Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

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

49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

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

54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

MEMORY VERSE: For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

Luke 1:37-38a

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Mary, chosen by God to be the mother of His son Jesus, surrendered her life to God’s will and was inspired with a sublime song of praise.


Luke 1:46 “Magnify”: make or declare great; extoll; from megas (Greek).

Luke 1:47 “God my Saviour”: Mary’s joy and faith that the Messiah, of whom she was to be the mother, was her personal Savior from sin, just as He had been foretold. This was also her answer to Elizabeth’s exultation that Mary’s coming baby was her “Lord.” Mary’s statement refutes the erroneous Catholic teaching of the Immaculate Conception, or the belief that Mary was born without a sinful nature, since she voiced her faith in her son—God’s son—as her Savior.

Luke 1:48 “Low estate”: very similar to Hannah’s prayer in I Samuel 1:11, and her song of praise in I Samuel 2:1 and 8.

Luke 1:49 “He that is mighty”: Mary’s carefulness to give proper honor and glory to God. “She teacheth those generations, which she had even now said should call her blessed, how to take notice of her…as one highly favoured of the Lord, one for whom God indeed had done great things, but not as one who had merited anything at God’s hand, much less as one to whom we should pay a greater devotion than to her Son, and speak to her that she should command her Son, according to the blasphemous devotion and idolatry of the papists. Mary is very careful of giving succeeding generations any occasion from her expressions for any such superstitions” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary).

Luke 1:50 “Fear”: godly reverence.

Luke 1:51-53 “He hath put down the mighty”: also similar to Hannah’s song.


Mary’s background was lowly and obscure; she was of Nazareth of Galilee, a city of low estimation by the Jewish leaders. Her betrothed, Joseph, also from Nazareth, was a poor carpenter, but was known as a “just” man. Mary’s side of the story is told in Luke chapter 1, while Joseph is introduced in Matthew 1. According to Luke, the angel, Gabriel, was sent to give Mary, a virgin, the message that God had highly favored her. At his first approach, Mary was troubled. Gabriel explained how God had chosen her to bear His son, the Messiah. Mary questioned honestly, “How shall this be?” since she was yet a virgin. Gabriel answered, “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.”

Mary afterward confided her news to Joseph, who was also troubled, until an angel visited him in a dream, giving him assurance and sharing the name of the child, His mission, and the proof of the prophecies that indeed, a virgin would bear the Savior of the world. He told Joseph not to fear to take Mary as his wife.

Mary’s elderly cousin, Elizabeth, was chosen to be the mother of John, the forerunner of Jesus. After Gabriel’s visit, Mary went to the hill country where Elizabeth and her husband, Zacharias, lived. When Elizabeth heard her greeting, her own child moved—”leaped”—in her womb. She was filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke loudly, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,” calling Mary’s baby her “Lord” and prophesying assuredly that there would be a performance of those things promised Mary by the Lord. At this, Mary also was filled with song and praise.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Where were Joseph and Mary from? How would this fit in with Mary’s description of herself as being of “low estate” and “low degree”?
  2. Referring back to the message from Gabriel, what did he say that gave the idea that her son—and God’s son—was her Savior? What similar thing did the angel say to Joseph?
  3. When Mary spoke about the Messiah scattering the proud, putting down the mighty, and exalting those of low degree, how was that fulfilled in Jesus’ life and ministry?
  4. Mary cited the promises God had given to _______________ of his mercy and redemption.
  5. What ancient mother’s song of praise resembles Mary’s? Share the similarities.


The inspired prophecies in the songs we have studied in this series have actually allcentered on this holy child conceived in Mary’s womb—the Son of the Highest; the One who would reign on the throne of David and over the house of Jacob forever—and on His kingdom that would have no end.

The angel Gabriel had announced the good news to Mary; Joseph also was given the knowledge of the coming child, with promises securely anchored in Holy Scripture: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel.” Emmanuel! God with us. And to each was given the name they were to call this son: JESUS. Jehovah saves.

From the advent of this Holy Son of God, the Savior, would flow a river of inspired songs and praises like the world had never known! As the religious and secular world observes the season, the one thing that still characterizes the celebration world-wide is the music. The songs that tell about our Lord, His birth, His power, glory and deliverance still ring above the worldly revelry, the antagonism, and the unbelief.

The golden theme is deliverance from sin. The strength and power He gives over the enemy. The glory and honor He gives us, who were without strength, hungry, and pressed down in the low degree of sin.

“Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we; let all within us praise His holy name! Christ is the Lord! For ever, ever praise we, His power and glory evermore proclaim!”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


“The people that in darkness sat A glorious light have seen;

The light has shined on them who long In shades of death have been.

“For unto us a child is born, To us a son is given,

And on His shoulder ever rests All power on earth and heaven.

“His name shall be the Prince of Peace Forevermore adored,

The Wonderful, the Counselor, The great and mighty Lord.

“His righteous government and power Shall over all extend;

On judgment and on justice based, His reign shall have no end.”

—John Morison (1750 – 1798)

“The prophecy of Isaiah expounded in this hymn, ‘The People That in Darkness Sat,’ is quite astonishing. Isaiah was writing in the southern kingdom of Judah when it was being threatened by the northern kingdom of Israel. God was promising Judah that he would remove the threat and that he would punish the northern kingdom by bringing the mighty Assyrians to defeat them.

“But even in this harsh judgment there was hope. Isaiah 9 opens with a promise to honor the region of Galilee—which was in the northern kingdom! Isaiah’s readers in the south might have expected great promises to Jerusalem and Judah, but Galilee? Yet these are ‘the people that walked in darkness’ (Isaiah 9:2—northerners who would see the light of Christ.)

“Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, conducting most of His public ministry around the Sea of Galilee. He was the Child born to recover David’s kingdom, not physically, but spiritually.”

The Complete Book of Hymns, by William J. Petersen and Ardythe Petersen

—Selected by Bro. Harlan Sorrell

To see the entire hymn with music, click here: