How Will Jesus Use His Power? • Firstborn Ep. 9

[Music] We've been tracing the theme of the Firstborn it's a theme about how people Use power what we've seen is that people Consistently use power to oppress others They use others for their own benefit to Keep themselves elevated but Jesus the Firstborn son of God wields his power And Cosmic Authority in a way we've Never seen before and what Jesus as the Son of God is going to do with his Cosmic Authority is to go reach to the People in the lowest status in his Society and Community the poor the Imprisoned the blind the oppressed and Elevate them and that's the power of the Divine firstborn at work in the world in Fact this is exactly what Jesus says he Has come to do one day in the synagogue He reads from the squirrel of Isaiah and Says I have come to Proclaim good news To the poor this quote is about God's Coming Cosmic King and those there Listening write them off so he leaves The synagogue dog and immediately Encounters an evil spirit whatever Presence is driving this man knows who Jesus is because it says leave us alone Have you come to destroy us I know who You are you're the Holy One Of God so This is ironic because the people in the Synagogue were like who is this guy and Then here's this this death Spirit who Knows exactly who he is Jesus drives out

The unclean spirit and then he continues Throughout his ministry to touch all Sorts of people considered unclean under The levitical law now if he was a Typical priest a rabbi this act would Have made Jesus unclean too but instead His touch makes the unclean clean with Jesus it's not contagion that spreads But his Holiness contagious Holiness or Contagious life Holiness describes God As the unique one who is the source of Life it's as if Divine life is what Becomes contagious through Jesus Today Tim Mackey and I are talking about How Jesus uses his power as the cosmic Firstborn I'm John Collins you're Listening to the Bible project podcast Thanks for joining us here we go [Music] Hey Tim hey John Hello Hey we're uh we're at it again we're Gonna read some scripture related to the Theme of the firstborn yeah we man we're Many conversations many episodes in to This conversation tracing the theme Of the firstborn though if you've been Following through you know at this point It's like it's about like everything in The Bible That's how themes kind of work huh yeah Yeah totally but I think in episode or Two ago you asked me to do a summary and I feel like I really

Didn't do a very good job because you Had to jump in and rescue my summary That got off track so I'll try again Okay so we began with observing a Pattern in the Genesis scroll Which is God wants to partner with his Human images who will be his presence And representatives of his authority and Stewardship over creation and so he Elevates the Human images from the dirt And the Dust As images of God to rule on his behalf And what happens is that a beast of the Field who you have a hunch is actually One of the Heavenly rulers one of the Lights appointed to rule above in day One but a creature deceives the humans Into doing the opposite of what God Commanded for their good and for their Life and so they end up seizing their Own death Without even fully knowing that's what They're doing by disobeying the Divine Command So they're exiled from the heaven on Earth place and what God promises However is that he will raise up a human From the lineage of these human rulers To bring a future descendant who will Destroy and crush the evil one Crush Evil at its source and restore the Eden Blessings to all of creation and so that Lineage that promise Starts getting carried forward through

The future generations of the Human Family and what happens outside the Garden is each generation God chooses One Who will be the carrier of that promise And it happens first with two brothers And what God doesn't do is choose the Firstborn who's the culturally assumed One who would have the right and Responsibility and carry that and God Chooses the second born and this begins A theme where God chooses as the Carriers of his promise the late Comer The second born the one of low status And gives them this elevated promise of Blessing so he does this with Jacob over Esau with Joseph and Judah over their Brothers he does this with Rachel one of The wives of Jacob who's of low status In the family because she can't have Children and then this pattern just Continues where God keeps identifying Himself with the lowly with the slaves Like the Israelites in Egypt he calls my Firstborn And he elevates them over Egypt who Claims to be you know the embodiment of The divine presence in the world and so Really what the theme of the firstborn Turns into is about God's challenge to Distorted human systems of power and Value and status And his way of bringing the promised Deliverer is to upend everything that

