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Posts tagged ‘Exaltation of the humble’

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Soon after the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) had started his public life and had chosen some disciples, he found them following him and receiving more followers who wanted to hear him talking about many things which concerned them or which where about the general customs and religious life of the people.

Jesus went all over Galilee and used open as well as covered spaces, like synagogues but also planes and mountain slopes. Jesus knew his divine task, having placed in a special way on this earth to show people the Way to God. Jesus knew very well Who that One True God is all people should come to know.  He very well knew his own place, being lower than angels and being a son of God, the Most High without Jesus could do nothing.

He must have been special. Though the religious leaders despised him but the people wondered who this man could be and where curious for what they could hear from others about miracles he could perform.

Sites of Christianity in the Galillee - Ruins of the ancient Great Synagogue at Capernaum (or Kfar Nahum) on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, Northern Israel.jpg

Capernaum synagogue

Jesus went from one place to an other telling about his heavenly Father, the Only One True God of Israel. He taught people the truth of God and God’s kingdom was his theme. He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Those actions he did, got many curious about this personage and word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25)

Mount of Beatitudes, seen from Capernaum

When he was in the region of Capernaum again there were a lot of people who had come to see him and who where eager to hear what he had to tell.  Jesus saw all those crowds, coming from different places, following him and went up the mountain or hill (the Greek word can mean either) the Mount of Beatitudes.

Some commentators see here an intended contrast to Sinai, where the Law was given. However, there are no grounds, implicit or explicit, for identifying the mountain as a “New Sinai.” {Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 103). New York: United Bible Societies.}

From Matthew’s choice of verbs we can imagine that the situation was all about a moment of teaching, Jesus tutoring. It does not matter so much if Matthew and Luke wrote about the same or of a different occasion where Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven, its subjects and their life.

There have been and are today scholars who regard the sermons recorded in Mt and Lk as collections of sayings spoken on different occasions, and maintain that they do not represent any connected discourse ever delivered by Jesus. In their view the Sermon is either a free compilation by the evangelists or a product of apostolic teaching and oral tradition.
The prevailing opinion among NT scholars is, however, that the gospel accounts represent a genuine historical discourse. The Sermon as recorded in Mt bears such marks of inner unity of theme and exposition as to give the appearance of genuineness. That Jesus should deliver a discourse of this kind accords with all the circumstances and with the purpose of His ministry. Besides, we know that in His teaching He was accustomed to speak to the multitudes at length, and we should expect Him to give early in His ministry some formal exposition of the kingdom, the burden of His first preaching. That such a summary of one of His most important discourses should have been preserved is altogether probable. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

In any case even when it is a summary it is a teaching every Christian should seriously take at heart. Jesus was not afraid to talk at length, but this discourse could easily be delivered in a few minutes.

There is evidence that the account in Mt 5–7 contains some sayings not included in the original discourse. This view is confirmed by the fact that a number of the sayings are given in Luke’s Gospel in settings that appear more original. It is easy to believe that related sayings spoken on other occasions may have become associated with the Sermon in apostolic teaching and thus handed down with it, but if the discourse were well known in a specific form, such as that recorded in Mt, it is hardly conceivable that Luke or anyone else would break it up and distribute the fragments or associate them with other incidents, as some of the sayings recorded in both Gospels are found associated in Lk. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Because there is written that the disciples came to sit by Jesus many think Jesus was mainly addressing them. Even when this is the apparent meaning of the account of both evangelists, the separation from the multitudes and the direction of Jesus his words to the disciples seem clear, and the distinction appears intentional on the part of the writer. However, it must be observed that in the closing comments on the Sermon the presence of the multitudes is implied. In Luke’s account the distinction is less marked; being the night of prayer in the mountain, the choice of the twelve apostles, the descent with them into the presence of the multitude of his disciples and a great number of people from Judaea, Jerus and the coast country, the healing of great numbers, and, finally, the address. While the continued presence of the multitudes is implied, the plain meaning of the words,

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,”

is that his address was intended especially for the latter.

