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"My soul doth magnify the Lord."


 A Preacher in his Study




"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." Luke 1:46-55



Usually studied at Christmas, this portion of the Word of God is amazing. In it Mary, the Virgin Mother of our Lord insofar as His humanity is concerned, is praising the Lord.

This young lady knew the Bible, the Old Testament Scriptures. In her day the New Testament had not been completed.

The whole "Psalm," for indeed it is just that, is found in Luke 1:46-55.

In reading that precious Paragraph of Scripture, one cannot help but be impressed with the fact that it is perfectly full of Scripture.

Mary either quoted or alluded to the Holy Writings of God, the Canon, in every verse!

For example, look with me at verse 46. "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord." These words were uttered while Mary was visiting Elisabeth, expectant mother of John the Baptist. The sentence says, in essence, "Praise the Lord!"

The name Mary, a derivative of Miriam, means "rebellion!" At least the first two sources I checked say so. That being the case, Mary, by God's saving Grace, turned her rebellion into submission! In fact we all were rebels against Almighty God ... until He saved us!

The verb "said" is a translation of "epo," perhaps related to "rheo," and is used only in the "past" tense. What is declared here was said exactly like this only once! Probably Mary was a constant student of Scripture and by tomorrow she would have had more new "quotes" to add anyway! Her next prayer or psalm of praise no doubt would have been even more Biblically oriented!

The noun "soul" is "psuche" and literally means "breath." It is at least a reference to her "innermost being." In her heart, her spirit, the deepest recesses of her mind and will and emotions, Mary sincerely speaks these words!

Now to the verb. "Doth magnify" is a rendering of "megaluno." It means "to enlarge, to make great, to show to be big!" In the old Latin Bible, "doth magnify" is spelled "magnificat." And this Passage of Scripture has been called just that ever since, "The Magnificat" of Mary! This term is a present tense verb. It's a lifestyle with Mary to praise the Lord, to uplift His dear Name!

The noun "Lord" is "kurios." While it can be used as just a term of respect, as in "sir," here it is much more. The word means "one with power and authority!" It's "root" is "kuros" and means "supremacy." Paul nailed it precisely when he said of Jesus: "That in all things He might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:18

Mary, Jesus is conceived in your womb!

"My soul doth magnify the Lord."

But look at this.

After her baby boy was born, Hannah, another godly Mother in Israel, said: "And Hannah prayed, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD." 1st Samuel 2:1

Or listen to David in Psalm 34, at the beginning: "My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together."


Or again the Psalmist says: "And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation." Psalm 35:9

The first words out of Mary's mouth, in worship anyway, were snippets of Scripture!

She really based "My soul doth magnify the Lord" on other Bible verses! She echoes the saints of history here!

She thought according to Bible patterns!

Her mind was saturated in God's Word!

No wonder she was chosen to be the Virgin mother whom the Holy Spirit blessed so abundantly!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we shall see if this "pattern" continues.

Does Mary let her mouth speak Scripture for ten solid verses?

If so, we have a young Bible scholar on our hands!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P. S. --- For those of you who would like to see how the Holy Spirit uses that word for "magnificat," see all eight New Testament instances below. I will capitalize the word or words translated from "megaluno" or one of its cognates.

Matthew 23:5 says, "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments."

And of course here's our Text, Luke 1:46, where Mary declares: "My soul doth magnify the Lord."

Then Luke 1:57 says of Elisabeth: "And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her." Here it's just an adjective.

Acts 5:13 adds: "And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them."

And at Cornelius' house, in Acts 10:46, we read: "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter ...."

Acts 19:17 comments: "And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified."

Then Paul, in 2nd Corinthians 10:15 opines: "Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand."

Then lastly, Philippians 1:20, in typical Pauline fashion says: "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."




Short verses they are, but powerful!

And all spoken by a lady, Mary the Virgin!

This is part of Mary's great Psalm of Praise in which she magnifies the Lord! It's often called by its Latin name, the Magnificat.

Hear her in Luke 1:47. "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."

The noun "spirit" is "pneuma" and literally means a current of air, or just breath. It is derived from "pneo," to breathe hard! To blow as does the wind!

The verb "hath rejoiced" is spelled "agallian" and blends "agan" meaning "much" and "hallomai" meaning "to jump, to spring up, to leap," usually for joy!