Humans have created as good in their own Eyes And we've been tracing that theme Through the Torah through the prophets And now into the story of Jesus how's That great yeah and one part of this That I kind of lose track of Is that The purpose is that all of humanity is Elevated yeah good that's good as God's Image this ideal of all of humanity male And female together being the image of God that God isn't trying to just find One family or one person He actually wants all of humanity to be This image but in order to rescue Humanity from Evil there is a person Right the seed so now we have to kind of Narrow down and see God choosing this Line where the seed is going to come From and it's easy to confuse that and Think oh God's choosing a family Because God wants to elevate one family Over the rest of the families of the World or one nation over the rest of the Nations of the world because he somehow Loves them more or the right or that his Love is a zero-sum game yeah it's kind Of what he says to Cain it's exactly Right yes is Cain gets angry that God Shows favor on his younger brother And he does God shows favor his face Turns towards Abel I mean that happens And Cain gets frustrated and he thinks

It's a zero-sum game and then God says Hey do what's right and you too will be What's what does he say exalted lift it Up exalted lift it up yeah I think my Translation says accepted or something Yeah yeah yeah so God wants to elevate Both brothers but it's his mode like It's kind of gets scandalous to us of Like oh is God playing favorites over Here and why isn't God protecting my Power and my privilege and why is he Like taking care of this Outsider or This person I don't think deserves yeah Or why is he choosing one family to give His Covenant to versus these other Families and that's a whole dynamic that We've been exploring and that when we Make the theme video this is a big part Of how we kind of frame the conflict in The video is That how people respond to God's choice Of one is often what creates the Hostility and the conflict so Cain Murders Abel you have rivalry between Abraham and these other people in the Land that perceive that he's the bearer Of God's blessing rivalry between Jacob And Esau so that's one level of rivalry Is when The one of higher status or the Firstborn becomes hostile to God's Chosen one who's lesser But then we've also noted there's other Ways the conflict can start it can

Happen with a non-chosen sibling who's Neither the firstborn nor the chosen one And like ham son of Noah makes a power Grab So the conflict can start that way or The conflict can start when God's Own Chosen one like the lesser the later Born or the Lesser social status person Gets elevated and it goes to their heads And they make poor decisions Every way possible Humans mess up what God is trying to do In the world and right the biblical Story is about how God keeps creating Goodness And accomplishing his purpose even in The face of human hostility and it's Helpful for me to remember there's kind Of two things God's doing one is the big Meta thing which is making all of Humanity His Image but then second is The like Sub storyline which becomes the main Storyline of the Bible which is rescuing Humanity from Ourselves so that we can then become his Image and that rescue plan requires him To keep choosing families and choosing People who will be the Patriarchs of the Families who the seed will come from Because both of these story lines what They have in common is God's like Generosity That God would share his power with

Humanity And that he would then go out of his way To like make this work even though we Have like rebelled against it yeah and I Keep thinking about how this is rubbing Up against then The problem of evil hmm and I think we Talked about this a little bit so this Is a total aside but Is this proper is this proper meditation Practice to say like look at Cain and Abel and let's use them as a pattern of The older and the younger the more Powerful and the less powerful the one That should be chosen the one That's lesser and now let's take that Back to the first iteration which is the Spiritual Beings and humans yep that's Right and the animals and the humans Yeah and the animals and humans because Both animals and the Heavenly rulers Come before humans in the seven day Creation narrative Yeah so the animal thing that's Interesting to leave it aside let's just Talk about the relationship between the Spiritual Beings sure the firstborn of God's creation in a sense yeah the first The first ones given authority to to Rule have to have dominion in in the Skies over time and and seasons and that Whole idea of these glorious Divine Spiritual Beings and their power in the Heavens that God gives them first before