This view is borne out by the address itself as recorded in both accounts. Observe the use of the second person in the reference to suffering, poverty and persecution for the sake of the Son of Man. Further the sayings concerning the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” could hardly have been addressed to any but His disciples. The term disciple, however, was doubtless employed in the broader sense by both evangelists. This is clearly the case in Matthew’s account, according to which the Twelve had not yet been appointed. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Today we should look at those texts also as a lesson to all those who want to call themselves “Christian” which means “to be a follower of Christ“. Christians too should be disciples of Christ Jesus and should follow the words of the Nazarene master teacher. Not especially being a digest of Christ his teaching the account in Matthew 5 delivers a short of the attitudes a Christian should take.

Today because so many people calling themselves Christian, but more following human doctrines instead of keeping to the Biblical doctrines, may find Jesus’ words very hard to understand and even harder to follow in our modern culture which preaches that happiness or luck comes from material wealth, absence of sorrow, and which teaches revenge or retaliation and exorbitant punishments far in excess of the wrong suffered. Lots of people do find it right to punish wrongdoers and even would not mind if their life was taken away, though on other occasions they are totally against women taking contraceptives considering this murder or killing an unborn life.

The writer who records the most challenging command Jesus ever gave his followers:

“Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

looks at the teaching of Jesus on our behaviour and living and presents an ethic code for his disciples and a measure for the behaviour of all believers.

Each time Jesus opens with the word, which is recorded in Greek as “makarioi”, “blessed” or “happy”, which occurs nine times in verses 3–12. Many also call it “beatitudes”. Each beatitude having three parts: an ascription of blessing (happiness), a specific virtue to be cultivated (the practice of each produces a positive result), and a promise relating to the kingdom (reward or special comfort as a reason for the promised happiness).

In the sermon we find that the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, those who receive insults, are falsely accused and are persecuted on account of the Messiah may count on it that they are all blessed.

Certainly in Christendom we can find many true believers in Christ, those who accept Jesus for whom he really is, a man of flesh and blood who put his will aside to do the Will of the One God Who sent him to this world. Very often those real Christians are spit at and very often it are the trinitarian Christians who take on a very un-christian attitude to those believers. Those name Christians who prefer to keep to human doctrines and want to keep to the pagan rites and festivals, are often the worst in their attitude to the real or non-trinitarian Christians. Look around you and hear how your surroundings react to such Christians as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians or others who spread the Good News by giving pamphlets and by talking to people on the streets or by going from door to door. Often those who laugh at such Christians are not the gentle, and often they have more interest in the looks of people and the material wealth of themselves and others, instead of looking for the spiritual wealth.

In the world we can see many who sincerely love God and want to prefer to worship Him alone, who are therefore being harassed or molested. Be them Jews, Christians or Muslims, those who not like to take part in the pagan rituals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, are often looked at with a bad eye, or even spit on. They are laughed at, being considered compliant meek, soft ones and not by the time. To be meek does not mean to be weak. Jesus with his words concerning the meek ones looks at “meekness” meaning gentle restraint. it  Holds in a person can be showing gentlenessmildness, forbearance, submissiveness, humility or humbleness, modesty, submission and trying to bring peacefulness, sometimes even with acquiescence. We should remember that there it is about those who dare to take on an attitude which does not insist on one’s own rights but is giving itself for others, always ready to waive its privileges in the interests of others. “The meek” person is willing to wait for God’s timing being sure that God’s promises will become a reality and that God shall provide better times for all those who live according to God His commandments. That is our sacred hope we may find in Christ his offering, opening the gates to the Kingdom of God.

As Christian we should be taking every effort to follow Christ, to become in unity with him and his teaching, doing our utmost best to obey our heavenly Father. Living according to God’s commandments we can live with the promise to be able to live in the kingdom here on earth (“inherit the earth”). Though we should be well aware that this is not promised to the pushy, proud, ambitious, and domineering and to scourge those who do not believe in God or those who prefer to live differently than us.

Those who are humble and willing to undergo all the suffering in name of Christ or those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, may look forward for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They or we may rejoice, and be glad, for our reward in heaven shall be great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before us. (Matthew 5:3-12)

Jesus Christ in Capernaum

Jesus Christ in Capernaum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus knew or knows we are not perfect, but that does not mean we should be happy with who we are at a certain moment. Every day we should work at ourselves and strive to become better. It is quite ready to love those who love us, but what about loving those who hate us? Concerning doing good, many unbelievers are doing good, so what would be the difference between a non-believer and a Christian? How many name Christian today we do hear speaking low about other coloured people or about people of an other religion? How many so called Christians do not despise other Christians and other believers or atheists and want them away from their community or surroundings. Lots of name Christians do not welcome others.

