Blessed and Highly Favored!
We toss this phrase around like stove-top popcorn cooking without a lid. You can expect just about anybody who is saved and has wonderful things happening in their lives to say or be tempted to say this phrase. But what does the phrase mean? And even if we know what the phrase means, can we say that it applies to us?
This phrase is taken from Luke 1 that describes Mary, the mother of Jesus and a model of submission, and hints to why God chose her to be the vessel to give birth to God in bodily form. What a high calling! Let’s take a look at the biblical account, check it against our own behavior and determine for ourselves if we think it’s appropriate to say we are blessed and highly favored.
Typically, we casually use this saying, but this seemed to be a rare proclamation in Mary’s day (Luke 1:29). We describe ourselves as blessed and highly favored, but others said this about Mary (1:28, 30, 42, 45). We tend to magnify ourselves when we say this, but Mary magnified God (1:47). And because of whatever blessings we have we rejoice in what God does for us, but Mary rejoiced in who God is (1:47).
So think about this:
1) Mary’s humility showed immediately after Gabriel complimented her. Instead of saying, “Oh thank you,” like many of us would have done, she was troubled by and wondered what the compliment meant (1:29). Do we pause to consider the motives of others who compliment us or are we just quick to agree with them?
2) Only after others complimented Mary did she acknowledge her position with God (1:48).
3) When Mary acknowledged that she was highly favored, she submitted to God. When she acknowledged that she was blessed, she magnified God (1:38, 46-47).
4) When she magnified God, she didn’t just say “I magnify God” but demonstrated so by rejoicing in who God is and what He did because of who He is (1:46-55).
With Mary as the model of being blessed and highly favored, let’s check to see if we are cautious about receiving accolades; let others initiate accolades about us before we acknowledge them; and magnify God by rejoicing in who He is and proclaiming what He does because of who He is.
Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith