I begin a new series today — and it could last a good, long while. The series is on Missional Jesus. Our question: How did Jesus understand the missional life? This, of course, involves two “missions” — his mission and ours. We will learn that his mission is our mission because his mission is God’s mission, the missio Dei. Today and tomorrow will be brief background matters to Missional Jesus: we will look at the Spirit’s inspiration of Mary to speak of the future mission of Jesus and John the Baptist’s great message about his own mission, to which Jesus attached himself.
So, Missional Jesus begins with Missional Mary. How did Mary understand the Mission of God that was to incorporate her Son, the Messiah, into that mission? How does Mary’s Magnificat figure into your view of God’s mission and Jesus’ mission itself?
1. Whatever mission we want to talk about, it must begin with the mission of God (notice how often Mary speaks of what God is doing), and this God is worthy of glory, is holy, is merciful, and is faithful to his promises to Abraham.
2. Humility before God, which is connected to Mary’s condition of poverty, is honored in the mission of God (1:48).
3. The mission of God involves establishing justice (1:51-53).
4. The mission of God involves political leaders (1:52).
5. The mission of God involves basic human needs (1:53).
6. The mission of God involves exalting Mary’s son — the theme driving the Magnificat.
Luke 1:46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”