So many people consider them higher than others or more special. Often they consider themselves perfect or faultless and are not interested in changing their own world view, their mindset, their inclination or habit, their ethos and their assumptions. Lots of them even do not want to challenge themselves in any way and do not want to see that nobody is foolproof. Today we do find lots of so called Christians who are against the refugees and who wrong or oppress strangers, though they should know that is against the Will of God (Exodus 22:20-21). They are not interested in the war victims, the orphans and widow, though a lover of God should stand up for them and defend them (Isaiah 1:16-17). Several people who call themselves Christian should better ask themselves what this really should mean and should check if they can come under that denominator.

Christianity is all a matter of “love“.

Jesus asks his followers to consider the aspects of real love and of the will to work at the inner self, the way how to react to others and daring to put your own will aside to be there for others. Looking at the habits that have entered our life, Jesus requires to examine ourself and to become aware of our attitude we should take on in life.

God requires of us to worship Him as the Only One True God of gods and to keep His commandments, doing justice and to offer loving kindness or mercy to others, walk humbly with God. Jesus requires of us also to honour his heavenly Father and to worship Him alone. He also requires us to become like him and to hunger and thirst for righteousness, work for peace, and stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted; to be merciful and comfort mourners; to be humble in spirit, meek, and pure in heart.

So let us listen very carefully to the Bible text in “Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries” and work at ourselves to become more like Christ fulfilling the Wish of God.

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

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Additional reading

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  2. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  3. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  4. A season of gifts
  5. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  6. Are you being swept along by the world
  7. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  8. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  9. the Bible – God’s guide for life #8 Looking to Jesus #1 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
  10. The meek one riding on an ass
  11. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith

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Further reading

  1. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
  2. Sermon from Matthew 5
  3. What Love Says and Does
  4. Loved Are We
  5. Beatitudes
  6. Beatitudes / Blessed are: (Matthew 5:3-12)
  7. Blessed Are… – Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12
  8. What Does God Require? A Christian Manifesto (Matt 5:1-12, Micah 6:1-8)
  9. What does the Lord require…?
  10. Blessed are the merciful: 4 Epiphany A
  11. Children’s Sermon: Matthew 5:4 (Beatitudes)
  12. Sermon for January 29, 2017
  13. Sermon for 29 January 2017 on Matthew 5:1-12
  14. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/15/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Being Salt and Light”
  15. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/22/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Jesus and The Law”
  16. NBFMC Sermon Review (2/05/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Lust and Relationships”
  17. 4th Sunday, Year A | Being peacemakers in a divided society
  18. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 29th, 2017)
  19. 4th Sunday After Epiphany, January 29, 2017
  20. 5th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A 2017
  21. Sermon on the Mount: Part 1
  22. Sermon on the Mount Part 1: Beatitudes
  23. Sermon on the Mount: Part 2
  24. 2017.01.15 Sermon On The Mount Part 1
  25. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 1
  26. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 2
  27. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 3
  28. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Light
  29. True Worship: Justice, Kindness, Walk Humbly
  30. Sunday Devotional: Who are our ‘neighbors’ and our ‘enemies’? How are we to ‘love’ them?
  31. Blocking your own witness
  32. How to deal with others
  33. What Jesus Says When You’ve Been Burned
  34. “I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder.” ~~Jesus
  35. Reconciling Jesus
  36. Be Perfect
  37. Radical Love in the Face of Injustice
  38. “Make something happen!”: The restless spirit
  39. Giving and Getting It All
  40. Day 33 -This Little Light of Mine
  41. Be Nice to Me
  42. A Godly Response To Ungodliness
  43. Our Relationship to the World
  44. The Love Question
  45. Love?
  46. A Life Well-Lived
  47. “No & Yes”
  48. Truth, love, and justice
  49. Salt and Light: Matthew 5
  50. We’re Salt & Light: But are we?
  51. Anger and murder
  52. “An ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” ~~Jesus
  53. Blessed are the Refugees
  54. What Does the Lord Require? :: Prayers of the People
  55. The Joy of Mercy
  56. “You are God’s field, God’s building”
  57. Evangelize: Downtown Boise With Love
  58. …I’m gonna let it shine
  59. A toddler’s tale
  60. The Beatitudes are Like Yogurt
  61. Why does Jesus say “the poor in spirit” are blessed?
  62. An Accurate Measurement for Your Life
  63. Authentic Christianity