Then day six dirt creatures God gives And elevates us to be his image and what We talked about is how the second temple Texts and also other parts of the Hebrew Bible and starts to kind of illuminate And you think about how it was the envy Of us the Spiritual Beings feeling like Man these creatures don't deserve such a High status why is God showing favor on Them why is God's face yeah on them more Than us like this is ridiculous and in a Way then you can kind of replay the Cain And Abel story yes with the Spiritual Beings and I wonder can you imagine God Going to a spiritual being And saying like hey why are you angry Like Do what is right and won't you also be Exalted and there's this idea that in The whole fabric of the cosmos All of God's creatures like he wants to Elevate everyone in their place and There's enough for everyone there's Enough for the spiritual beings and for Humanity and for the animals and all of God's creation And The problem is is we can't We just don't trust that that's true Yeah that's right humans and Spiritual Beings and we get scandalized when we Don't think it's being like mediated out In a way that distributed equally yeah Or distributed equally on the timeline

That we think is like right and just the Timeline and also in the manner of being Like Hey we're first and we're more Powerful yes you should be like favoring Us and everything would be better why Are you like focusing on these dirt Creatures yeah that's scandalous and so Like all of the problems that generate Out of the Bible come from this this Like we can't trust God's generosity Like his timing and means and so I I Remember talking about this with you but It's just fresh in my mind again and and When we're talking about Cain and Abel And won't you two be exalted like I was Thinking about the Spiritual Beings more Well thank you first of all you're Recalling like our first conversations In this series But also I wonder if it's fresh on your Mind because our last conversation was About the early chapters of the gospels And yes what is important is that the Hebrew Bible when you're in the Narrative world you're hearing a story You know that goes from the beginning on Into Israel's story Into the second Temple period But the formation of that collection of The Hebrew Bible took place over a very Long course of many generations and each Generation receiving what came before Was praying and meditating on the Traditions they received

As they were having the new experiences Of God's purposes in their history and As those new experiences became part of The tradition then that was added to What was meditated upon and all Collected together so that when you read The Hebrew Bible as a whole When we read the garden narratives You're meant to read them With an eye and they are designed in the Shape they are now with an eye towards Everything that's coming Which involves a lot of meditation on The powers above and human powers below So that by the time you get to Daniel For example Daniel has a fully worked out View of all of these things and it's Exactly what you're saying like there's Rebel powers above there's Rebel Powers Below and they're linked yeah they're Linked the Heavenly rulers and Earthly Rulers which is why You've got Heavenly princes of Persia You know that are resisting Michael the Archangel and they're parallel to Nebuchadnezzar and Darius the kings of Babylon and Persia who are resisting God's human Partners Israel on Earth and it's all Like a mirror of each other so when we Get to the Gospels There's been so much meditation on that That that's why the gospels present

Jesus's conflict with the rulers of Jerusalem as a conflict with the snake Which is what Jesus is testing in the Wilderness was all about and why it was Framed as he's an Israelite replaying Israel's history like the 40 years in The wilderness in his 40 days And he's like David King David overcoming The Temptations And failures of King David but he's also Like a new human he's a new Adam Resisting the deceit of the snake in the Garden He's all of it Yeah okay well what you just made a Connection that was helpful too is that Reminding us the rulers above and the Rulers below aren't like two separate Stories like um they're linked yeah They're linked like there's something There yeah that's really fascinating at Least for how the biblical authors see The world I mean not yeah it's a view of Reality that I find I have had to take a Lot of time and exposure to like adjust To seeing the world that way yeah but Yeah they're linked okay cool and so Also Jesus is casting out demons a lot Yeah and that's part of this too right Like he's yeah like the fight that he's Fighting is often like sometimes it's Like religious leaders and disagreements And stuff but mostly it's with demonic Powers Yeah and Jesus is presented

As both the son of Adam the son of Humanity and so we track this with his Genealogy like in Luke for example in The last conversation where there's this Big emphasis on it was thought the son Of Joseph he was the biological son of Mary and he was thought to be the son of Joseph and that's why the lineage of Joseph is brought back to the son of Adam the son of God So he's the son of God in terms of one Aspect of what that phrase means which Is to be from God yeah but then in Jesus Baptism he's presented as God's Firstborn or God's son in the even more Cosmic Eternal sense and that's what the Baptism was about so he's both the human That we need to be the human partner That fulfills that story and promise From the early chapters of Genesis but It turns out that the human partner that We need needs to so exceed the capacity Of what humans have been capable of so Far yeah that the one who's able to do It is actually God become human in the person of the Sun and so that's how Jesus is Introduced to us as the firstborn or the Son of God in the early chapters of the Gospels yeah yeah man these are great Summaries this is helpful for me I feel like it sometimes I don't know It's I what I love John is the organic Nature of when we go on these theme

