This is part two of our discussion on the theme of exile in the Bible.
This is part two of our new podcast series prepping for our video release on the exile theme in the Bible. In part one (0:00-5:30), Jon and Tim recap their earlier conversation in the first episode. Tim explains that when the Hebrews returned from exile to Jerusalem under Persian rule, their empire and city was in shambles, but they kept clinging to this promise that God had given their ancestral father, Abraham.
In part two (5:30-18:10), Tim explains that the exile metaphor became a theme that runs through the entire Bible. The Hebrew Bible authors wrote Genesis believing that humanity has been exiled from the Garden of Eden and perfect unity with God. The Hebrews believed that their exile represented all humanity’s exile of heaven and earth being separated from each other.
Jon comments about how often times people feel displaced in life. Many people feel melancholic, knowing they should be at home here on earth, but often times wondering why life can be so hard and why humans make it harder with how they behave. Tim summarizes Walker Percy and says the fundamental mystery of the universe is why we feel so alone in the world.
Tim explains that the Bible states that the solution to both Israel’s exile problem and humanity’s exile problem is the same solution. A king who will come and deliver them and reunite heaven and earth for all.
In part three (18:10-end), Jon comments that this conversation is totally different than how he thought of it growing up. He recalls a book by Randy Alcorn, Heaven On Earth, and says that the point is not to magically escape the world to an ethereal heaven, but to work for and hope for a new heaven and a new earth.
Tim explains the oddity of the 1 Peter introduction. Peter chooses to address the people in the letter as “immigrants and exiles.” Peter chooses to identify Christians as exiles in a world that is waiting to be redeemed. Tim explains when a person becomes a Christian they shift their allegiance to the kingdom of God, not the earthly kingdom of Babylon. Tim says that words like “immigrant, and exile” and “citizens of heaven” becomes a type of code language that the Bible writers use to continue the metaphor and theme of the exile of humanity.
Tim and Jon recap the biblical idea of evil—a force that both rules the world and is somehow ingrained in human nature. The biblical hope is that Jesus has come and broken that power. Tim says that Jesus modeled for humans what it’s like to live in and build the kingdom of God on earth.
Thank you to all our supporters!
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self Help Book by Walker Percy.
Heaven by Randy Alcorn.
Link to Exile video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSua9_WhQFE
Defender Instrumental by Rosasharn Music; Luvtea by Autumn Leaves; JGivens by 10 2 Get In
SHOW PRODUCED BY:
Dan Gummel. Jon Collins. Matthew Halbert-Howen.
Podcast Date: Feb 6, 2018
Speakers in the audio file:
Jon: Hey, this is Jon at The Bible Project. Last week, we started a conversation on
the podcast about a biblical theme in the Bible, which we're calling the exile.
It's an event that has shaped the Bible that we know and read today. It's an
event that happened in 586 BC when the Babylonian Empire came and wiped
out Jerusalem and sent many of the Jewish people out of their homeland to
live as refugees in a foreign land.
We closed that episode talking about how the Jewish people while in exile
were desperately clinging to this promise that God had made their ancestor
Abraham. A promise that they would have their own homeland and be a
people in that land who would bless the whole world because of their special
relationship with the Creator God.
They've come so close with David and Saul in Moses, but it's failed over and
over again. So they've realized that in order for it to truly happen...
Tim: It's going have to be involved with new David, some kind of a new Moses,
David prophet deliver figure. It's going to have to involve all of the sin and
horrible evil and violence that our people have perpetrated. That's going to
have to be dealt with. The evil among the nations is going to have to be dealt
with as well. That's the tension that the Old Testament closes with.
Jon: As the prophets who were living in these exile camps, began to write down
their hopes and prophetic visions of who this new king would be, and how
this new king would deliver them, they began to tell a bigger story.
Tim: As the authors of the Bible go back to talk about the history of humanity that
Israel fits into of Genesis 1 through 11, now, the history of humanity is told as
a story from this land to exile. From Eden, Genesis 1 and 2 to exile in Babylon,
Jon: Today on the podcast, we talked about how the biblical authors think that
everyone's story is really a story about exile. Thanks for joining us. Here we
Jon: When you say exile, you're typically referring to the one very traumatic event
where the Jerusalem was taken over by Babylon in 580 something.