Mary's spirit is not the only thing that leaped that day! Listen to Elisabeth, expecting little John the Baptist quite soon! "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." Luke 1:41-42

Now also notice the golden nugget of theology Mary drops next! She is rejoicing "in God her Saviour." This prepositional phrase actually names Jesus, Mary's son according to the flesh but God's divine Son eternally, and equates Him to Almighty God!

Jesus is God!

And Mary already knows it!

Also see here that Mary called her little infant Son, yet to be born even, her very "Saviour!"

Mary got saved just like every other sinner!

Jesus is her Saviour too!

Her Redeemer and Deliverer and Provider and Sustainer!

Her All in All!

But wait a minute! Look what Mary has done. Not only has she exposed her very heart, worshipping God deeply ... she also has again quoted the Old Testament prolifically.

Compare Mary's words: "My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."

Now notice, as Mary did long ago, "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Psalm 18:2 here calls God our "Salvation!"

Or, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him." See the joy in Psalm 28:7!

Or maybe she is alluding to Psalm 78:35. "And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer."

No doubt Mary too is a student of Isaiah the Prophet! "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:2-3

This godly lady knew her Bible!

Scripture literally flows from her lips!

No wonder she was so used of God!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




She was so humble.

Truly a meek young lady.

I'm speaking of the Virgin Mary.

Upon learning that she was to be the mother of Jesus, she burst into praise.

She, talking about God, said: "For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." Luke 1:48

"Handmaiden," the term she used to describe herself, is actually a feminine form of "doulos," a common slave! She's a servant of the Lord!

"Low estate," one word in Greek, is "tapeinosis" and means something like "lowness." It verbal root means "to depress, to humiliate." John the Baptist had a goal, "He must increase, but I must decrease." It sounds like Mary had already achieved such a noble attitude.

The verb "regarded" is interesting. It's "epiblepo," It means "to place one's eyes upon" someone!

Knowing she was "nothing" in the sight of the world, a mere espoused wife of a carpenter named Joseph, common within herself ... Mary also recognized what God was doing with her. She was to be the mother of the Messiah!

Therefore, "From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."

"Henceforth" is just the little Greek adverb "nun," meaning "now."

"Generations" represents "genea." It is from a background that means "to cause to be." These are the successive fathers, sons, grandsons, great-grandsons, and so forth ... age after age of humans coming and going.

The term "call me blessed" is quite rare in the New Testament, being found only twice. It's "makarizo," meaning " to pronounce someone happy, well off, fortunate." James uses the verb, here capitalized for identification purposes. "Behold, we count them happy which endure." James 5:11

But now, there's a big difference between calling someone blessed and worshiping them!

Worship is reserved for Jesus, not Mary!

Mary we simply honor as the obedient and pure young lady whom the Holy Spirit "overshadowed," a miracle of course.

But the thing to notice today is yet again how Mary, even in these words of verse 48, is building her praise on Scripture!

She knew the Bible exceedingly well, especially to be a young lady!

Mary: "For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."

Yet Hannah in 1st Samuel 1:11 said: "O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."

Notice the amazing similarity!

This same attitude of lowliness prevails in 1st Samuel 2:8, still with Hannah: "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill."

It seems that Mary the soon-to-be mother is experiencing her spiritual journey, having a little baby Boy, through the eyes of another godly lady of years past! Hannah, mother of the Prophet Samuel!

After all, Paul did tell us of these Old Testament accounts: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1st Corinthians 10:11

Mary, lady who loved the Bible!

And studied it in her home as she grew to maturity!

Yes, in that sense we all should call her blessed!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The young Jewish virgin named Mary knew how to praise the Lord!

She even knew the Name of the Lord to be praised!

Let me show you what she said.

Luke's Gospel records her precise words, among which are: "For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name." Luke 1:49

"Mighty" here is an adjective. It describes "One Who is able." Spelled "dunatos," it's that old "dynamite" word which means "inherent" ability! Energy that is "within" ... already there, ready to be used! "Potential" energy the scientists sometimes say. Reserved, on hand, in stock, available!

Mary, having just learned that she is to be the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, bearing the little body God is going to inhabit in order to save lost sinners, full well knows how "mighty" this great God is!