Explorations because it feels like as You work through the biblical story Clarity begins to emerge as you meditate And restate it over and over again at Least that's my experience of yeah these Conversations and that it kind of is What it's like to read the Bible as Meditation literature as a unified story Leading to Jesus right yep so we're Doing the thing doing it [Music] So where we left the last conversation Was with the testing of Jesus in the Wilderness he overcomes that test as the Son of God and then we were tracking With Luke's account about how he goes to His hometown and goes to synagogue Gathering on does it I don't think he Says that it was Shabbat Sabbath does he It's the most likely time when they Would be all gathered it just says he Went to oh it does oh no it does yep he Went to synagogue on the Sabbath yeah Because it's yeah that's typical time Together and he starts reading from the Isaiah scroll A poem that's connected to a network of Poems about God's servant yeah who is Going to be highly exalted and given God's spirit like David was and what Jesus as the Son of God is going to do With his Cosmic Authority is to go reach To the people in the lowest status in His society and Community the poor the

Imprisoned the blind the oppressed And Elevate them and that's the power of The firstborn the Divine firstborn at Work in the world that's where we left It which is very similar to the power of God at work Yeah exactly lo and behold God's Firstborn And we'll unpack that more I'm sure Later yeah yeah is got the same mode Of interfacing with Humanity while it's Fractured yeah with again the desire That all will be exalted right the Desire is like hey if you do what is Right I want you to be exalted but like I'm gonna favor The poor and oppressed like that's where My attention is going to be right now Yeah that's right So one thing we didn't do when we Concluded that story in the last at the End of the last conversation was note What everybody says when he puts the Scroll down He puts the Isaiah scroll down and a Bunch of people were speaking really Well of him like oh what a wonderful Sermon you know oh I'm coming back next About I want to hear this guy again but Others were saying wait isn't this the Son of Joseph Um Yeah whose son is this guy [Laughter]

He's talking like he's something special But we know who he actually is totally Joseph yeah Joseph I mean he's like from A Craftsman family you know up here in The Hills why yeah which is no it's not He's not like uh That's not nothing there's the Craftsman But it's like where does the Craftsman Son get the gumption to say that he is The anointed Spirit empowered Son of God Servant to yeah bring God's kingdom to The poor and this is connected to this Idea that while Jesus is the true image Of God the firstborn as he's presented In the narrative is as an outsider yeah And as a lesser person like you know Like a Samuel yes yeah he didn't come From Priestly stock but he's going to be Elevated to be the like ruler yeah so Let's uh kind of carry forward and we'll Keep tracking with Luke's account so What you have after the Nazareth Moment that we just concluded is Jesus Starts going out And bringing the healing power and the Good news of God's kingdom to the poor It's exactly what you get so he walks Out of the synagogue and there's a guy Who's just a wrecked human being that Says that he had the energy of an Unclean spiritual being an impure Spiritual being associated with death in The Underworld and this guy is driven by Something powerful and crazy an unclean

Meaning what here impure yeah actually We talked about this years ago in our God series on Spiritual Beings because There's kind of two rabbit holes here One is there was a very popular Tradition in second temple Judaism That the majority of invisible powers of Evil at work here in the world roaming Around the world Is the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim the Giants who are slain at the Flood and you can track with this theme It's developed in a bunch of Jewish Literature associated with Enoch Called the books of Enoch but also a Work called jubilees So that's one popular belief at work was That these are the ongoing Legacy of the Giants The mutant creatures that were inspired By the spiritual rebellion of the sons Of God in Genesis 6. so that's one and Because it comes from their dead bodies That dead bodies are considered impure That's one explanation the other main Explanation is that it doesn't Necessarily mean that to everybody To every Jewish person but because evil Spiritual Beings are associated with Death in the Underworld that means They're associated with dead bodies or Corpses and that's what impure could Mean too yeah because like technically This Purity loss stuff from Leviticus

