What Does Luke 1:53 Mean?

"HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; And sent away the rich empty-handed.

Luke 1:53(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

In her glorious song of praise to God for the great gift that lay hidden in her secret place, Mary celebrates the grace, mercy and faithfulness of God. She pronounced an eternal truth that rejoices all who seek after the Lord with a needy heart, in humility of spirit and a deep, hungering longing for Him.

The whole of mankind, whether they be rich or poor, sinner or saved - all rely upon God's grace and bounty. Man cannot so much as draw a single breath, to either bless or curse the God Who made their mouth and knit them together in their mother's womb. He alone upholds all creation by the word of His mighty power.

Once Mary has praised God for all that He has done for her and exalted Him because He is "God my Saviour", she continues to glorify Him for His power and holiness, His mercy and compassion. It is in verse 53 that she gives praise to the Lord for His faithfulness to His people Israel and for changing their circumstances so radically - "He filled those who are hungry with good things," she cried, "and those who are rich, He sent away empty".

The attitudes of the poor and the rich are starkly contrasted. The hungry man is filled with good things, while the rich person is sent away with nothing. Years later the babe in her womb would pronounce the same vital principle, "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh".

One person reaches out to his Lord in want and need, in humble dependency and childlike trust, and he is given God's abundant supply - pressed down, shaken together and running over. The other approaches God with his own self-satisfied importance and foolish, prideful fancy - desiring even more of the trite baubles of worldly lust, which only sufficed the cravings of the flesh momentarily - and that one is sent away, quite empty.

Mary, like her favoured cousin Elisabeth, and Anna.. the aged, praying prophetess, had nurtured hearts that looked, and longed, for the consolation of Israel and they were heartily satisfied. But the greedy Herod and prideful Pharisees were left devoid of any tokens of God's favour towards them.

They did not seek after godly righteousness and were deprived of the heavenly nourishment their souls truly needed. God does indeed fill the hungry, searching soul with good things. He prepares a table before those who trust Him, in the presence of their enemies.. but the rich, self-satisfied person, who desires to be master of his own life and destiny, He simply sends empty away.

Whatever the circumstances of our individual lives, whether we be rich or poor by worldly standards, let each of us come to the Lord, confessing our need of Him in all areas of our life. Let us follow Mary's example by depending on Him to supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ - by putting faith into action.

Let us approach Him in humility of heart and poverty of spirit, for He has promised to fill all those that hunger for Him with good things, both in this life and in the age to come, while those that come to Him in selfish, self-satisfied pride and carnality of soul, will receive the bitter fruit of inner emptiness.

"Come to Me", said the Lord Jesus, "and I Will give you rest. If anyone is hungry, he has an open invitation to come to JESUS, the bread of Life and be filled with good things. 

My Prayer

Loving Father, increase my longing and desire for You, for I realise it is only as I seek You in poverty of spirit that my heart is fully satisfied. And Father, I trust You to supply all my temporal needs as well as my spiritual ones. Thank You for the godly examples of women like Anna, Elizabeth, and Mary, who relied on You and trusted Your word. May I become such an example to others during my time on earth - and so I pray in Jesus' name, that You will create in me an ever-deeper, heart-longing for You This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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