it's people who love the poor and even love their enemies, (whooshing sound) these are the kinds of people who actually rule the world.
Which means that they're commissioned (birds whistling) to rule this beautiful world on God's behalf by harnessing all of its potential and creating even more beauty and order. (plants rustling) - [Jon] This is a story about humans (popping sounds) using their power (plants rustling) to do meaningful, life-giving work.
But the question is, "How?" - [Tim] Yeah, humanity now faces a choice that's represented by a fruit tree. So humans could (wind blowing) partner with God and find freedom by trusting in his knowledge of good and evil, or they could seize power (thunder rumbling) and define good and evil on their own, which, God warns, will kill them.
And they hear the voice (hissing) of a dark, mysterious creature that tells them, "The choice is simple. Take the fruit. "It'll give you power and freedom to rule the world on your own terms." - [Tim] And so (dramatic thumping) they seize this knowledge and as a result they become suspicious (man and woman grunting) and self-protective.
It leads to (man and woman yelling) fractured relationships, violent power grabs, and, ultimately, (many people screaming) a whole civilization, Babylon, that has redefined evil as good. (lightning cracking) And so God scatters (wind blowing loudly) this corrupted human project. - [Jon] And, here, the story of the Bible takes an important turn.
We zoom into the story of a man and a woman who come out of Babylon: Abraham and Sarah. - [Tim] Yeah, God promises that from them will come a new people, a nation that has another chance (footsteps) to make the right choice, and, if they succeed, it will open up (people talking happily) this new way forward (whooshing sound) for the rest of humanity.
And this is why the rest of the Bible story is about this family. (many people talking) - [Tim] And it does not go well. Despite God's personal guidance, Abraham's family gives in (hissing) to that same temptation to redefine good and evil on their own terms apart from God.
And so Israel was warned by their own prophets (men grunting and yelling) that these choices would lead them back to Babylon, this time as conquered captives living in exile, and that's exactly what happened.
So even with God's personal guidance, Israel fails. (thunder rumbling) Who can succeed? - [Tim] Well, the prophets said (man grunting) that the story wasn't over. God's going to send a new leader to Israel to cover for their failures (lightning cracks) and to transform the people's hearts and minds so that they can make the right choice.
the Old Testament ends, and these promises are left hanging.
We're introduced to a man who comes from the line of Israel's kings: Jesus of Nazareth. And he said that he was bringing (footsteps) all these promises to their completion.
He confronted that (hissing) dark, mysterious evil that all humanity has given into (whooshing sound) and resisted its power.
Jesus taught about God's definition of good and evil, and he said that real power is serving others
And so is the claim that the story goes on to make about Jesus that he is God become human to be for Israel, and for all humanity,
He came to take the consequences of our evil into himself, and his sacrificial love proved more powerful than evil, (rock crumbling) than even death itself.
So now humanity's presented with a new choice. - [Tim] Represented by a new tree.
And in the story, those who choose the way of Jesus find themselves energized by God's own power.
The Jesus movement quickly spread throughout the world,
There was persecution (gasping) from the outside by people in power, and inside there was (hissing) confusion, even compromise. - [Jon] Yeah, because following Jesus is really hard. - [Tim] And so the movement's leaders, called apostles, (hopeful music) they wrote letters to comfort and to challenge these communities to stay faithful to the difficult way of Jesus.
And so the Bible ends by pointing to the future day when all wrongs are made right. (church bells chime) When evil is eradicated, (whooshing sound) Heaven and Earth are united, and humanity can rule the world together in the love and power of God.
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