Jon: That was actually like the third invasion but it was the big one where they just
took it down. But in the north, they had an exile a couple hundred years
earlier from a different world empire before Babylon. And so that's pretty part
of the exile story as far as Israel as a whole is concerned.
Then this identity as an exile continues even as they come back to the land,
because they're still under occupation of it yet, the third empire—
Tim: And there are many Israelites now scattered all over the ancient world, who
are still in exile.
Jon: And somehow they've regained this ethnic identity and they're also
solidifying the story of who they are and why they're not just any ethnic
group in this part of the world. They have been called by the one true God of
all creation to be a group that's going to bring blessing to the whole world.
Tim: To be the vehicle of God redeeming and rescuing all nations and all creation.
That's the tension that the Old Testament closes with.
Jon: How's is it going to happen?
Tim: Well, it's going to have to be involved with new David. Some kind of a new
Moses, David prophet deliver figure. It's going to have to involve all of the sin
and horrible evil and violence that our people have perpetrated. That's going
to have to be dealt with and done away with. The evil among the nations is
going to have to be dealt with as well.
Jon: When this happens, our identity as exiles will be over and we will now be
citizens of the true home - The kingdom of God.
Tim: Because the Jerusalem they returned back to isn't the Jerusalem of the
Golden Era. Under Zerubbabel, in the book of Ezra chapters 3 and 4, when
they rebuild the temple after they've been away in Babylon, they come back.
The first wave comes back, and they build the temple. It says that some
people were celebrating. It said, in those elders who had seen—
Jon: They've seen Solomon's temple?
Tim: They saw Solomon's temple and they lived through it and got back here. And
it says, there crying because it's nothing like what they thought it was going
Jon: Oh, man. Can you imagine Solomon built an awesome, awesome empire?
Tim: Yeah, that's right. And the second temple.
Jon: It must have been impressive.
Tim: It must have been. Then you get the same—
Jon: He didn't build an empire. He built an awesome temple, but also just a city.
Tim: That's Israel's story. We started with Abraham, Genesis 12 all the way through
to some people coming back from exile, but much of Israel still in exile. What
happens is, as the authors of the Bible go back to talk about the history of
humanity that Israel fits into - that's Genesis 1 through 11 - now, the history
of humanity is told as a story from promised land to exile. From Eden,
Genesis 1 and 2 to exile in Babylon, Genesis 11.
That experience, the narrative of Israel, being in the land getting taken into
exile becomes the framework for which they tell the story of all humanity.
Genesis 11 now in the order that you read it in the Bible becomes this
foreshadowing. All humanity is in Babylon, so to speak figuratively in Genesis
1 to 11, just like Israel is an exile.
So when Jesus comes on to the scene, and then the apostles are sent out to
the nation's, they view the Jesus movement as a movement of exiles going
out to a world that is in exile from its true home. This becomes a rich
metaphor to talk about.
Jon: I got to make sure I really...that's a lot.
Tim: It is a lot. You tell me what you just heard.
Tim: You do a better job of summarizing.
Jon: This identity of being in exile and shaping their story as a people who began
as sojourners, built—
Tim: A family sojourned out of Babylon, Abraham, comes into this land—
Jon: Comes into this land, we build this great place, and then were taken out
traumatic and now we're trying to rebuild. That's our story. Now, that's their
story of one people group.
Tim: And we're waiting for the full return from exile. And the time when this place
will be so transformed, Jerusalem becomes our golden era promise.
Jon: Everything God had promise and everything you could hope for as a human.
Tim: Yeah. Whether you return from Babylon or didn't, we're still waiting for that
Jon: For them, it wouldn't be some getting zapped out to some other reality.
Tim: The point is; it's not about going away somewhere. It's about this place.
Jon: When they say the kingdom of God, they want that reality of God ruling
Tim: That's right. You're getting it. This place that ought to feel like home to us
doesn't feel like home and it doesn't operate like home ought to operate as it
did in the days of David and Solomon.
Jon: So now as this people group wants to tell the story of all humanity, of
everyone's story, the way they do it is using the same idea. The same motif.
Tim: Or the same narrative arc for promised land to exile.
Jon: Which is, "Hey, all humanity had a home. It was great. It was as great as
Solomon's time essentially. If you can just make it..." I'm sure Solomon's time
had its problems. But just that that golden era of humanity.
Tim: Of heaven and earth united, God and human abundance God's peace and
Jon: It's this ancient garden temple beautiful moment in human history. And
something happened. It wasn't Babylon coming in. It was some mysterious
evil that came in.