Mainly is a very specific thing out of The Jewish Covenant yeah law yeah of Like the specific things you can do to Become ritually impure and one is like Touching dead bodies And so that's because it's like Connected to the underworld and death Then it's like calling it unclean it's Just being like this is related to death And yeah it makes you impure that's Right Purity is to be in a state where I Am able to be in proximity to life Goodness Beauty And everything God wants for the Human Family to be in an impure State means That I've been in proximity or touched Something associated with death and so In Leviticus there's just a few things It's like blood Ly fluids dead bodies mold mold skin Disease these render you for a temporary Period ritually impure yeah which means That you're on the death side but God Has provided a way through the liturgies And the rituals of the temple and Priesthood for you to enter a pure State Again so these are spiritual creatures Associated with the dead and the Underworld okay the realm of death and That's essentially what unclean should Kind of signal for our ears so like to a Jewish person a Jewish reader of this This isn't just someone who's I guess You have a category of like man if

You're in an impure State yeah that's Bad I mean it's not good I mean it's It's not sinful it's not sinful but it's Like not a good condition to be in and But then you can go and you can change It but here's an image of a person so Like yes yes overcome with death And empowered by death that their impure State is like turned to 11. it's like no Getting out of it this person is too far Gone yeah in Jewish Society at the time This would be somebody who's so on the Margins they're not even of sound mind Yeah and heart and their bodies their Minds their way of life shows it yeah They're likely homeless or they're Likely a beggar yeah and so this is the First person that Jesus drawn attention To and Luke presents this is the first Encounter he has after leaving that Synagogue that's really significant yeah Yeah and what's interesting is that Whatever presence right is driving this Man knows who Jesus is Hmm because it says leave us alone what Business do we have with you Jesus of Nazareth have you come talk about the Unclean demon yeah starts talking yeah Have you come to destroy us I know who You are wow you're the Holy One Of God So this is ironic because the people in The synagogue were like who is this guy What this is Joseph's son right yeah Yeah and then here's this this death

Spirit and who knows exactly who he is This is heavy irony there so Jesus you Know challenges this spiritual presence And drives Exiles him from the man And um the man came out of him and Everyone's everyone's amazed and the Message starts spreading then he goes to His friend Simon's mother-in-law the Woman and she has the fever so he heals Her And then the Sun is setting and anybody Who is sick or with diseases were Brought to Jesus and he laid his hands On them kind of like a priest putting His hand on the animals and start Healing them and and when we when we did The Holiness video this is so powerful For me for you to point out that by Touching someone sick yes yes yes makes You impure in the Covenant law in that Liturgy but here's Jesus touching the Sick and making them pure yeah it's like The power is reversed contagious Holiness contagious or contagious life I Mean what Holiness is is Holiness Describes God as the unique one who is The source of life right and so it's as If Divine life is what becomes Contagious through Jesus and so in other Words a priest wouldn't come and lay Their hands on someone sick right Because that would make them impure Correct yeah no Leviticus lays out the Rituals for it and people need to go

Through a waiting period And then have a washing before they can Enter a state of Purity again Yeah is this powerful powerful stuff the Next sentence after he heals everybody Is it just gives a summary of other Demons were being cast out by people and They were shouting you are the Son of God so when there's the Sun theme again But Jesus wouldn't allow them to speak Because they knew that he was the Messiah yeah so even right there Normally if you're like a hereditary Prince you're right right who's just Come into your new Throne you go around With like Heralds announcing it And so look at the irony of the scene as Jesus has Heralds all right as the Royal Cosmic Sun But he's telling them to be quiet and The Heralds are like forces of evil and The people who are watching all this are Like ah who's who's this guy I love the Sermons you know and then someone else's Life well he's Joseph's son don't listen To that kid It's really amazing it's like this is The Royal Herald But in this really upside down way Anyway man I could just read the gospels All day these are just like such Powerful stories Thank you [Music]

