Kingdom Prayer: The Gospel of Luke With N.T. Wrightサンプル

Kingdom Prayer: The Gospel of Luke With N.T. Wright

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The song Mary prays here is traditionally called the Magnificat, and is sung in churches the world over, day after day, often during evening prayer services. And yet, many Christians fail to take this powerful prayer as seriously as it deserves. While it is true that this song is reflecting on the infant Jesus growing in Mary’s womb, Mary sees the coming of Messiah Jesus not as some vaguely spiritual event, but rather as the long fulfilment of Israel’s story. She has no idea how these things will work out, but it’s a song of faith that through the event of Jesus’s life, God will fulfil the covenant with Abraham. In that way, Magnificat is the benediction over Jesus’s life and the mission statement of Luke’s Gospel.

It is a prayer celebrating God dealing with the arrogant through their own self-destruction, hurling the rulers down from their thrones, and raising up the humble. Mary sees a vision that aligns with the great celebrations of the Psalms (34, 103) and the warnings of the Prophets; of God confronting a world full of arrogance and abused power and carelessness and brutality and finally, at long last, turning everything the right way up.

Luke asks what happens when God’s power is unveiled. The answer is a fresh, powerful work of God’s spirit, which comes out as a warning to those headed in the wrong direction, and consolation of God’s rescuing action. It’s the warning of the earlier prophets to those abandoning God’s way of justice, not aiding the poor and the widow. Mary’s song inscribes the warning even as it declares the sure hope that God’s activity is being vindicated in her son. He has unseated the powerful from their thrones and raised up the humble. He has fed the destitute and sent the rich away hungry.

Verses 52 and 53 summarise this theme of divine reversal, a theme which remains prevalent throughout Luke’s gospel. When you see Jesus healing or eating with people or teaching as he so often does in Luke, then these are about the fulfilment of Mary’s song. They’re signposts. These are the details of how Mary’s affirmation actually happens, close up and personal, so that then by the spirit Jesus’s followers take up the mantel of this ministry.

As we read through Luke’s gospel, we have to keep our eye on how this Messianic vision, of God setting things right, casting down the powerful and arrogant, and raising the humble and poor in their place, is taking shape in the parables Jesus tells, the people he encounters, and the conflicts he engages.

Reflection:

If you’re familiar with the Gospel stories, what examples come to mind of Jesus enacting a reversal of the normal social order? If not, what historical moments express this reversal?

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Kingdom Prayer: The Gospel of Luke With N.T. Wright

When God’s Kingdom comes, what does it look like? In Luke, Mary prays a powerful prayer, praising, and predicting the return of a God who feeds the hungry, exalts the poor, rescues servants, and keeps His promises. Jesus...

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