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Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God

Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God

LK1:46 Now Mary responded: LK1:47 “My soul magnifies the LORD![1] [1 Samuel 2:1] My inner being rejoices in my God, the Savior! [1 Samuel 2:1] LK1:48 For He has seen the humble condition of his servant-girl. Behold, from now on all generations will consider me most blessed. LK1:49 Because the Powerful One has done great things to me, and His name is holy! [Psalm 111:4] LK1:50 His mercy is on every generation of those fearing Him. [Psalm 103:17] LK1:51 With His Arm He has performed a mighty deed. He has scattered the thoughts of the proud in their own hearts. [Psalm 89:10] LK1:52 He has abased powers from their thrones and exalted the humble. [Job 12:19; 5:11] LK1:53 Those hungering He has satisfied with good things, [Psalm 107:9] but the wealthy He has sent away empty. [Psalm 34:10 LXX] LK1:54 He came to the aid of His servant Israel in a memorial of His mercy, [Isaiah 41:8; Psalm 118:3] LK1:55 just as He said to our forefathers – to Abraham [Micah 7:20] and his offspring – unto the Age.” LK1:56 And Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then she returned to her own home.


[1] My soul magnifies the Lord: Mary’s inspired praise draws on Hannah’s own in 1 Samuel 2 as well as alludes to about a dozen Hebrew Bible verses. Here “the Lord” is TON KYRION.

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Preceding articles:

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:39-45 – Mary Visits Elizabeth

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File:Mother of God (Covington, Kentucky), interior, cupola.jpg

On the left you can see an inscription “Mother of God “, but God did not have a mother. Miriam or Mary/Maria was the mother of the Nazarene Jeshua, better known today as Jesus Christ. – interior, cupola, Covington, Kentucky