Foreign So let's see he keeps on This basically just sets the tone for Luke chapters four five six seven eight He heals the man who's paralyzed that's A rad story oh he goes and Associates With a tax collector and invites him Into the crew that's an outsider it's Definitely an upside down move yeah or a Choosing so it's not just now the Firstborn and the second born because Remember whoever is the second born now Is whoever is of low status yeah on the Margins the sick the yeah so in this Society a tax collector which would be Then You know a brother Jewish brother who is Like now in League with the Roman Empire To like extract money from you on their Behalf and is often fairly crooked about It yep like those are not the good guys Totally yes and so notice how the Rivalry The Sibling Rivalry thing gets Brought up here this is great actually In Luke chapter five So then Levi who's like Abel right or Like Joseph who got elevated above when That's total surprise he throws a big Party And he invites all these other tax Collectors and other Sinners right there Because he's like man if this is how God Operates I want to tell all my friends And then here's Kane or here's Esau

Grumbling and it says the Pharisees and The scribes begin grumbling At the Disciples of Jesus saying what Are you partying with tax collectors and Sinners yeah don't why are you turning Your attention to them like why are you Including them Like you're you're missing it they're Scandalized by this yes in other words The gospel authors have been tracking With the cycling of these themes in Their family history in the scriptures And so when they present the story of Jesus look at how they tell it they're Telling it as another iteration of this Pattern of the Rivalry And so Jesus's response is interesting He says listen it's not those who are Healthy who need a doctor it's the sick So I haven't come to call the righteous But rather Sinners to repentance And it's kind of like his response to God's response to Cain which is like Listen you're I mean kind of but also Really developed yeah I'm not seeing it Yet but the point isn't that listen like God's not against you like you're Righteous you're already on in the Covenant like you're good yeah okay he's Not saying it's the same sentiment of Like hey there's enough of God's Generosity there you go yeah for all of Us yeah and so of course I'm gonna go Extend it to the people who need it the

Most exactly but that doesn't mean that You're gonna miss out totally you're you Guys are healthy yeah but their Grumbling is going to become hostility Which will become very yeah but the Irony is that you find that eventually Jesus is like now you're whitewashed Tombs at least some of them yeah yeah at Least some of them it's another Iteration of like the grumbling of the Firstborn But in a different key because we're the Different moment in the story Okay so where I want to get to next is Jesus is spreading the good news of God's kingdom he's the son of God and This is how he's doing he's doing it Exactly the same way that God was up to In the storyline of the Hebrew Bible so This tension keeps building and building Until we get to chapter nine and This is a moment parallel to Jesus's Baptism again and we're almost almost Halfway through Luke's account not quite Okay so Luke chapter 9 verse 28 Some eight days after Saying what he just said before this he Took along Peter and John and James and They went up onto a mountain to pray So if you're keyed into the way Eden Imagery works in the Hebrew Bible Back when Jesus went to a river Anytime you're in the presence of a River

You know that the river of Eden should Be on your mind and this might be some Kind of Eden scene Similarly Eden is portrayed as being on A high hill or what later biblical Authors will call a mountain and so he Goes up onto a mountain yeah to pray to Like commune with the father So while he was praying the appearance Of his face changed And his clothing became White and Flashing Like basically he becomes like a Lightning a source of light and there Were two humans talking with him one was Moses And one was Elijah and they also Appeared in like glorious splendor And what they were talking about was his Where Jesus's and it's the Greek word Exodus Exodus they were talking about the Exodus he was about to bring to Fulfillment in Jerusalem So let's just pause right there Like there's just there's a lot Happening right there Well but I think you've made all the all The observations like I mean on a Mountain place to pray so the Moses and Elijah thing isn't incidental it's Actually really key to the claim about Jesus's identity here yeah so so Moses Was this very significant leader who was