The verb "hath done" is especially significant here. It's spelled "poieo" in its base form and means "to make or do," but with this nuance ... to make something lovely, something acceptable, something "poetic" to use an English derivative!

What has God done to Mary? Let Gabriel tell her in his own words: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

Jesus, God the Son, is to be born!

Virgin born!

And Mary is the instrument through whom God will work!

Then, without going too far, let me assert that Jesus, having been sent to earth God incarnate, is Something beautiful!

Someone lovely!

A Poem Divine!

When He walks and talks and ministers to others ... one is seeing Poetry in motion!

No wonder God could not keep from saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17 and again in Matthew 17:5 and then Mark 9:7 and Luke 9:35 too!

And "poieo" here is an aorist verb, signifying that the virgin birth was a one-time Event! It will not occur again! Jesus came and successfully provided redemption for the lost! His next coming will be in His resurrected glorified body, not having to endure the birth process again! He is alive for evermore!

The English pronoun "me," where Mary declares that God hath done "to her" great things, is a declension of "ego," the dative singular of which is "moi." It, having no written preposition, means "to me" or "for me" God has done this great thing.

Yes, not only "to" Mary was this miracle extended, but also "for" her! Think how the incarnation of Jesus augmented her faith, strengthened her resolve to be what God wanted her to be! She, having learned of the plan of God, immediately said to the angel: "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." Luke 1:38

"Great things" translates "megaleios," excellent things! Things wonderful or splendid or magnificent! This word is built upon the "mega" stem, just meaning "big!"

I too would say the Virgin Birth is a Big Thing, the greatest Event of history apart from Calvary! And Calvary even could not have occurred had the Virgin Birth not happened first!

Again, today's Verse:

"For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name."

Mary knew this Lord's Name too!

It is "holy!"

"Hagios" means sacred, filled with awe! This is the same word for "holy" that is used in the name "Holy Ghost" or "Holy Spirit" too! It flows from "hagnos" which is from "hazo," to venerate! Really it means that which is "separated" from evil! Set apart! Different! Unique! Dedicated to God!

By "name" or "onoma" Mary means the whole Essence of God. Name indicates Character in Scripture.

God's fundamental attribute is just that, "Holiness!

No place in Scripture can I find a group of angels crying "Love, Love Love" to God! Or "Patience, Patience, Patience!" But twice at least do I hear "Holy, Holy, Holy" flowing from the courts of Glory!

"Holy is His Name!"

Mary is teaching us how to praise God!

But where did she get her "pattern?"

The more I study this "Magnificat," the more I am sure! She derived all these things, from Luke 1:46 to Luke 1:55, out of the Holy Scriptures, the Old Testament scrolls!


Mary: "For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name."

"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." Genesis 17:1 here just might be where Mary first learned that God is "Mighty," Almighty in fact!

"Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle," asks Psalm 24:8, picturing the coming Son of God!

The "great things to me" part of our verse may have sprung from Samuel in his farewell sermon: "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you." 1st Samuel 12:24

Mary is fusing together various and pertinent portions of the Word of God, blending them into her personal words of worship and praise!

Great things, Mary? "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." Psalm 126:2-3

Or Psalm 71:19 might have been the verse Mary read during her morning devotions that day! "Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!" Amen!

And as far as God's Name is concerned, Psalm 111:9 teaches us: "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name."


This precious girl named Mary is a walking concordance!

A Bible scholar!

A young lady who had already obediently developed the fine art of meditating on God's Word!

No wonder God used her so!

He signally blesses all who "live" in His Word!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The "fulness" of time had nearly arrived.

In this Biblical sense ... "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4-5

John presents us with even more detailed truth. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

This event, the Incarnation and Virgin Birth of God the Son, is being celebrated in Luke 1:46-55. Mary herself is the psalmist. Her words are now known by the Latin verb that introduces the whole paragraph, the Magnificat.

God having come to earth!

Come to stay for a while, over three decades!

Come to redeem sinners, dying on a cruel Roman cross!

Come to be buried and raised from the dead, fulfilling the Gospel with all its blessings!

And the little virgin girl who is here so intelligently praising God, she herself being the instrument physically speaking through whom that "Holy Thing" would be born, is raptured by the very thought!

