November 21, 2021
We don’t like to be around proud people… Who wants to invite over a proud person? At the same time, we are quite tolerant toward our own pride… We do not like when people look down on us, but we don’t mind ourselves looking down at people. We are quick to notice when people are being boastful, and put themselves above others, but we tolerable toward our own self-exaltation…
Humility is the opposite of… pride! It is interesting to note humility plays an important role in the Nativity story! At the birth of the firstborn of the king, people talk about anything but humility! The speak about the pride of the king and of the country… But the story of the birth of Jesus has humility woven into it like a bright ribbon!
Read (Luke 1:39-56)
The humility of Christmas is the foundation of your relationship with God! This is important for both, believers and those who know very little about God, and Jesus Christ. Humility is like a key on how God wants us to react to any think that comes our way in life.
3 steps of humility toward God!
I. Humility is the work of the Holy Spirit (vv. 39-56)
It is not a coincidence that we now talk about both, Elizabeth and Mary. The fact is that the song of Mary is a kind of response/reaction to what Elizabeth has said. And Elizabeth, in turn, says what she says because of one interesting experience – (v. 41) – she was filled with the Holy Spirit. This is a very interesting phenomenon, difficult to describe! But even more interesting is that John was the first to react to Mary’s greeting in Elizabeth’s womb! The prophetic ministry of John the Baptist has already begun. The angel has already said that John will be filled by the Holy Spirit from womb (1:15). (v. 44) “for joy” – literally – with delight. This is his ministry (John 3:29).
The side note… The Bible clearly says that a child in the womb is a person, it is a real person; it is a life where emotions and sensations are present! The Bible says that a child in the womb is a person who has the right to life, and abortion is a violation of God’s order. If you have already don this in the past. God is able to forgive and wash your sin away, as He does to any of our sins when we confess, but the Bible says that we ought to value life in the womb!
Looking at the NT, we see that there are certain conditions that must be met for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
1) Salvation (Acts 4:29-31) – being filled with the Spirit during prayer
2) Obedience to the Scripture (Col. 3:16) – the Word dwells in
3) Sincere desire (Eph. 5:18) – longing for!
Now, let’s trace the connection between being filled with the Holy Spirit and humility.
John the Baptist (1:15) – filled with the Spirit, and “He must increase, but I must decrease”.
Zechariah (1:67) – filled with the Holy Spirit – after serious work on humility (9 months of not being able to speak).
Simeon (2:25-26) – a lifelong waiting for Messiah (waiting humbles).
Jesus (3:21-22) – the Holy Spirit visible descended on Jesus and as a result (4:1) – He is filled with the Spirit.
What conclusions can we draw?
Application: It is in the church or in the fellowship of believers that a person can receive the very encouragement of God, similar to the encouragement of Elizabeth to Mary. We need the church!
II. Humility is worshiping God (vv. 46-49a)
In these verses, Mary worships God! Glorifies God!
(v. 48) – humility, the lowly position of a slave (insignificance).
What prevents us from worshiping God?
Pride – because pride cannot honestly praise anyone but self. Pride is worshiping yourself and your desires!
2 components of humility: 1) Personal perception of God. It is during worship or serving God this becomes the key!
(vv. 46, 47, 48, 49) – suddenly, this is not a theory somewhere in the book, but a personal relationship with God!
Ex. – I had information about Irina, my future wife, but at one point, this information became mysteriously personal!
2) Mary’s genuine faith in God’s promises (vv. 45, 48). Recall last Sunday (vv. 34-38) – she asks clarifying question. We can talk to God and even ask. But these are not questions of unbelief. This is a faith seeking understanding. The angel’s answer did not clarify much… God will answer and clarify, but will give just enough information to make us belief. But at the end, we must trust and act in the light of the truth.
Ex. – a child who must jump into the hands of his father…
(v. 48) – how can Mary say that she is blessed (v. 45)? Her reputation is ruined – everyone knows that the child is illegitimate! The angel did not explain to her what to do next. What she should say to Joseph, people? Maria was poor. Pregnancy itself is not an easy experience. And all this God planned for Mary! Where is the blessing, if it is not in the material wealth, not in success, and respect of people? Where is it?
(v. 46) “Magnifies” – to enlarge… (the effect of the magnifying glass), but it is used in two instruments: in the microscope and in the telescope. The same magnifying class or lens. In this case, Mary is not talking about microscope, but about a telescope, when we bring closer to our eye and understanding the immensity and the vastness of God and His greatness.
(v. 47) “rejoices” is not an accident that magnifying and rejoicing go hand in hand… When a person is faced with something really great, it takes his breath away… his pride away! As you stand on the top of the mountain, at the edge of the Grand Canyon, you admire the grandeur, the size, the vastness of… your character? No! You are in awe of what is in front of you! It is a pleasant feeling – it is a joy to forget yourself even for a minute. And it has nothing to do with your greatness, but canyon’s… God’s
(v. 47) – “my Savior” – Mary’s child will become her Savior! Savior from what? From the coming wrath against every person who did not come to God in faith and did not trust God’s plan of salvation (Rom. 1:18-25).
Only a person who is humble and who realizes his real position before God, like Elizabeth (v. 43) and how Mary (v. 48) can worship God!
(Ps. 34:18) “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
St. Augustine: “For those who would learn God’s ways, humility is the first thing, humility is the second, and humility is the third.”
So, humility, is you standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon realizing the greatness of God (the magnifying glass is in your hands for the first time) and you forget yourself and your achievement… this sweet feeling is what links humility and worship!
III. Humility is proclaiming God (vv. 49b-56)
One of the strongest texts revealing the character of God.
“mighty” – means, God is capable of creating this earth out of nothing, and capable of performing any miracle, or solve any difficult situation! Heal any disease. Calm any storm.
(Is. 9:6) – why we as Christians especially love to quote the prophets of the past and especially the prophet Isaiah. The point is that he gives clear, understandable explanations on what the Messiah will be like. In addition, the well-known Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947, in the Qumran caves. Of all the scroll that date from 200 to 100 BC, there is one unique scroll that has survived in full – the scroll of Isiah. Before the coming of Jesus, it says that a son is born – he is Mighty God!
How is the power of God manifested in our time? (Rom. 1:16-17).
“Holy” – is God’s perfection and beauty. There is no flaw in God. He is perfect. God will never agree or approve of sin or anything unclean.
“mercy” – means that God looks at us with favor and love!
(vv. 51-53) – (James 4:6-10) – pride is always opposed by God!
(vv. 54-55) – God’s faithfulness to all His promises!
Bottom line: such a complex process is for one purpose: God is recognized more deeply, and people experience joy and pleasure! By standing next to Mary during her worship, I hope we have felt the beauty and the power of humility and are ready in return take the same 3 steps of humility towards God (be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in others, worship God from the heart, and proclaim His greatness).
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