is over the top. How about us? Does our praise to God flow freely? How do we respond to the grace of God? Do we highly exalt God for the great things He has done?
In the grace of God, the messenger of God joyfully declares the great things God has done.
We tell of God’s great mercy. (46-50)
46 And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him.
Comments: In this magnificent praise, Mary exalts the Lord. She rejoices in God. Mary sees the profound grace of the Lord upon her life. She speaks of God’s mercy in two ways. First, she speaks of God’s mercy toward her. God notices her. God sees her heart. God regards her humble, obedient response to His word. Now, her life is forever changed. She sees her need for the Lord more clearly than ever before. She sees her need for God’s great mercy. Second, she speaks of God’s great mercy toward all who follow Him. God is merciful. Indeed, God’s merciful, faithful love is from everlasting to everlasting on those who stand in awe of Him (Ps. 103:17). Mary speaks of God’s mercy to save her. Mary tells of God’s great mercy to save others. Principles: God is faithful. His faithful love endures forever. His mercy is toward those who revere Him. God shows people their need for Him. God calls sinners to repentance. God saves sinners by His grace. Gospel Connection: But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).~ Ephesians 2:4-5, NAS Application Points: Talk about the mercy God shows you. With bubbling exuberance, give an encouraging word about His grace in your life. Point someone to Jesus this week.
We tell of God’s great power. (51-53)
51 He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things; and sent away the rich empty-handed.
Comments: Mary’s praise to God is rich with the word of God. Mary’s song is reminiscent of Hannah’s praise upon learning that she will have a child (see 1 Samuel 2:1-10). Both ladies praise the Lord for His great strength to accomplish His will. Here Mary praises God for His mighty deeds. She speaks of His power on display. First, God scatters those who are proud in the thoughts of their heart. Indeed, God is opposed to the proud (Psalm 138:6; James 4:6). Second, God brings down rulers from their thrones. God places those who rule and God replaces those who rule. God is in control. Third, God exalts the humble. God honors those who are poor in spirit. God works through seemingly weak and foolish people to do mighty things for His glory. Fourth, God fills the hungry soul with what is good (Ps. 107:9). He satisfies those who thirst for righteousness. God is mighty to accomplish His will. God’s power is great. Principles: God is mighty. God is great. God is able. God works in powerful ways to accomplish His purposes. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. God is mighty to bring justice. God is mighty to save. Gospel Connection: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. ~ John 6:35 Application Points: Tell someone that God is mighty. Tell someone that God is able. Tell someone that God is great. Sing God’s praises even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Point someone to Jesus this week.
We tell of God’s great care. (54-55)
54 He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, 55 as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Comments: Mary ends her praise with a focus on God’s care. She speaks of God’s help to Israel. God makes a promise. God keeps a promise. God is trustworthy. God is faithful. God made a covenant promise to Abraham: I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing . . . and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed (Gen. 12:2-3). God repeatedly showed great care to fulfill this promise, even when His people showed little care for that promise. From Egypt to Sinai, God cared. From Sinai to Jericho, God cared. Through judges and kings and prophets and priests, God cared. And in the fullness of time, God cared. He helped Israel in the best way possible by sending Messiah, just like He promised. Principles: God is faithful. God keeps His promises. God is not slow to do His will. God’s timing is perfect. God cares for people and God acts to save people from the curse of sin and death. God’s care is glorious.
Gospel Connection: The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. ~ 2 Peter 3:9 Application Points: Tell someone of God’s great care. Tell someone that God cares for him. Talk about how God helps you. Talk about the good news of rescue through Jesus. Point someone to Jesus this week.
Word Study for Luke 1:39-56
39 in a hurry (spoude—haste; zeal; earnestness; do quickly; exertion; do one’s best)
40 greeted (aspazomai—greet; be happy about; welcome; embrace)
41 filled (pimplemi—fill full; completely; make happen; satiate)
41 blessed (eulogeo—bless; praise; act kindly toward; honor; speak well of)
43 Lord (kyrios—owner; ruler; master; having power or authority over; supreme)
44 joy (alalliasis—exultation; great joy; prayer for rejoicing)
45 blessed (makarios—blessed; happy; supremely blessed; well off)
45 fulfillment (teleiosis—completion; accomplishment; finisher)
46 exalts (megalyno—magnify; make large; praise the greatness of; highly honor)
48 regard (epiblepo—look upon; notice; pay attention to; help; too attentively)
49 great things (megas—big; large; important; surprising; full grown; deep)
51 mighty deeds (kratos—power; strength; might; intensity; sovereignty)
51 proud (hyperephanos—arrogant; haughty)
52 exalted (hypsoo—lift up; raise up; set high)
54 given help (antilambano—devote oneself; take hold of; support)
Application for Luke 1:39-56
Let’s quickly follow God’s leadership.
Let’s be generous in our welcome to others.
Let’s do nothing to grieve the Holy Spirit.
Let’s recognize and celebrate God’s work in others.
Let’s praise God for all the great things He has done.
Let’s greatly rejoice in His grace.
Gospel Connections for Luke 1:39-56
Jesus is worthy of our praise. He brings us great joy. By the grace of God we know the mercy of God. We see God’s mercy in Jesus. We see God’s love in Jesus. We see humility in Jesus. We see strength in Jesus. And in Jesus we see God’s faithfulness to keep His covenant. Jesus is our help. Jesus is our might. Jesus sustains us. Jesus saves us.
Thoughts and Quotes for Luke 1:39-56
When you draw on God's grace to put off your self-centered attitudes and act on His principles, you put His glory on display. Your life points to His vast wisdom, compassion, and transforming power, and as you look for God's glory, the impact reaches far beyond yourself because you give everyone around you reason to respect and praise God. Glorifying God is not about letting others see how great you are. It's about letting them see how great the Lord is. ~ Ken Sande, Resolving Everyday Conflict
Low and groveling thoughts of God must be given up; doubting and despairing must be removed; and self-seeking and carnal delights must be forsaken. Across these deep valleys a glorious causeway of grace must be raised.
~ Charles H. Spurgeon
When the glory of God is the treasure of our lives, we will not lay up treasures on earth, but spend them for the spread of his glory. We will not covet, but overflow with liberality. We will not crave the praise of men, but forget ourselves in praising God. We will not be mastered by sinful, sensual pleasures, but sever their root by the power of a superior promise. We will not will nurse a wounded ego or cherish a grudge or nurture a vengeful spirit, but will hand over our cause to God and bless those who hate us. Every sin flows from the failure to treasure the glory of God above all things. ~ John Piper, Preaching the Cross
A joy shared is a joy doubled. ~ Proverb
The Grace of God at Work (Luke 1:39-56)
Praise God for His grace in our lives!
Praise God for the grace to move us to obey Him.
Praise God for the grace of cooperation.
Praise God for the grace of godly conversations.
Praise God for the grace of encouragement.
Praise God for the gift of life.
Praise God for His Spirit within us.
Praise God for hearts tune to sing His grace.
Praise God for His regard for us.
Praise God for His mercy toward us.
Praise God for His power in us.
Praise God for His help for us.
Praise God for His promises made and kept.
Praise God for His perfect timing.
Praise God for the gift of His Son, Jesus.