If Mary must reduce this whole glorious fact, God in human flesh ... completely God and completely man, come to seek and to save that which was lost, it will be with one glorious word!

And here's that word, "mercy!"

Yes, Mary sings, "And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation." Luke 1:50

Mary lived in the Age of Law, the dispensation marked by "an eye for an eye" legislation, yet she now sings of "mercy!"

That's correct!

There's even mercy in the Old Testament of course. God is God, all the way through the Bible!

But with the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, mercy is about to be manifest as never before in all history!

In today's verse "fearing" God is equal to reverencing Him and adoring Him, worshipping Him really. "Phobeo" is the strong word used here. It's the Greek translation of the Hebrew "yare." Our English word "phobia" illustrates that this word has a darker sense too, one of dread and terror.

"Mercy" is the noun "eleos" in Greek. It means compassion, but in an extremely aggressive and active sense! It's an outward manifestation of pity, but only on the needy! It always indicates the ability of the Giver to adequately minister to the pain and suffering of the recipient! I once heard an old Preacher distinguish mercy from grace like this: Mercy for your misery and Grace for your guilt!

Mary had all her life "feared" God!

Now, Gabriel having come with his life-changing Announcement, Mary has experienced God's "Mercy" in a special way too!

Thus she says, "And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation."

With Jesus coming into the world now, Mercy Personified, nothing will ever be the same!

"From generation to generation" the Story of Mercy will be told again and again, without end!

"Genea" is a derivative of "genos," one's very "kin!" Thus a "generation" grammatically is an age of births, many births! Births wherein babies grow into teens and teens into men and women and fathers and mothers into elderly men and women, the cycle then being repeated!

From this day forward ... God's Mercy is alive!

Now some of you may object to me calling Jesus "Mercy."

If so, I have no counter-attack to launch against you!

I just mention this fact. When discussing the Mercy Seat in Hebrews 9:5, Paul uses a unique word, "hilasterion." It is the normal word for "propitiation!" To please the anger of a Righteous God, to placate His wrath against sin!

Brothers and Sisters, that's exactly what Jesus did!

Now watch "hilasterion" in Romans 3:25, its only other location in the New Testament! "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." This "propitiation" certainly is Jesus, no doubt!

Since the two words are identical, Jesus is the Appeasement, the Propitiation, and the Mercy Seat also!

Jesus is Mercy!

Jesus is God!

And, by the way, Mary did not come up with these words all by herself! Again, obviously alluding to Old Testament Scriptures, this little Bible scholar blends verses like Lamentations 5:19 and Exodus 20:6  and Exodus 34:6.

"Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation."

"Shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

 "The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin ...."

Thank God today for His Mercy!

Praise Him for It!

Sing of it too!


                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The virgin Mary, in her great Psalm of Praise recorded by Luke, said some things that are rather general in nature. Wonderful things she noticed ... such as God's Mercy and Power.

However, Mary also said some very specific things too.

Today's verse is an example of the latter. "He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts." Luke 1:51

The verb for "showed" is spelled "poieo" and means "to make or to do." In the King James Bible it's translated "do" 357 times and "make" 113 more times. Only 5 times is it "show." God here is actually being said to "make" strength! He's indeed the Creator of Power and Ability and Authority!

The noun "strength" is "kratos," believed by many scholars to be particularly "manifested power." The word is often associated with "dominion." The "kra" prefix indicates "perfecting, completing or creating" something.

Using a noun that only appears in Scripture only 3 times, "brachion," God's "Arm" is mentioned. It's from "brasso," meaning "to wield."

The verb "scattered" is "diaskorpizo," which blends "skorpios," a sting like that of a scorpion, and "dia," all the way through something! That's a good way to "scatter" things!

"Proud" is spelled "huperephanos," blending "phaino," to shine or to show off oneself, and "hyper," over or above! This kind of pride is that which makes a person act "better than anyone else!"  My folks used to say "stuck-up!"

"Imagination" is from the Greek "dianoia," another blended term. "Nous" is one's "mind" or "intellect." And again, "dia" is a preposition meaning "through." So we have ... a "thinking through" of things! Deep thought!

"Kardia" means "heart" in Greek. See "cardiologist" therein! It carries the idea of that which is "innermost" to a person.

