The Story About the Greatest Reversal Ever!
By Brian Simmons
Stories with reversals make the best tales, don’t they? We cheer for the high school nerd who gets the girl while the popular jock is left in the dust. We shout for joy when the quaint, small mountain town fends off a large New York development firm from building a ski resort. And we’re happy to see the upstart political campaign win against the well-financed veteran from D.C.
These kinds of stories are so great because life doesn’t always turn out this way in the real world. Often it seems like the ones who win are the rich, well connected, and powerful; while the poor, defenseless, and weak suffer the consequences.
What’s so great about God’s Story is that what rarely happens in real life actually comes true! The lowly are lifted, the high and mighty are torn down, the proud are scattered, the hungry are filled.
By stepping into our world, God through Jesus Christ paved the way for deliverance from the wickedness that comes from the proud, mighty, and rich.
And yet, what God is revealing here through Mary’s song isn’t simply the demise of political dictators and fat-cat CEOs. Rather, anyone who does not fear God and look to him to supply their needs are in trouble.
You see, part of the problem with the mighty, the proud, and the rich is that their hope isn’t in God but in themselves. And Mary’s song warns that God is against such people—tearing them down and sending them away empty. Because only “those who hunger for [the Mighty One] will always be filled.” (Luke 1:53, TPT)
The “smug and self-satisfied,” however, “He will send away empty.” These people are anyone who is self-sufficient and declare they need no salvation. God raises up the lowly, but the mighty want to raise up themselves. Throughout Luke’s gospel, this spirit of self-exaltation is the key to sinfulness—as Proverbs 16:18 says, “The higher you lift up yourself in pride, the harder you’ll fall in disgrace.”
In Luke 6, Jesus speaks blessings over the lowly and the hungry—just like in Mary’s song. But to the rich and the well fed, “What sorrows await,” Jesus says.
Through Mary and her “mighty miracle,” God is finally delivering his people—all people—but that deliverance, mercy, and salvation only extends to those who fear him, the song says. To those who trust God and God alone for that rescue.
This season what do you need deliverance from? Are you looking to God or yourself? “Be willing to be made low before the Lord, and he will exalt you!” (Jm. 4:10) James reminds us.
Because unlike real life, our God produces the greatest of reversals by lifting up the lowly. God the Father did so for his Son, raising him from the dead when all seemed lost; God the Son did so for you, by dying for you at just the right time when you were dead in your sins; God the Holy Spirit continues to work on our behalf, keeping his promises to Abraham’s descendants forever—all of which is cause for great joy!
Excerpted from Brian Simmons and THE PASSION TRANSLATION.
Copyright © 2014 by Brian Simmons. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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Brian Simmons and his wife Candice have been described as true pioneers in ministry. Their teaching has opened doors in many nations to the Gospel. For the last forty years, Brian has been a linguist, pastor, missionary, and speaker and now brings all those gifts together to lead the translation work for The Passion Translation.
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