The Magnificat: Prepared for Christ with Humility
The first thing we can learn from Mary’s song is that humility is the hallmark of one who is prepared for Christ:
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” (Luke 1:46-48a, ESV)
Mary was chosen for a singularly unique role in the grand story of salvation. She would bear the one who would bear the sins of the world. Though she was chosen for such an incredible honor, she saw her “humble estate”. She seems to have had a reasonable estimate of herself and didn’t count herself worthy of this task. Her humility is important for us to see because we live in a world that mocks humility as weakness. Even we Christians have succumbed to the world in this area. We can be just as susceptible and eaten through with pride and ego problems as anyone else. Mary’s example reminds us that humility –a reasonable, accurate and sober estimate of ourselves, is the best way we can be ready for our Lord and what he wants to do in our lives.
But Christian humility takes it one step further. Anyone can be humble. Anyone can have a sober estimate of themselves. The Christian’s humility comes from understanding who they are not in comparison to other humans, but in relationship with God. Verse 48 is about God. “HE has looked upon the humble estate of HIS SERVANT.”
True humility sees us for who we are, people in need of a Savior. People who don’t have all the answers all neatly packaged. People who get it right and get it wrong all in the same hour. People who love and complain, have faith and yet still struggle with doubt. True humility takes all these things and leans them against the love and promises of God.
J.C. Ryle, once wrote:
“Humility is the highest grace that can adorn the Christian character…Above all it is the grace which is within the reach of every converted person. All are not rich. All are not highly gifted. All are not learned. All are not preachers. But all children of God may be clothed with humility.” (Ryle, Luke Vol. 1, Clarke & Co, U.K., 1956, page 36)
May your soul magnify the lord with humility as you await the coming of our Lord at Christmas.