Everything Mary has said here is so specific and so right and so ... inspired! Yet, from whence did this unusual series of thoughts spring?

Mary: "He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts." Luke 1:51

Now notice Psalm 89:10. "Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm."

See the similarities? "Rahab" often represents pride or rebellion in the Old Testament.

Psalm 89:13 continues: "Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand."

Mary has read these words, maybe even memorizing them!

Watch this Psalm 68:1 prayer: "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him." Mary knew this one too!

And every day during the wilderness journeys of Israel, when the Cloud of Glory moved: "And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee." Numbers 10:35

Folks, there is just no way around the fact that this young godly Jewish lady knew her Bible extremely well!

That may be one reason why God used her so mightily!

I'd say giving birth to Jesus was a great thing!

Truly in her life Joshua 1:8 is distinctly illustrated! "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."


Let's study the Word today!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Paul the Apostle said that Old Testament events happened for our benefit, those of us who live in these last days!

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1st Corinthians 10:11

Saying about the same thing yet in a different way, he penned the Romans these words: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4

Neither of these great Verses had been written when Mary the Virgin practiced them!

When she was expecting her first Child, Baby Jesus, miraculously conceived by Divine Appointment, she found someone in the Old Testament who was also a glad mother! Hannah was the lady's name.

In fact, Hannah expressed a Psalm of Praise when she first brought the child Samuel to the Temple, dedicating him to God. Mary found a godly example in Hannah, the older woman giving the younger one comfort and instruction.

Mary said in Luke 1:52, praising God: "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree."

Hannah said in 1st Samuel 2:6-8, praising God: "The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them."

As you can see, Mary adapted and refined Hannah's idea! She built her speech, the Magnificat, on Old Testament Scripture.

This is one of the things that makes the Psalms of the Old Testament, all of them, so exciting!

We can live our lives through the lenses of those inspired Psalmists, letting the Word of God direct our every move! In Mary's case here, our very words!

Let's briefly examine what Mary just said, Luke 1:52. "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree."

The pronoun "He" obviously refers to God Himself.

The verb "put down" is dramatic! It blends "kata," meaning "down," and "airo," meaning "to lift up!" See it? Lifting something up as high as you can ... then flinging it to the ground below you!

The "mighty" of earth are the "powerful!" In Greek it's the word "dunastes." It means power or strength on hand, in reserve. Its root verb means "to be able, to be possible!"

The noun "seats," to Luke "thronos," means just what it says, thrones! A chair of power or authority!

The verb "exalted" is "hupsoo," means "to elevate, to lift up high." It springs from the preposition "huper," in English "hyper!"

"Low degree," a single word in Greek, is spelled "tapeinos." It means humble, or even depressed! Not rising far from the ground! Once it is "cast down" in the King James Text.

I personally think Mary has herself in mind here, a lowly and virtuous little Jewish maiden, whom God has exalted! The Lord chose Mary to be the bearer of the physical body of Jesus, God the Son! That's a promotion!

When Hannah had originally talked about God "bringing down" and "bringing low" certain people, she no doubt had her adversary in mind. Her husband's other wife, Peninnah, provoked and mocked Hannah for her barrenness! But God intervened, demoting Peninnah and exalting the once childless Hannah!

Mary too must have had some adversary in mind when she said of God, "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree."

That enemy might be the Devil!

When Jesus came, God the Saviour born of a Virgin, it was for one supreme reason! To save sinners ... but also to destroy the works of the devil! So says Paul in Hebrews 2:14, "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Then adds John, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

Mary worships God as she talks to cousin Elisabeth!

I believe one can do such, worship as he or she multitasks.

I know its possible to worship as one preaches!

Mary, godly daughter of Israel and student of the Old Testament, is also capable of teaching us all some things about adoring Almighty God!

Even to this point: "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."

"Be it unto me according to Thy Word!"

That's submission to the Lord!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Was she poor?

Was she that poor?

Or perhaps she had the "poor in spirit" in mind.

Or maybe for some other reason altogether!

Again today the focus is on Mary, the Virgin Mary.

We learn most about her from her great hymn of praise. Luke carefully recorded it in the first chapter of his Gospel.

