We now turn to Luke’s Gospel’s special uses of “kingdom.” Technically, this is the 64th reference to kingdom in the Gospels and it comes at Luke 1:33. This one is from Mary: 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, ?Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.?.
1. This kind of text clarifies the whole expectation theme for the 1st Century Jew: the kingdom Mary anticipates is the Davidic kingdom; that means Israel; that means Land; that means Jerusalem; that means stuff that is very earthy.
2. Her son, Jesus, will occupy that throne.
3. His throne will be an eternal throne.
4. His kingdom is eternal.
While it is clear that Mary will “revise” what she says here as she sees her Son unfold his kingdom vision, not the least of which is the cross and a humble gathering of folks, the themes of this vision of Mary remain central: justice, peace, love, earthly kingdom manifestation — society in which God’s will is finally established.