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Luke 1: The Introduction of Radical Reversal

"And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord."
- Luke 1:46

Upon hearing that John leaps in her cousin Elizabeth's womb, Mary bursts into song.

The song she sings in Luke 1:46-55 is prophetic, theological, and filled with wisdom beyond her years. Her lyrics are about the child she is about to give birth to.

"He has put down the mighty... and exalted the lowly" (v. 52).

"He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty." (v. 53).

These two Scriptures, and the song itself, speaks to the radical reversal that Jesus will usher in. In this approaching reversed world, the unqualified will be qualified; the unloved and unlovable will be loved; the forsaken and neglected will be remembered; the sick will be cured; the unforgivable will be forgiven; the hurt will be healed.

In the new reversed world, there will be a solution for every offense, shortcoming, and handicap by God's grace through the salvation that Jesus the Christ will bring.

The revelation of this truth filled Mary's heart with song.

The Solution, in the person and work of Jesus, will bring salvation, deliverance, and restoration for all who have faith in Him.

Verse 53 (above) speaks of an economic revolution. Jesus does not abhor the rich, but in keeping with the truth of radical reversal that He will bring into the world, those who once lacked will lack no more. Christ will pay the ultimate sacrifice for every part of disadvantaged, imprisoned, poor, marginalized, and nasty trait that is natural in all of us- His life.

Part of Mary's joy is the coming salvation that her son, the Son of God, will bring.

I believe Mary's song is a tune of joy, but also of sorrow. Mary's boy will have a purpose that even she will not be able to fully comprehend, yet. Oftentimes God's call is not to a life of ease and relaxation, but one of work and endurance.

However, there is beauty here: Serving God is not for our sorrow or lamentation, but for His glory.

Our only response to God's call is joy, much like the kind Mary expresses in her tune. Being used by God does not always make us feel great, but His saving and eternal glory is worth it all.

As we will see in Jesus, and has been experienced in many who labor in the faith, the grueling task of kingdom work is tough, and demanding, yet simultaneously, God will take great joy in it. God's joy is ours. Radical Reversal.


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Luke 2: Where the Unqualified Come First

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  Glory to God is the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" - Luke 2:13-14
Here is what we often neglect about this scene...
This celebrated and glorious song is rendered to an audience of social outcasts: Shepherds.
During the time of Jesus' birth, shepherds were banned from testifying in court and looked down upon by the religious and political leaders and the power structure of the Roman state. They were marginalized, disadvantaged, and nomadic.
Perhaps that is exactly why they are the first at-large group to hear the Good News of the Lamb of God's birth.
First, one angel shares the good news with the shepherds (v. 9). But, seemingly the word was so good that the heavens could not contain the joy of the message and bursts into a multi-angel chorus.
Let's grasp this truth: shepherds heard the good news of Christ's birth first. The word of Jesus'…