Tim: The humans embraced.
Jon: Embraced and decided to ally with, which then exiled them, banished them.
Tim: Results in humanities exile?
Jon: Yeah, results in the exile.
Tim: Then the narrative arc, exile lands of them from their true home eventually
leading to Babylon in Genesis 1.
Jon: So Babylon becomes this linchpin image.
Tim: Yeah. That's humanity story.
Jon: So that's all humanity story. I'm just trying to let that sink in really quick. All
humanity story. The story of the human condition is that we are displaced in
Tim: We're earthlings.
Jon: We're earthlings. Like there's a remnant of a garden paradise but it's broken.
Tim: It's like imagine John Newton coming back to London all those years later.
After all those life experiences, you would never experience your home as the
same. And I imagine it was probably as dirty as it was when he grew up there
or something. But the point is, is that his view of his homeland is utterly
Then John Newton writes a poem that now humans all over the world can
sing and his experience becomes a way of talking about all humanity's
experience. His blindness and his dangerous toils and snares become mine
and every other human's dangerous toils and snares.
Jon: What's interesting is, in Israel story, they're hoping for new David, a new
Moses, this new kingdom, and blessing. That's their kind of salvation. But
then what about all humanity who was banished from the garden? What are
they waiting for?
Well, they're waiting, in the story, this kind of cryptic snake crusher savior
character who's the offspring of the woman? And that's kind of all you get for
the hope of humanity in Genesis 1 through 11, right?
Tim: Yeah. Then the promised Abraham.
Jon: But that's Genesis 12?
Jon: That's the beginning of Israel story.
Tim: But in the logic of the biblical narrative, this is how it works. Historically, it's
Israelite authors who went through the exile who go back and then frame
humanity stories this way. But then as a reader of the Bible, I'm not reading it
in that order. I started page 1 on Genesis 12 - Israel story.
I begin with the story about all humanity here in the world but exiled from
the true home which is this world the way it ought to be. My only hope is for
a descendant, a human who will come to do away with evil. Because we're
sitting here languishing in Babylon, Genesis 3 to 11.
Then out of Babylon, however, God brought a human family of Abraham.
Through him, he's going to bring that deliver to bring that blessing to the
world. Then that becomes the thread uniting the Israel story.
We've used the Russian nesting dolls - dolls within dolls. It's like the outer
doll is all humanity and exile you open it and then there's this whole story
about Israel's being brought out of Babylon into the land and given another
chance, so to speak. And they blow it too.
And so now we've got two problems to solve. We need to solve the Israel's
exile problem which will be the way of solving humanity's exile in Babylon
problem. This all hooks back to that passage that you alluded to when we
started this conversation, which is Bible verses in the New Testament that talk
about Christians being sojourners in exile.
Jon: That's what I wanted to get back to because you did that whole three step
thing. Israel's identities exiles, then saying, well, that's all of humanity's actual
identity, not just ours. The solution that's going to come through us. The seed
comes through our family. The offspring of the woman, the snake crusher—
Tim: That will rescue humanity from exile.
Jon: That's actually coming through our genealogy.
Tim: Coming through the Israelite family.
Jon: And then will bless the whole world and then now we're in the time of Jesus
and the apostles. You said - and this is where I want to make sure was
landing for me - that now it's no longer the hope has come through Israel
that snake crushing king has arrived. Now let's bring it all humanity that
solution because not only is Israel exiles, everyone's exiles. All humanity.
That's the story.
Tim: Yes. This world is our home - we're earthlings - but yet at the same time, we
experience this disconnect from the world as our home. We're both at home
within it, but also feel like strangers.
Jon: That's such a weird existential experience of feeling like a foreigner in this
reality, but this is the only reality we have. But it's like it feels like home, it
feels like I breathe oxygen, I enjoy sunsets, I eat food, what else would I want?
But at the same time, there's just so many questions like, why am I here and
why am I experiencing these desires that I have and why are these conflicts
arising that I can't solve? There are too many questions. I don't actually feel at
home in my body even though all I am is a body.
Tim: All are welcome in the universe. This is the author, Walker Percy. I just read
this many years ago. He wrote, "Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book."
He's kind of making a mockery of the 90s self-help movement.
