Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Missional Jesus 1

posted by xscot mcknight

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.”



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brad brisco

posted June 18, 2007 at 2:57 am


When thinking about the Missio Dei I have never considered what we might learn from Mary. I am wondering if it is Prostestant oversight? Or something else? I very much look forward to this series!



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drew moser

posted June 18, 2007 at 5:50 am


looking forward to this…



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John W Frye

posted June 18, 2007 at 6:18 am


From one angle it is clear that Mary and Jesus step into an already huge and moving Story–the Missio Dei. The Story gets concentrated in Jesus.
I, too, am glad you’ve chosen to teach/write about the Missional Jesus theme.



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Diane

posted June 18, 2007 at 6:48 am


Paul Johnston,
Hi. Would you get my home e-mail from Scot and shoot me a quick e-mail so I can e-mail with you about the on-line fasting/prayer community without taking up blog space?
Thanks,
Diane



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Diane

posted June 18, 2007 at 7:01 am


When we look at our mission and look at Mary, we note that Mary did what SHE was called to do, no matter how weird it seemed.
This also seems to me to tie into the thread of Galatians and freedom: We need to take hold that freedom (which paradoxically is obedience) to follow the Holy Spirit.



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Scot McKnight

posted June 18, 2007 at 7:11 am


Diane,
Do you have a blog?
Yes, I agree about Mary — and her mission was the mission of God or, perhaps better put, God’s mission became her mission.



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Nathanael

posted June 18, 2007 at 7:35 am


Wow…our Lord’s timing is perfect (as usual).
I will be teaching this week from Hebrews 6:13-20. And I’ve been studying from the perspective of Abraham following a missional God. Michael Spencer’s post http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/worshiping-the-missional-god has been very helpful.
So these perspectives on Jesus and His mother following the same missional God, and allowing His mission to become their mission, are very helpful as I study to discover more of the heart of my missional Lord.
Mmmm, mmmm, good stuff.
Looking forward to hearing your heart on this subject, Scot.
Bring it!



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Diane

posted June 18, 2007 at 9:30 am


Scot,
No blog at this point.



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Jason Powell

posted June 18, 2007 at 10:41 am


I’m looking forward to this as well. One question though…why start with Mary? It would seem the Old Testament is full of the missio dei as well. Are we starting here to narrow the field of study a bit (given your NT expertise)…to make it more manageable? Either way, I’m in!



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tripp fuller

posted June 18, 2007 at 10:46 am


I am pumped about this series. It sure would make a good time to start podcasting. Who wouldn’t want to take Scot around on their IPod talking about Missional Jesus….Looking forward to seeing you in October.



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Paul Johnston

posted June 18, 2007 at 10:48 am


Hi Diane,
Just saw your post, you can reach me,as can anyone else interested, at threejstars@msn.com.
Peace to all.
….taking my dad out for a belated fathers day brunch. will be home later this evening.



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Rick

posted June 18, 2007 at 11:29 am


Jason in #9 raises a good point about a good starting point. For that matter, why not start with the Trinity itself, especially since we are looking at “the Spirit’s inspiration of Mary…”?



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Scot McKnight

posted June 18, 2007 at 11:46 am


As for starting points …
This series continues our custom of having a Bible study each day of the week … and this is a Gospel series, so we begin with Mary. If it were a theological series, I’d begin with the perichoresis of the Trinity.



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michael defazio

posted June 18, 2007 at 12:43 pm


This looks great. I would add one more point within 5 and 6:
The mission of God involves helping Israel (1.54)
Since we are making sure to notice the details, this one seems worth stating explicitly so that we don’t divorce Jesus from his mission vis a vis Israel.



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Diane

posted June 18, 2007 at 1:43 pm


To Mary, social justice has already been resolved:
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
But 1600 years later:
That the sweat and tedious labour of the farmer, early and late, cold
and hot, wet and dry, should be converted into the pleasure of a small
number of men – that continued severity should be laid on nineteen
parts of the land to feed the inordinate lusts and delicate appetites
of the twentieth, is so far from the will of the great Governor of the
world, [it] is wretched and blasphemous.
William Penn, 1669
And we echo Penn today.
Does Mary speaks with a confidence that gives us the confidence to confront social injustice?



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Georges Boujakly

posted June 18, 2007 at 1:47 pm


Scot,
Thanks for doing this series. I look forward to learning how to do the missional life the Jesus way.
What do you think of making the starting point of Missional Jesus Mary’s response to the Angel in Luke 1:38? She enters the missional call by a commitment to serve and by submission. The starting point of missional living for Jesus is Mary’s SUB-MISSION! Her formation and his are one and the same (Peterson says as much in The Jesus Way). He copies her at his temptation and throughout his life.
This is especially relevant since Jesus, at the end of his missional service of suffering, repeats the same commitment and submission his mother would have taught him: “Not my will but thine”.



