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John the baptizer says so, and calls us to prepare our hearts not only for a new Lord, but for a new kind of Lord.

S2:E1 EPISODE SUMMARY

“The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” These are the first words of the first Gospel (historically, not in order of appearance), and it’s so easy to miss their subversive power. But make no mistake: these words are a political throwdown! In the time of the Roman Empire, the “gospel” was the message of a conquering army to those it had invaded: “Good news; you have been conquered.” The “Son of God” was the Emperor, and the “pax Romana” (peace of Rome) was enforced by killing dissenters.

Now a poor, homeless carpenter is about to begin a ministry of healing, teaching, and forgiveness.  Could this Jesus of backward, nowhere Nazareth truly be the Son of God?

John the baptizer says so, and calls us to prepare our hearts not only for a new Lord, but for a new kind of Lord. One who turns our ideas of kings and conquests completely upside-down. To hear his message, people must follow him into the wilderness. The good news is first proclaimed on the outskirts, away from the centers of power, where scapegoats and exiles are cast.

God comes to us in the wilderness of our lives, the places where guilt or grief have stripped us bare. Jesus comes to heal where we are most broken, in the violence of our cultures and the pain in our hearts. Adam and Lindsey reflect on John the Baptist’s call to prepare the way.

The Olive
Branch

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