The opening part of the book, he paints a picture of human technological
process. This was in the 90s. He's painting the version of TV and telephones
and air travel. It's incredible. And science and chemistry. Then it all goes to
this movement, but there's still one last frontier is the thing between our ears.
Then he goes into this crisis mode of just saying, "The fundamental mystery
of the universe is why we feel so alone and alienated from our own bodies,
from our communities, from our families, and from the universe. This is
supposed to be our home. So why is it so unstable? And why is life so
dangerous here and so hostile? And we have this little reprieve on the space
Jon: Why is it so difficult to be happy? Why do I keep screwing up things that I
shouldn't be screwing up? What's going on?
Tim: Yeah. "So this place our home or not?" And kind of like, well, I think the
human experiences yes and no. Like the world seems a very unwelcome place
to humans sometimes, and human creates very unwelcome environments for
each other, but yet we still have a sense that this ought to be our home.
Tim: It was so funny the way we're talking about this is the exact opposite of the
way I talked about it growing up, which is this is not our home. We need a
completely different reality, and it's this fuzzy, not corporeal. Is that the word?
I remember when Randy Alcorn came out with his book on heaven in the
early 2000s, that was pretty big for an evangelical to say, "Hey, guys, we're
not thinking about heaven correctly, or biblically. Heaven is a new earth."
Tim: Yeah, new creation.
Jon: I remember when he actually came to Multnomah.
Tim: I remember that, too.
Jon: He talked on it and it blew my mind. And all of a sudden, I was like, "Oh." It
was so exciting to think about, "Oh, yeah, in the new creation, I might be able
Tim: All your growing up images of having to leave behind everything you—
Jon: Just some fuzzy, cloudy...
Tim: Yeah, sure.
Jon: So thinking about it from the terms of being an alien or a sojourner and I
need to be in some other reality, the way we're talking about it is, you're
already in the Alcorn...you already get it and you're like, "Yeah, this is my
home of course."
Tim: This ought to be my home.
Jon: "This ought to be my home. Oh, this is my home. What else do I have? I'm a
body and I'm a human, there's no other habitat in the universe where I can
exist, and it's finely tuned for my existence." And so you start there, like, this
is home. But then the question is, why doesn't it feel like home? It's noticing
that that's the exact opposite tact of how I usually think about it. But it seems
like that's the more natural and biblical [inaudible 00:20:19].
Tim: The narrative doesn't end with the Israelites staying in Babylon. They come
back to Jerusalem, and they are in the land that should be their home, but
they don't experience it as home. That's Ezra, Nehemiah. Then all the way
through to the time of Jesus.
That's why when John the Baptist launched his movement, all the gospel
authors say, John the Baptist was this great fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah.
And they quote from Isaiah 40. And what is it? It's a promise about returning
from exile prepare a highway for the Lord back to the promised land. But
they're using this language of returning from Babylon to describe their
current existence back in the land. They're not in Babylon, they're back in
Even the language of returning from exile becomes a metaphor for the
restoration - new creation. This place that ought to be my home will be so
transformed that it becomes my home. This is what? Here we go. I wonder if
this is the hook for the video then.
In the letter 1 Peter, you have a Messianic Jewish apostle of Jesus. Peter, he's
an apostle but he's Jewish. He grew up in Galilee—
Jon: The rock.
Tim: The rock.
Jon: Not the Rock, Dwayne Johnson.
Tim: Yes. Not Baywatch Rock. Different rock – Peter, Petros. So you have Peter.
He's same and commissioned by the risen Messiah, Jesus, king of the world.
He writes to all these communities of Jesus. They're full of mostly non-
Israelites, non-Jewish people. He opens the letter of 1 Peter with, "Peter, an
apostle of Jesus the Messiah, to those who live as immigrants exiled
throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, all these cities in modern-day
Turkey, who were chosen by God's for knowledge, sanctified by the Spirit,
sprinkled by the blood of Jesus, grace and peace to. He's talking to these
people who live in their home.
Jon: They're not really immigrants.
Jon: This is where they live.
Tim: This is their home. I get a letter...I mean, just think.
Jon: I get a letter from my grandma.
Tim: You're your Bethania, you're Greek, you grew up in Pontu, it's your home. But
you've given your allegiance to Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. And you think he's
the king of the world and he's coming back to bring new creation, and Peter
writes a letter to your church community and he says, "Greetings, exiles,
people who are exiled in Pontus."