Like the closest to the image of God you Kind of find in the Hebrew Bible it Seems like he was also a second born Oh interesting yeah yeah elevated to That privileged experience yeah tell me About Elijah well Elijah is in the Narratives about him especially in First Kings chapter 17 to 19 is portrayed as a New Moses type figure both Moses and Elijah they're the only two people that Ever Ascend Mount Sinai or Mount Horeb Both encounter the divine presence in Fire and cloud and have conversations With God on the top of the same mountain With the same kind of manifestations of Power So I think the claim the shock Factor Really is if you get the hyperlinks here So Moses and Elijah are the two figures In the Hebrew Bible they also represent The two big parts of the Hebrew Bible The Torah Moses and the prophets Elijah And They're the two people they're the two Figures who encountered the fire Cloud Flashing presence of Yahweh and talked With that presence on the top of the Mountain And so what Luke is doing is he's Portraying this as an apocalypse a Revealing of Jesus's real identity oh Wow and he puts Jesus in the slot of the Divine Yahweh fire presence That Moses and Elijah met on Mount Sinai

Whoa okay I've never had it put that Explicitly yeah before now Jesus also as He does so he becomes a gleaming human Image of God's glory right which is what The high priest of Israel symbolized and Represented yeah is a gleaming glowing Figure dressed in white going into the Holy of holies but Moses and Elijah Didn't meet Aaron on top right Mount Sinai they met the one that Aaron has an Image of namely the fiery presence of Yahweh yeah wow so that's remarkable so Peter and his companions fascinating They were overcome with sleep [Laughter] Well it seem like the opposite of what I Would be feeling if I was there Um yeah is this like they saw it and They're like that's cool but I'm tired Or were they already sleeping that's a Good question uh it's been a long time Since I dove into the Greek of this Account because whether or not the sleep Is portrayed as Happening it might be that it's saying Like this was all happening while they Were going to sleep which is significant Because what it means is they were in a Dream state And dream states are connected to Visions dreams and divisions apocalypses Yeah and apocalypses Apocalypses happen When our normal level of human

Consciousness gets subverted right or Our normal ways of seeing reality get Surrendered when we are functioning at a Deeper level of Consciousness awareness And I think that's what we're meant to See here this was an apocalyptic Vision A lot like what Jesus saw in the baptism But then they're told to be fully awake And they're still seeing this exactly Totally it's happening it's not like in Their imagination no that's right Exactly but that's the thing about these Altered States of consciousness And dreams and Visions in other words For us when we think of dreams and Visions we think of you're seeing Something that's only half real and the Biblical authors have the exact opposite Assumption Which is when walking through life Seeing half real yes and there's moments Where we get a revealing an apocalypse Of what's really going on the threat of What's truly real and that's what this Is so they see All of this and they saw his glory Jesus's Royal Splendor and the two guys Standing with him so Peter comes up with This idea that oh man we need to make Some Tabernacles yeah this is such a Weird like part of the story for me yeah But What did the Tabernacle in the Hebrew Bible what did it host it hosted the

Divine presence oh okay but now he's Seeing three glorious presences Yeah he wants to like set up camp for Everyone yeah and then Luke says you Know after Peter says let's make three Tabernacles you know one for you one for Moses one through Elijah and then Luke Says yeah yeah he didn't know what he Was talking about so it gets even Crazier while Peter was talking a cloud Came and overshadowed them So now they're in heaven right they are All of a sudden swept up into the Heavens in the form of this Cloud as They enter the cloud and a voice came From the cloud saying this is my son My Chosen One listened to him So this whole scene is a replay of the Baptism yeah but now there's other Witnesses and Jesus's identity is kinda Explored even more In parallelism to The implications of what the voice said In other words this scene is kind of Filling out what you should have got From the baptism but now it's filling it Out with even more hyperlinks And so notice Jesus's status as the son Is front and center right here yeah and He's the chosen son in the baptism he Was called the beloved Son now he's Called The Chosen Sun Which is another word from the servant Poems in Isaiah in the scroll of Isaiah

