Mary's hymn is one of three major hymnic pieces in the infancy material (the others are known as the Benedictus, Lk 1:67-79, and Nunc Dimittis, Lk 2:28-32). The Latin names come from the phrases that begin the hymns. Mary's hymn expresses praise to God for his treatment of her, but then extends her praise to how God has treated the righteous throughout the ages and how he will vindicate them fully in the future. Understanding what God is doing, Mary possesses a mood of joy. She speaks for herself and for her community, the people of God throughout time. God is worthy of praise for what he will do in taking care of his own. Understanding God's blessing moves the believer to joy and appreciation, since the Almighty cares personally for us and acts on our behalf.
Mary is exemplary of the humble, faithful disciple. That a woman provides such an example is significant, since first-century culture often relegated women to a secondary status. Such examples exist in the Old Testament as well (Miriam in Ex 15:21; Hannah in 1 Sam 2:1-10; Deborah in Judg 5). One of the beauties of Luke's infancy material is that different sorts of people all experience joy at the arrival of Jesus. This reveals Jesus' universal appeal.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Want to get the most out of Bible Gateway? Find out why Bible Gateway Plus is the ultimate toolkit for anyone seeking to grow closer to the Word. For less than the cost of a latte, Plus membership gives you access to a complete digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads. Try it free for 30 days!