Jon: You're like, "No, this is where I'm from."
Tim: You're like, "I live here. I was born down the street."
Jon: "I'm not an exile. He must not be talking about me."
Tim: Another time in the letter, he's going to repeat it. He's going to say, "Hey,
beloved friends, I urge you as immigrants and exiles to not live like the non-
Jewish people." "Don't live like the Gentiles," he says in 1 Peter chapter 2. And
you're like, "Well, I am a Gentile and I'm not exile." You can see the point here
is that becoming a Christian means—
Jon: Losing your identity.
Tim: Means calling into question my identity that the world as I now experience it
doesn't define my identity or my destiny. It's my home, but it's not my home.
In the sense of what I know this world is truly made for and what I'm made
for and what I'm waiting for.
Jon: It's identifying something you already feel, which is, "Something's wrong. I'm
waiting for something better." But what it's doing is it's saying there's actually
an allegiance shift that needs to happen because you're not just waiting for
the world to figure it out, whoever's in charge right now. You're waiting for a
king who's not of this world." Well, I mean, I don't know how you'd want to
describe it. But you're waiting for a kind of a new allegiance.
Tim: It's King Jesus, who is the human who broke through the veil and he became
what we are all made for, and destined to become. He's the one who will
recreate our homeland to be what it is truly designed to be. In the meantime,
I live in my home with the mindset of a temporary resident. Again, this
language is so leaded.
The whole point is that my home, therefore, is in heaven. The point of saying
"I'm an exile" is to say, this world as I experience it doesn't define my whole
Jon: I think what was helpful was when you said that the Judeans were living in
Jerusalem. They're in their home now, but they still considered themselves
Tim: They're back in Jerusalem, but they continue using the language of exile.
Jon: What do they mean? They mean that even though I'm here, where home is
there's something wrong and something incomplete, something that needs
to come still and something needs to be transformed. Until that happens, I
still have the identity of as an exile.
To the same degree, me living in Portland, a city I was born in the northwest
where I grew up, living in a home where my family, my kids have grown up,
this is home, but it's not exactly what it needs to be.
Tim: But I'm also still experiencing it as something of a stranger. I'm estranged
from this world as much as I am at home within it.
Jon: But it doesn't mean that I'm waiting to go to another city.
Tim: No. I'm waiting for this city to become permeated with the kingdom of God.
Heaven and earth reunited.
Jon: And so, in that way, someone can say, "Hey, John, you're in exile and I'd be
like, "Yeah, I know what you mean."
Tim: That's right. It truly has this becomes like code language because you have to
know the story to know what it means that Christians call each other exiles.
What we're waiting for isn't to be shipped out. What we're waiting for is this
world that is our home but that doesn't work like it ought to if it were truly
home. We're waiting for the restoration of this to become the home it's
supposed to be.
Again, this is why all the language about heaven, this is why Paul says, "My
citizenship is in heaven, and from there we await a savior." This is in
Philippians chapter 3. "Our citizenship is in heaven and we await from there a
savior who will come here to bring about transformation, a new creation."
The point is that we're exiles here and here will become our true home when
Jon: What's he referring to there when he says heaven?
Tim: He's talking about the exalted place of Jesus as the king of the world. We're
back to the heaven language as a way of talking about God's high enthroned
vantage point over the world. God's in heaven as King overall and Jesus was
exalted to heaven. So I wondered if a hook for the video is Peter a Jewish
missionary writing to non-Jewish people saying, 'Hey, exiles?" "What?"
Jon: Yeah, that's strange.
Tim: "Hey, I urge you as exiles, don't live like the Gentiles." "What?" "I am a Gentile
and I'm not an exile." Then the last paragraph is "Oh, yeah, the one who's in
Babylon chosen together with you, the church in Babylon sends its greetings."
And you're like, "What? Babylon hasn't existed for half a millennium.
Jon: "I see what you're doing here."
Tim: So the whole world is in exile in Babylon.
Jon: We're all in Babylon.
Tim: But Peters view as a Christian the whole world is an exile still in Babylon.
Jon: It's kind of Babylon becomes a word to describe the reality, which is, this is
my home, but it's not my home.
Tim: Yeah. It's the corporate human condition of systematic sin and justice, broken
systems, broken corporate life. You can be born in Pontus or Portland, and to
be a Christian is to actually foster this view that I love it here but I shouldn't
mistake it for home.
