Study Guide: The Mary-Blessed Kingdom

Sunday October 16, 2005 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

Greg contrasted the difference between world ecomonics and kingdom economics using something he called The Mary Principle. The Mary Principle simply stated is, the greatest blessing is found in blessing others. He based all of this by first discussing what Mary being blessed did not mean. True blessing in the kingdom means being used by God for his purposes.

Extended Summary:

What does it mean when it says Mary is blessed and that all generations would call her blessed? This is a question that has been answered differently throughout the history of the church. To grapple with what is means, we must first look at what it doesn’t mean because many have been exposed to some misleading teaching on this topic.

  1. It does not mean:Mary was “blessed” because she was without original sin. This has been taught as a statement of fact, but reasons for how she was born in such a state are not given.
  2. Mary was “blessed” because she conceived as a virgin and then remained a virgin for the rest of her life. This is just unbiblical because the Bible states that Jesus had brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3, Matt 12:46) and Matt 1:25 implies that after Jesus was born Mary and Joseph had marital relations.
  3. Mary was “blessed” because she never died but ascended to heaven. There is no evidence for this.
  4. Mary was “blessed” because she intercedes on behalf of the saints. The Bible never references Mary as an intercessor. This is a role only reserved for Jesus. We have no need for an intercessor other than Jesus because we have direct access to the throne room of heaven through what He accomplished on the cross. In fact, to pray to Mary is to invoke a conversation with a deceased person, a medium, something that the Bible emphatically tells us not to do.

What it does mean then is this: The blessing is in what the Lord accomplished through her. The way Mary got blessed is she had the faith to receive it. This is the Mary Principle: The greatest blessing is found in blessing others. Blessing here is not about personal benefit or financial windfall. According to the world’s standards of position, money and social standing, Mary was not blessed. But in God’s economy, she was greatly blessed because she realized that God had chosen her to be a blessing to the entire world.

World economics works on a zero sum game. The more you give, the less you have. Someone wins, while someone loses. For me to win, someone else must lose.?

Kingdom economics is an infinite sum game. In God’s system, everyone wins. The more I sow the more others are blessed. The more I’m blessed. The more I sow.

The greatest blessing is found in stepping into this cheerful cycle of abundance. We are blessed by God that we might bless others. This is the way we participate in His self-giving life of love. Mary believed that she had been blessed before she saw the manifestation. She set a paradigm for us to follow, one of receiving God’s blessing and freely sharing it with those in need.

Reflection Questions:

  1. If you are from a Catholic background, pray through the four points about what Mary’s blessing is not. Ask Jesus to make these points clear. If you are really struggling with this, please talk with someone so that you might gain further clarity.
  2. Think through ways that the zero sum game world economics dictates how life is lived in America.
  3. To what degree does this zero sum game impact your life?
  4. Have you ever thought: “If I give this money to the work of the Lord, it means that I will have less money for the things I want”? Most people have because this is the thinking of world economics.
  5. Meditate on 2 Cor 9:6-8, 10-11.
  6. Describe ways other than giving money that can be a blessing to others.
  7. How is God leading you to bless?