What does it look like for God’s Kingdom to come to Earth? Watch the featured video, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 39.
Once you've watched the featured video, take time to reflect on these questions.
What is one way this video encourages or expands your understanding of the Gospel of Luke?
What is one way that Jesus’ Kingdom is unlike the kingdoms of this world?
Consider your community. What needs to be turned upside-down to look more like God’s Kingdom?
Luke investigated the eye witnesses of Jesus’ life to compose his Gospel account. The story begins in the hills of Jerusalem, where Israel’s ancient prophets said that God himself would come one day to establish his Kingdom on Earth. First, we meet a priest named Zacharias who sees a vision of an angel announcing that he and his wife will have a son. This is amazing because Zacharias and his wife are old and have never been able to have children. With this detail, Luke is setting up a parallel to compare their story with Abraham and Sarah, the great ancestors of Israel. They too were old and childless until God miraculously gave them a son, Isaac, through whom the whole story of Israel began.
Zacharias’ miraculous encounter tells us that God is about to do something significant to restart Israel’s story. But how will he do it? Luke tells us that the angel also visits a young girl named Mary to announce even more shocking news: Mary will give birth to the Messiah, God in the flesh! Her son will bring down rulers from their thrones and exalt the poor and humble. Through Mary’s womb, God himself is turning everything upside-down to establish his Kingdom and way of life over all the Earth.
Compare the experiences of Zacharias and Elizabeth with that of Abraham and Sarah. How do both couples struggle to trust God’s promises? How do they express trust? See Luke 1:5-25 and Genesis 15:1-6, Genesis 16:1-4, Genesis 17:15-22, Genesis 18:9-15, and Genesis 21:1-7.
How do Mary and Zacharias respond to the angel’s shocking news? Note the differences in their follow-up questions to the angel. Zacharias wants to know how he can be sure that it will happen, while Mary wants to know how it will happen. One is doubtful, and one is curious. What is your response to the announcement of God’s Kingdom?
Compare Mary’s words (Luke 1:46-55) to Hannah’s words (1 Samuel 2:1-10). What do you notice? What is one specific quality of God’s Kingdom that you find described in these poetic verses? What would it practically look like to see more of that quality in your life and community?
Take some time to pray for the humble nature of God’s Kingdom to shape your life and community. Be honest about your doubts, ask for renewed trust, and express your curiosity.