Advent Week 3: Joy
The Magnificat or The Megaluno: Luke 1:46-55
Luke 1:46-47: Mary’s song is for enjoyment of the Lord
This section of Luke is called “The Magnificat” (Latin: [My soul] magnifies)—also known as the Song of Mary, is a song frequently sung (or spoken) liturgically in some churches. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns. Its name comes from the first word of the Latin version of the text.
In Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament, word is we know as Magnificat is Megaluno. Megaluno means to magnify, to make great, to enlarge.
What is happening here is that Mary’s soul is processing joy.
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
So, magnify and rejoice are used in a parallel way. Soul parallels with spirit. Lord parallels with Savior. Magnifies parallels with rejoices.
Parallelism is the way Hebrew folks rhymed. If they rapped it would be in parallelism nor rhyming.
So, the Hebrew poet would rhyme by saying the same thing in a different way.
So, when Mary says that she is magnifying, making great and enlarging the Lord, she is NOT saying that she, in her sinful and fallen self is making the Lord look larger than he is (magnify) or that she is taking him to greatness by her efforts (make great) or even growing Father (enlarge).
Mary clarifies her intentions with the second line that defines the first. Mary’s entire being is rejoicing in the Lord.
Mary’s soul is processing joy.
Mary, simply put, is enjoying the Lord in public.
The reverse is true in Hebrew poetry. The second line also defines the first. When Mary is rejoicing in the Lord she is “magnifying” him.
What does that mean?
When Mary is enjoying she is not saying that her rejoicing is making him something he is not.
Mary, in her public enjoyment of the Lord, is showing him to be as big as he is. She is seeking to show how great he is. Mary is seeking to enlarge the Father’s praise and his people’s joy in his praise.
Mary, simply put, is enjoying the Lord and seeking to draw others into enjoying the Lord.
What is the basis of Mary’s enjoyment and her appeal to us to come and enjoy?
2. Luke 1:48-50: Mary’s 4 reason’s for enjoying the Lord publicly
A. Father took notice of her, therefore, doing great things for Mary v. 48a, 49a
1. “who am I?” is the cry of this heart
B. All generations will call Mary blessed
1. This draws attention to the blesser not the blessed
2. Blessed = family inclusion resulting in receiving family resources
C. Father is holy
D. Father is merciful
3. Luke 1:51-55: Our 7 reason’s for enjoying the Lord publicly
Verse 51-54 move from present tense to aorist tense (a past tense).
This is significant.
Mary is looking forward to what will be done as a result of the coming promised child by looking back at what Father has done.
Why is this important?
John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”
Mary is looking back at what Father has done with the hope that what was done was a real gospel event but also a promise of what he will do in greater measure in the fulfillment of the promise to Moses to send one like him who will be the final and complete prophet, priest and king (Deuteronomy 18). He will tell you all my words, he will represent you as a merciful and faithful high priest and he will rule you well.
A. He has been strong v. 51
B. He has brought down the prideful mighty v. 52a
C. He has exalted the humble v. 52b
D. He has fed those who were deprived v. 53a
E. He has sent those with much away to a deprived state v. 53b
F. He has helped his people v. 54
C. He has been faithful just like he promised Abraham he would be v. 55
3. Mega-luno the Lord together in song and in life
A. Sing today like you mean it
B. Live with passionate submissive humility like Jesus (Philippians 2)