Here's part of it: "He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away." Luke 1:53

The "He" is our good Lord. No doubt about that. Mary's Psalm centers on the Almighty God. But, like Paul often would do, this Almighty God is also the Saviour! Statements such as these prove the divinity of Jesus Christ! He is God, "very God of very God," the old-timers used to say! An old hymn of days past ended with the words "my Saviour and my God."

"Hath filled" is the inspired sentence's verb. "Empiplemi" means "much, the largest amount, abundant" (in Greek, "pleistos") added to a prefix, the preposition "en," meaning "within" or "down inside" something. Fully loaded within one's being!

The "hungry," a present participle built on the verb "peinao," means "starving." To toil for one's daily substance! This is a strong word!

"Good things," in Greek "agathos," are useful, beneficial, satisfactory, fitting, sound things. Usually, in distinction to "kalos," our word here means "intrinsic good." Like James says, using "agathos" as well: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights ...." James 1:17

The "rich" are represented by "plouteo," another verb expressed in its participial form. Its root, "pletho," means "to fill completely." These wealthy ones have no needs, being "full" in that sense.

"To send away" translates "exapostello." Note the word "apostle" in it, meaning a "sent one." The heart of this term is "stello," a verb meaning "to set fast," or just "to send" as most textbooks say! Then "ek" is prefixed, meaning "from" or "out from." This usually is a person who has been commissioned to go forth, bearing a message! But in this case here, it means "to send away." In like manner Luke 20:10 presents a servant who was "sent away" empty!

"Empty," means "vain" in its old-fashioned sense. "Kenos" depicts that which is "hollow." It has a synonym, "mataios," meaning "void of results." While "kenos" usually suggests "void of inner quality." This strongly implies that in the states of poverty or wealth a person can learn a lot! Or miss a lot!

To answer the question with which this Lesson began, Mary certainly could have been from a poor Jewish family.

Poor financially anyway!

But spiritually quite prosperous it appears!

But here's another possible reason she used these words in her Psalm of Praise. She may have still had Hannah on her mind!

Mary: "He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away."

Hannah: "They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased." 1st Samuel 2:5

Both ladies were focusing on little babies, Samuel and Jesus! These children were little "equalizers" to their Moms! They made all other problems, including hunger, go far away!

Or Mary may have had her eyes on the bigger picture, all the Psalms of Israel. "The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing." Psalm 34:10


Jesus for the Believer is just That, the Supplier of every need! That does not always mean that He gives us all we want! Often not! It means He is the Sufficiency of life! Having Him is better than having ___________, whatever that need might have been!

Or, as the old chorus said, "Christ is ALL I need!"

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Several themes recur in Mary's Psalm of Praise.

One of these is the Mercy of God!

In Luke 1:50 Mary declared: "And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation."

Then again in Luke 1:54 she thankfully says: "He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy."

The noun for "mercy" is "eleos" in Greek and means kindness or good-will toward those who are in misery or afflicted or suffering. It is active compassion, and one of God's attributes.

Verse 54 suggests that Israel, the Nation being in view here, was then experiencing a difficult time in her history. Indeed! By the way, "Israel" means "ruled by God," or something quite close to that. These people are dear to the Lord's heart! "The Apple of His Eye," so God calls Israel at least three different times in the Old Testament. The Jews are God's "chosen people" Daniel says.

Also notice that Mary uses a synonym for Israel, "servant" of God. This name is also applied to Messiah, especially by Isaiah the Prophet.

Here is Israel as God's servant: "Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen." Isaiah 44:1

Now here's Messiah, Jesus, as Servant: "And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him." Or even, "Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high." Isaiah 49:5 and 52:13

Mary is likely thinking of national Israel at this time, Israel God's servant, because she is soon to give birth to Jesus, to the Lord, to the Messiah ... also the Servant of the Lord!

In Hebrew "servant" is spelled "ebed" and merely means a "slave." But the Greek noun the Holy Spirit uses here is "pais" and means "child." What progression! From a slave to a son!

But theologically how can Israel the Nation go from being a slave to being a son? By means of Jesus and His shed Blood on the Cross of Calvary! That's the only way anyone truly becomes a child of God, via the New Birth!

Behind the hard facts of Verse 54 is Jesus! Jesus Scripturally and theologically and grammatically too! "He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy."

And a girl said that?

A brilliant young lady, virtuous and spiritual as she could be! And quite a Bible scholar too!