  • Today we can see that many people do have many gods. In the Holy Scriptures we are warned not to have any other god above the Only One God. Bible Verses About Idolatry !! (christianspooksite.wordpress.com) gives some of the many verses of the Scriptures which make it clear not to make worldly persons higher than they are and not to turn unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods, because we should know there is Only One God the Almighty Who is One Elohim Hashem Jehovah Who can say : I [am] the LORD your God.
  • The Attributes of God (devosfromthehill.org)
    God Is Eternal – He Has No Beginning or End
    God Is Perfect – He Is Holy
    BS note: You can find more attributes of God in the Christadelphian article: Attributes to God
  • Israel’s Kings as Messiahs or Christs (mindingthetruth.com)
    In the Hebrew texts the word for “anointed one” is mashiach (משיח), which is anglicized as “messiah.” And in the Septuagint (LXX), the ancient Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures used by early Christians, mashiach was rendered christos (χριστος), which is anglicized as “christ.” Here are some examples of this usage of the term mashiach in the Hebrew texts and christos in the Greek translations.
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    Jesus the Son of God
    According to the Scriptures, Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. What does this mean? Because most Christians take for granted the teaching of the later creeds that Jesus, a man, is actually God as well, they interpret Jesus’ title Son of God as denoting the eternal deity ascribed to him in the creeds. To put it another way, since most Christians presuppose the doctrine of the trinity, when they hear Jesus called the “Son of God” in Scripture, they hear this as “God the Son” of the later creeds. But this is a misinterpretation of the title. According to the Scriptures, Jesus is Son of God for two reasons, or in two different ways; and neither of these reasons or ways involves the idea that Jesus of Nazareth, a man, is somehow actually God as well.
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    In verse 35, the angel explains that the conception will not be due to the agency of a man, but due to the miraculous agency of God. Thus, strictly speaking the child will have no human father. His father will be God. And it is for this reason that the child will be called holy—the Son of God.
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    And just as this makes Jesus the Son of God, so too it makes Adam the son of God. In sum, then, according to the words of Gabriel recorded in Luke 1.35, Jesus is the Son of God by birth, or by nature in the original sense of the term (“nature” is derived from the Latin natura which means “by birth”), because Jesus was begotten not by a human father but by God himself through the virgin Mary.
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    Now the Hebrew Scriptures were interpreted by Jews in the time of Jesus (First Century CE) as holding out the same promise of royal sonship for the ultimate King or Messiah to come. Thus, Psalm 2.7, which reads, “I will relate the decree of YHWH: He said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you,’” was understood by Jews in the time of Jesus as a prophecy or an oracle relating God’s election of a man to be the ultimate Messiah or anointed of God. Therefore, what is typically in view when Jesus is spoken of as Son of God by the writers of the Greek New Testament Scriptures is that Jesus is the Messiah or the Christ, the man chosen by God to represent God as his king on earth. In terms of the interpretation of Psalm 2.7, the idea is that this oracle finds its fulfillment in Jesus. And indeed this verse, Psalm 2.7, was a staple in early Christian proclamation of Jesus as Messiah. We find it so used in Acts 13.33 and in Hebrews 1.5-6 and 5.5. But this meaning of Son of God for Jesus in the Scriptures goes far beyond the application of Psalm 2.7 to him. This is readily apparent from even a cursory reading of the New Testament Scriptures.
  • Open Heavens Daily Devotional. Friday 20 December 2013 Theme : God Promotes. (greaterworksoffaith.wordpress.com)
    When God set out to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt, it was to take them out of captivity and bondage and to lift them up. God has come to take you out of your current location in the miry clay to your promised land – a land flowing with milk and honey. This simply tells us that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of promotion. When He promotes you, nobody can demote you.
  • Psalm 3, A Prayer of Confidence in God (afriendofjesus2013.com)
    Confidence, true based upon:
    God’s Word – Acts 27:22-25
    Assurance – 2 Timothy 1:12
    Trust – Habakkuk 3:17-19
    Christ’s promise – Philippians 1:6
    Illustrated – 1 Samuel 17:45-50
  • 1 Samuel 1 and Psalm 6 (rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com)
    Hannah is barren and, for an Israelite woman, this is a state of shame. The resolution to her shame follows as the scenes of the story unfold. Eventually Hannah has her first born son and she dedicates him to the Lord.
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    Abuse is part of Hannah’s problem, she has been abused by her ‘sister-wife’, and no doubt also by her community, for her barrenness. In the four scenes of the story in 1 Samuel 1, Hannah finds her voice and she asserts her “existence and legitimacy,” (Brueggemann: p75), just as those shamed by abuse and a conspiracy of silence need to do. In those same four scenes we see God at work removing her shame, her barrenness.
  • 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11 – A Mother Named Hannah (genebrooks.blogspot.com)
    Hannah is in many ways an example of an ideal mother. Hannah was one of the noblest Hebrews who ever lived. Her unpleasant circumstances produced in her a character which made her life an inspiration and a blessing to this day.

    Samuel Dedicated by Hannah (Topham)

  • 2 Samuel 1 (agodlyheritage.wordpress.com)
    The lack of faith of Saul, and its resulting lack of obedience, has left Saul alienated from the only eternal power, that of the Lord God, the God of Jacob, the LORD of hosts. This alienation has left him dead without a Saviour. It has left him facing judgment without the blood or righteousness of his Redeemer applied to him. It has left him, in the end, in the light of eternity, weak not mighty. Scripture is clear: better to be “weak” in the world with faith in God then “strong” without Him. So St. Paul tells the Corinthian Christians, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how…not many mighty…are called: But…God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty…That no flesh should glory in his presence…That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:26, 27, 29, 31). So the Virgin Mary rejoiced in her Magnificat that the God of Abraham, her Saviour, “hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree” (Luke 1:52).
  • A Psalm. A Song. (Psalm 67) (refreshmyheartinchrist.wordpress.com)
    What vision of a Messiah is echoed in this psalm (see Isaiah 66:18 – 23)? Will all embrace Judaism one day (verse 7)?

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