The Great Reversal: A Journey with Christ and De Chirico

The Great Reversal: A Journey with Christ and De Chirico is LIVE on Amazon

In the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, we find a recurrent theme that theologians refer to as the great reversal.  These great reversals are unexpected, almost shocking statements from Jesus that cause us to stop and re-think our value systems.  Sayings like: “Love your enemies,” “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it,” “And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last,” “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

These great reversal sayings challenge us. “Love your enemies.”  That is not easy.  But, Christ calls us to active discipleship.  He calls us to operate as salt and light in the world.  Engaging in the great reversal teachings of Jesus enables us to become more Christ-like. 

In The Great Reversal, we find that the value system of the Kingdom is much different than that of our culture.  The great reversal sayings challenge us to focus on the Kingdom rather than the world, to focus on the spiritual rather than the sensory.

From late 1909 to early 1919, the artist Giorgio de Chirico painted through his metaphysical period.  This decade is a unique moment in art when an individual bursts forth with a new painting style.  Thought was translated to canvas that the world had not yet seen.  De Chirico’s works from this period form one of the most curious and fascinating moments in art history.

De Chirico’s works from the metaphysical period are meaningful because, like Jesus’ great reversal sayings, they deal with two different realms.  The images encourage us to focus beyond the sensory and move to the spiritual.  As such, they provide a visual means of understanding the intent of Jesus’ great reversal sayings.

Put another way, de Chirico’s art likely provides the best possible illustrations for Jesus’ great reversal sayings found in the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.