The term "remembrance" is spelled "mnesthenai" and comes from one of two roots. "Meno" meaning "to remain" or "masso," meaning "to hold onto or squeeze" something, both are expressions picturing mental tenacity! God does not forget!

Then the old English verb "holpen" must be studied. Combining two words, the preposition "anti" and the verb "lambano," holpen means "to take hold of" someone in order to assist them! To reach down and grab someone, holding on to them vicariously, for their safety or protection or advancement! Used only three times in Scripture, including here, its Acts 20:35 appearance says "ye ought to support the weak!" Then 1st Timothy 6:2 has it: "partakers of the benefit!"

Mary no doubt was feeling God's very "help" as she spoke those words!

And here's some good news for all who believe in Jesus, He helps you too!

One short verse, "He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy."

Yet enough encouragement for a whole day ... and more!

A God Who never forgets to show Mercy!

And a God Who helps and supports and loves His Own!

And a God Who has made us, not slaves, but sons!


                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


A short postscript: I just said Mary was a Bible student par excellence. Let me show you why this is believed so fervently.

Mary's words: "He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy." Luke 1:54

The Psalmist's words: "He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God." Psalm 98:3

Isaiah's words: "Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me." Isaiah 44:21

Habakkuk's words: "O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy." Habakkuk 3:2

See the many similarities? Mary was either directly quoting or indirectly referring to many various Scripture Texts as she praised God that day! Remember that her whole Psalm, the Magnificat, covers Luke 1:46-55, a whole paragraph!




Some will think this to be critical.

It is not.

We have been studying Mary, Mary the Virgin as we now call her. That's what she was when Jesus was born from her womb, untouched by a man. Later she and Joseph lived together as husband and wife, having children of their own. See Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 for some of their names.

Mary offered her beautiful Psalm of Praise, Luke 1:46-55, when in the "hill country" visiting her cousin Elisabeth, soon-to-be mother of John the Baptist!

Her hymn consists of ten precious verses, just loaded with Scripture! What a pure heart she had! How she loved the Lord! She even therein once called God her "Saviour!" Truthfully, the very Baby to which she gave Birth was very God of very God, the eternal Second Person of the Godhead, and indeed the Redeemer of the lost!

Today we reach the last verse of this great Text. "As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." Luke 1:55

Mary, a Jewish young lady, all the way through her composition, celebrates the ways of God. But she does so mostly within the confines of the Jewish world. Look at the terms such as "His servant Israel" and then "our fathers," by which she means the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, all Israelites. Then, at the end, "Abraham and his seed" for ever!

She rejoices, and rightly so, in her heritage.

But, now the perhaps "critical" part, I see no clear by-name reference to the Gentiles! Yes, "Abraham" means "father of many." But these multitudes would be Semitic people.

By the way, in her last verse, "As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever," she uses the Greek noun "sperma," which of course is translated as "seed." This concept is on her mind so distinctly at this time because of her physical condition, soon expecting the Birth of Jesus! Miraculously so! Jeremiah, many believe describing the Virgin Birth of Jesus, said that some day such would occur! "The LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man." Jeremiah 31:22 here seems to be suggesting that a woman (Mary the Virgin) would once render a man's regenerative capabilities non-essential, giving birth without a man being involved at all! It happened! Like this, according to Gabriel: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

And indeed Mary is right! Jesus is born of the "seed" of Abraham! Mary was Jewish!

Here Mary delights in her parentage, especially its spiritual leanings! God has spoken to her people since their very inception! Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph and the Priests and Kings and Prophets ... even virgin daughters!

But, to continue what some will wrongly call critical, Mary does not yet see something!

Isaiah saw it! Speaking of Jesus, he wrote: "I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." Isaiah 42:6-7 mentions the Gentiles!

Mary didn't!

Jeremiah saw it! "O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit." Jeremiah 16:19 has them coming to Jesus to be saved, repenting of their sins!

But Mary didn't!

So did Malachi! "For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 1:11

But Mary didn't!

And the New Testament is full of it, Gentile salvation!

Even Simeon saw it, when Jesus was still an Infant! Luke tells us that Simeon in the Temple "took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy Salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." Luke 2:28-32

But Mary didn't!

Paul most especially thunders it, being the very "Apostle unto the Gentiles!" Hear him in Romans 11:14, "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office."