Because imagine Portland, which is my home, permeated with the life and
love of the kingdom of God completely and every neighbor loving their
neighbors themselves. That would be very different Portland than the one I
live in. But I shouldn't mistake even a great Portland for the kingdom of God
Portland. And so I live here fostering this ambiguous relationship.
Jon: It's not just the city. It's the street I live on and it's also a couple thousand
square feet that's my house. That has to also be transformed.
Tim: Or the one square foot that is my brain.
Jon: You have a square foot brain?
Tim: I guess eight by eight inches. I don't know. Whatever dimensions a human
brain are. You get what I'm saying?
Tim: Just my own heart and mind, my own thought and impulses and inclinations,
I'm exile in my own body.
Jon: I'm an exile in my own body.
Tim: This is Paul's vision of the human problem in Romans 7. He retells the human
experience as the story of Adam and as the story of Israel as "I want to do the
right thing, but somehow my body driven by these sinful impulses and I do
the thing I don't want to do. I'm exiled. This body is good. But it also is a
problem at the same time."
Jon: I'm an exile in my own body.
Tim: Just that phrase right there "I'm a stranger in my own skin" captures the
existential experience of millions of human beings. The stranger in my own
Jon: And this is what Paul's getting at in Romans 7?
Tim: Yeah. My truest identity is as the image of God human living in the love and
power of God to love Him and love my neighbor. Imagine my true home is a
world that operates that way.
Jon: That's another place to start as a hook is a stranger in your own body.
Tim: That's true. That's interesting.
Jon: For a modern Western audience, that's a really good place to start.
Tim: Which is about audience of our videos. Which is us. That's interesting. That
could be more...yeah.
Jon: And then you can go to Peter.
Tim: That's the big umbrella is this is why now you can see it permeates the whole
story from the Garden of Eden to exile out ending up in Babylon, to Israel
story, out of Babylon exile, back to Babylon, back into the promised land, but
Jon: That's interesting is when they are waiting in Jerusalem, consider themselves
exiles, they're awaiting a king. Then in the New Testament, in the gospels, we
learned that Jesus is this king. It's not the way that we had anticipated it, but
it's the way we need it.
But then Jesus leaves and now we're awaiting the king again. So something
has changed, something has inaugurated is the word that theologians like to
use, but we're in a very similar position as Israelites rebuilding Jerusalem
awaiting the king.
Tim: That's right.
Jon: That's what Peter says. Or is it Paul? Where we're awaiting the king to come?
Tim: Yes. In Philippians 3.
Tim: That's right.
Jon: So Paul.
Tim: That's why Peter will write to these church communities saying, "Yeah, we're
an exiled, we're waiting the return of the King." The posture and the setting
of the exiles return and scratching out of life in Jerusalem forming the Bible
to retell the story of how we got here, how all humanity got here and what
hope is there, one of those main things was the problem of our broken
relationship to God, because we ended up in exile because of human evil and
sin. Stage one of the Jesus story dealt with that part.
Jon: Dealt with the power of evil.
Tim: That's right. And dealing with human sin and evil and both covering for it and
giving way to heal the covenant relationship. Covenant relationship's been
healed through Jesus stage one. Jesus stage two is the full transformation of
our home back into our true homeland.
Again, this exile and stranger language is a way of actually thinking about the
whole story of the Bible. And it's a different narrative arc that we've traced so
far because Jesus is a really important piece of it but it it's broader and it's
really taking seriously this Old Testament narrative arc of exile as the location
of all humanity awaiting of the healing and transformation of the world.
Jon: I want to dig into that more about the evil. We talked about how in Genesis 1
through 11, that's the story of all humanity becoming exiles. What happens
there is we've got a snake, this mysterious creature who's crafty and temps
Adam and Eve to not trust God and to kind of go out on their own.
You get this passage in Genesis 4 talking about sin crouching, ready to
devour you and have its way with you, and that's your enemy and don't let it
overtake you. So you just start getting this idea of this evil that we're dealing
with, it's very...other than us, but then somehow becomes like intimately tired
with us. And the enemy within that's having its way with us. That is the roots.
But then what happens is, human civilizations grow, and the thing that we
feel like we're dealing with is that bad dude over there with the sword and
the power. Like, that's the evil I need to be saved from.
Tim: Yes, yeah.