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Scot McKnight

posted June 18, 2007 at 2:09 pm


Georges,
I suppose one can begin in a number of places — I thought it was needful at least to give the birth narratives — esp Magnificat — as well as J-B’s missional message a place at the table.
On submission … play on words. The mission begins in the heart of God and our response only grants us entrance into the mission.



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Krista

posted June 18, 2007 at 9:18 pm


Scot, your note about submission in #17 is so true. I’ve heard very few put it so well.



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phil_style

posted June 18, 2007 at 10:18 pm


How does the intervention of Jesus’ family in his preaching (in Mark) influence how we think about Mary’s understanding of Jesus’ mission. Mark (in my translation at least) suggested that Jesus family thought he was “beside himself”. Does this mean they (incl Mary) had misinterpreted his mission, and what was Jesus doing or saying that would beg this reaction from those who (supposedly) expected Him to be the messiah?



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Scot McKnight

posted June 18, 2007 at 10:25 pm


Phil,
It seems to me to be part of Mary’s gradual perception that Jesus’ form of “Messiah” was different than hers.



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phil_style

posted June 18, 2007 at 10:57 pm


Scott,
Do you think that Mary’s idea of “justice” and her reference to “political leaders” (1:53) indicate a “messiology” (for want of a better term) that is not entirely consistent with Jesus’ interpretation of the Kingdom?
BTW: I see it’s gone 22:30 in the USA, you are up late . .



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Scott Watson

posted June 19, 2007 at 10:19 am


I pose a scary thought:who might be the Mary’s in our midst? The women and men of low estate whom the “powers” of this time disregard (esp. those cloaked in Christianity)and through whom YHWH is working to carry His mission forward. It’s no accident that the history of Christianity is replete with people whom God has called but they weren’t of the right pedigree and were marginalized/persecuted/martyred. But this is the point of YHWH’s call:to raise up the poor,the weak,the despised who trust in God,and to bring down the powerful who use and abude their position and spit in the face of their Creator. YHWH specializes in the weird and offbeat. I think of Joan of Arc.



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Anonymous

posted June 19, 2007 at 11:13 am


Two42 » Blog Archive » Missional Jesus

[...] Scot McKnight is working on a new series called Missional Jesus. He’s exploring the the question: “How did Jesus understand the missional life?” So far, he’s looked at it through the perspectives of Mary and John the Baptist. Keep an eye on his blog more more, and I’ll more than likely link them here as well. [...]



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tim atwater

posted June 19, 2007 at 12:31 pm


great start. i do a lectio kind of prayer w the magnificat almost every day as part of my two-cup wake up spiritual practice… (for better or worse i’ve mem’d from nrsv, mostly the sounds of the words are easier for me therein)
As Diane (#15) notes, Mary is speaking (already) in the past tense — There’s a strong liturgical feel and sound for me in the “He has…” repeated over and over…
I am interested in Scot’s and anyone else’s take(s) on how this (He has, past tense refrain) goes with Scot’s point one (What God is doing)…
The Penn Quote (15) is great… and certainly many reminders similar to this are there all through Luke’s gospel…
How do we live in this tension between already (done deal) and not yet (really seriously not yet)…?
I do think Mary’s magnificat is the prelude or first theme statement for the whole gospel but that may be an over-reach…(?)
I’m curious also about Scot and anyone else’s spin(s) on the political leaders (Scot’s point 4)? My take has been that Luke is mostly using the political leaders named to place-date the story in real time and do a contrast and compare with the kingdom of God, which is nearly always kinda the opposite of the empire… i think there is a fairly unrelenting deconstruction of political leaders all through Luke that carries on in Acts at least til the death of Herod… Then, we maybe (maybe?) begin to see some thought that maybe even the empire can be subverted by the gospel… but i am not sure i trust my eyes on this yet…
thanks again for this post and all the conversation so far.



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gary

posted June 19, 2007 at 12:40 pm


Hey Scot,
This post is very timely for me. I have become increasingly frustrated with the word “missional” because so many people are using it in their “church” vocabulary because it sounds sexy.
It never occurs to them to define (and me sometimes too!) missional in purely Jesus centered ways and then to move out their playing out personally and corporately a missional mindset. I have posted about this over at Seedstories (http://www.seedstories.com/forums/discussions.cfm?forumid=1&topicid=1447).
Thanks for this, oh…and by the way, you should really consider this as a topic for writing a book because I haven’t seen anyone else write about this in reference to Jesus as the center of conversation.



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Scot McKnight

posted June 19, 2007 at 12:44 pm


gary,
Am doing so. My posts are often thoughts of mine as I think my way into a subject.



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