Better yet, every Gentile saved Paul considered a new and fresh "offering" to the Lord God, Jesus Who died on Calvary for sinners to be saved! "That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that The offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:16

Preacher, why did Mary not see such a thing?

Because she was not "preaching" in this Text, no woman ever Biblically does this.

She is worshipping, praising God, exulting in her circumstances!

Delighting in her Saviour!

You see, Mary is good and godly and holy ... but not without weakness!

She is not infallible!

She is not impeccable!

She is not sinless!

She did not know everything!

She lacked the full revelation of all Jesus would accomplish!

What she said was great!

What she missed would have been deadly to us Gentiles!

Thank God others told us! "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off (Gentiles) are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Here in Ephesians 2:11-13 Paul reminds us that we Gentiles, the very offscouring of the earth to most Jews, have now been included in God's saving Grace! "Made nigh" by the Blood of the lamb!

Thank you Paul for telling us!

Thank you Jesus for Salvation!

Thank you Holy Spirit for convicting us!

And thank you Mary for yielding yourself to the Lord!

Thank God for His precious Word!

Praise God for Salvation today!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


P. S. --- And though Mary did not see it all, she did continue to draw from the Old Testament Scriptures.


Mary: "As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever." Luke 1:55

The Lord in Genesis 12:1-3, speaking to Abraham: "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Note "for ever," which Mary used in her Psalm! "For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever." Genesis 13:15

And Genesis 17:19, "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him."

Then comes Psalm 89, which must have been a favorite to Mary! "Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah." Or "His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven." Or even, "His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me." Psalm 89:4 and 29 and 36

Mary knew the Word of God!

How her life should excite us to study God's precious Book!




I had intended to end this series of studies on Mary the virgin yesterday.

Luke 1:46-55 tells of her great Psalm of Praise, every line of it so full of Scripture!

But the Lord seemed to point me to verse 56 as well.

After ten verses of worship, one of the greatest Hymns in the Bible, we are carefully told by the Holy Spirit: "And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house." Luke 1:56 just says that Mary stayed with Elisabeth for some time, prior to returning to Nazareth.

The verb "abode," in Greek "meno," has a peaceful tone to it. It means "to remain, to tarry, to dwell, to continue or to await." Mary felt at home with her relative, also a godly lady.

While thirteen weeks is quite a bit of time, it certainly does not equal permanent residence!

Mary "returned" to her home thereafter. "Hupostrepho" is a word that means "to twist or turn or reverse" oneself. Mary doubled back from the "hill country" to Nazareth.

So far both of today's verbs are aorists in reference to time. That just means that the action they are conveying is now complete. We are reading sacred and accurate Bible history. These things really happened.

The noun "house" in Greek is "oikos." It means a "home, a dwelling place," a building in which one lives. We know nearly nothing about Mary's family, save that we believe she is the daughter of Heli. We think Luke gives the genealogy of Jesus through Mary.

Here's my point today.

A thirteen week time of rest, most today would call that a "vacation" or maybe an "extended vacation." Time to get away and think and rest and have a change of pace! Even Jesus told His Disciples, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while." Mark 6:31

But ... look what Mary did in her time away from home!

She worshipped the Lord!

She kept her mind on Jesus and holy things! "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart," Luke tells us later. To "keep," in Greek "suntereo," means "to guard" precious things! To "ponder" is to "throw them together" in one's mind! Rather excitedly and enthusiastically it seems!

She talked with relatives about the coming Birth of the Saviour!

She spent those three months in holy living!

Then I began to think.

What do folks today do on vacation?

The average "church-member?"

Mr. or Mrs. "Baptist?"

Your typical teenage young lady?

Far too often vacation has become a time to NOT go to Church!

To see things and say things that are "out of line" with one's normal lifestyle!

To dress differently and act differently and sort of "forget" all that spiritual routine!

How Mary puts all such activity to shame!

Poor as she was!

Seldom as she traveled away from home!

Yet she stayed true to her God!

She obviously studied a lot of Scripture too!

No doubt there were some Scrolls in the home of righteous Zacharias and Elisabeth!


Genuinely godly!

No wonder she, the virgin Mary, was so mightily used of God!

What kind of vacation did you have?

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell







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