Jon: Pharaoh, Lamech, and then Babylon and Persia and Rome, that becomes the
real obvious bad guy. But when Jesus comes, he says, "No, the real bad guy..."
Tim: "The real thing driving Babylon, the real enemy that has exiled humanity, and
the real king of this exiled world is a being or force with evil." Which is
described by a variety of titles and images in the Bible.
Jon: The Satan, the serpent, the dragon.
Tim: The sin or the flesh like in Paul's writings.
Jon: So Jesus comes and says, "That's the problem I'm going to deal with."
Tim: That's the enemy.
Jon: That's the enemy. And so while you're preoccupied with that Roman occupier,
I'm not. I'm more interested in this deeper, more real problem. And because
of that, then it's easier for me to forgive people and forgive the soldier that's
killing me because I'm actually at [unintelligible 00:37:10] for the thing that's
actually causing him to be in this position in the first place. And so then Jesus
deals with that - with his death and resurrection. He tramples over it.
Tim: Yeah, here's the day of the Lord video.
Jon: It's day of the Lord. But then he's leaves and he says, "Hey, how about it now
with my spirit."
Tim: He leaves in one sense so that he can come back through the spirit so that he
cannot be bound to one spatial location.
Jon: And evil still exist.
Tim: That's right.
Jon: It's not like now evil is gone. The key to evil has been—
Tim: That's correct. Which is why they're still used to using the Babylon exile
language, I think. To be exiled in Babylon is to live in the world that ought to
be the kingdom of God, but is still under-occupying.
Jon: This is probably why Paul says, "Our battle is not against flesh and blood but
Tim: That's right. Totally. This is what he's turning into. That's exactly right. And it's
what John, the author of the revelation is tuning into by calling Rome or the
world powers of the distant future. Whatever review on revelation is, that
kingdom that represents broken, distorted human kingdom is called Babylon,
among other names in the book of Revelation. Which is itself generated and
motivated by just both human evil and spiritual evil.
Jon: As a 21st century modern Westerner who follows Jesus, it seems like it's
saying, "I identify with this problem of being an exile in my own body, but
also my city, and my home and even..." I mean, we live kind of, in a global
world now, so this whole world, the entire world system, I could travel
basically anywhere in the world.
Even though this is my planet, the pale blue dot, there's something horribly
amiss, and dangerously so. Then embracing that and saying, "The problem is
some dark evil force that I have become complicit with and so has everyone
and so as the whole system..."
Tim: It's taken us captive.
Jon: "...I believe there was a man from the first century, who was a Jewish man,
who lived in the century under Roman occupation, who identified that
problem and said, 'that's the real problem,' and somehow fought and won a
battle against it through his death and resurrection from the dead. And that
he was not just a human. He had broken through the veil. I like how you said
that. Like, he was the true human, he was God incarnate."
Tim: He was the creator, become the human on our behalf.
Jon: And that's only reason why he could do it.
Tim: Yeah. That we are all made to be...
Tim: And that's why he could fight against that on our behalf. Now my belief as a
21st-century global citizen is my identity needs to be first and foremost
saying, "Yeah, that's my allegiance to that guy. And the way he defeated did
evil is going to be the way that it's defeated within me. His vision for the
world needs to become my vision for the world. And I'm going to fight for
that while I'm here. I'm going to try to build the kingdom of God and seek
the kingdom of God."
Tim: Within the exile narrative, it's that he came and he showed us what it would
look like if we all lived here as if it were our true home. If we were to live and
treat each other as not exiles but full citizens in the kingdom of God, what
would that look like? Well, it would look like the Sermon on the Mount or
Luke's Sermon on the Plain - Luke chapter 6. It's funny that the material in the
Sermon on the Mount in Matthew it's in the blender and rearranged and
given on a plain.
Jon: In a different elevation.
Tim: Yeah, totally. But it's funny that in Matthew it's on high mountain and in Luke,
it's on the plain. Anyway, it looks like that. The teachings of Jesus.
Jon: And the actions of Jesus. Like the way he brings people—
Tim: That's right. And his teachings were an expression of how he was living. That's
right. Up to this point, we've stayed really global. There's merit to going
through moments in the actual biblical story to kind of walk the sequence
through because it's really interesting. We've done it from a high view. I think
we could do it fairly quickly.
Tim: Knowing how we do quickly. Do you want to transition that?
Woman: [foreign language 00:42:45]. We believe the Bible is a unified story that leads us
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