What Jesus Did! 'A Burst of Praise' — Luke 1:46-56

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

[After Elizabeth's exclamation of how blessed Mary was,] Mary responded,
"Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever."
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
— Luke 1:46-56 NLT

Key Thought

Two thoughts immediately strike me about Mary's song — known as the Magnificat.
  • Notice how easily she slipped into praise passages from the Old Testament to speak her praise to God! [1] Imagine being that familiar with the language of praise. What a wonderful thing for us to do — to let the language and idiom of praise from the Bible become our own.
  • Mary was probably very young when this happened. We often expect way too little of our children's knowledge of Scripture.

So let's be touched by Mary's praise, and then let's take these two principles and turn them loose in our lives and families!

[1] Mary's song is similar to Hannah's song (1 Samuel 2:1-10) and also has echoes of many other Old Testament passages, as summarized here.

Today's Prayer

O righteous God, my Heavenly Father, forgive me for my inadequate words of praise. Give me a heart that desires to honor you with my life and my words. Through your Spirit, give my mind extraordinary ability to recall the praise I read in Scripture so that my limited language to express my love to you will be enriched. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 147:1-7
  • Romans 11:33-35
  • Ephesians 3:20-21


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Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Tuesday, January 17, 2023

A daily passage of Scripture emphasizing praise to our God.
"And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: "Blessing and honor and glory and power belong....."
A daily devotional featuring wise counsel found in Scripture.
"But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."
The classic twice-daily devotional from Charles H. Spurgeon.
"The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, "I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!"....."
A daily dose of Christian quotes to inspire and encourage.
"All but God is changing day by day."


Illustration of Luke 1:46-56 NLT — "Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.