The chosen one And listen to him is that connected to Shema Yes and oh this is rad actually that Phrase comes from it's a hyperlink to Deuteronomy chapter 18 when Moses says One day God is going to raise up a Prophet like me from among the people Listen to him hmm So he's being identified dude this Literature is so dense man Jesus is Being identified as the fiery divine Presence yeah that Moses and Elijah met On the mountain that's wild That took up residence in the Tabernacle He's being portrayed as the high priest As the one that the high priest Symbolized with the white clothes in the Middle of the Divine Glory And he's being portrayed as The son of Psalm 2 the king from the Line of David The chosen one who's that's from the Servant poems in the book of Isaiah and Of the Prophet like Moses who is to come From the Torah just like dude So dense and then once the voice spoke Jesus was alone Everyone was silent it was over Yeah apocalypse over yeah So what all of Luke 4 through 9 is Taking you on a journey of the baptism Was Jesus Being commissioned in light of his full

Identity Then you watched him acting on that Identity as God's ultimate Cosmic Firstborn son and everybody's got Questions The spiritual being seem to know exactly Who he is and now he just brings a small Circle of his closest followers And they get an apocalypse of his Identity as the cosmic Sun glory of God Wow powerful stuff man yeah Okay So here's something that clicked for me A while ago and it was actually as I was Working in the Gospel of John for a Bible project classroom class that we're Gonna be doing in the next year and a Half or so on the Gospel of John and I Realized that what Luke is trying to Communicate about who Jesus is through Hyperlinks and narrative patterning from The Hebrew Bible But the claim that Jesus is the human Embodiment of the Divine Glory that took Up residence in Israel's Tabernacle and Temple that is exactly the same claim That John is making about Jesus in The Gospel but just more explicitly yeah You're talking about in John 1 from Beginning to end yeah so actually that's Kind of when I want to go next to kind Of okay just conclude this part of the Conversation but this is really Significant at least to me that Luke is

Using narrative Strategy to communicate something about The identity of Jesus but you have to Know how he's communicating to pick up The signals yeah and I think this is why When it comes to understanding Jesus's Divine identity in the New Testament why John seems easier to see that that's What he's saying than in the other Gospels but it's really just about the Different narrative techniques these Authors were using because they're all Communicating the same thing about Jesus Okay so let's uh let's look at John one [Music] Foreign [Music] [Music] [Music] This big pivot because we've been in Luke and Mark previously so John begins His account of Jesus with a poem a long Poem I think we call the prologue and Let's see we've made videos about this And had conversations in the podcast About this too yeah did we have a Conversation in the podcast about it Yeah we had one okay that was kind of Connected to the video so we have a Video just on What's called the prologue Of John yeah so we won't read the whole Thing here Jesus is introduced in the Opening sentences as the human Embodiment of God's word and will and

Purpose that is eternally With God And is God at the same time So that's a whole mind Bender to think About but he's called the word the word Of God that is both with God that is Somehow distinct from God but also one With God because he is God at the same Time yeah okay so if you carry that Forward that's the opening of The Prologue when you carry that forward Down to verse 14 Jesus but before coming Human Is called the word again and this is the Famous line the word became flesh And he Tabernacled set up a tent In the middle of us and we saw his glory Yeah the glory as the one and only from The father Full of grace and truth So we'll just we'll just stop right There Because this is loaded so that Divine Word and will and purpose that is Somehow in some way distinct from God But also is God That became a human And then when John wants to describe What it meant for him to become human he Uses the language of God's glorious Fiery presence that took up residence in Israel's Tabernacle right and this is The same presence we just saw during

Luke's account of this what we call the Transfiguration yeah yeah that you Just showed us is connected Jesus being The is in the slot of God's fiery Presence that Moses and Elijah Experienced on the mountain yeah are They not they're now experiencing it and It's revealed that that's Jesus Jesus is God's yeah glorious presence and so Here's John just saying it in another Way like Jesus here is like God's Presence in the Tabernacle is Jesus here With us in flesh yeah not just like he Is that At least I think by how John's worded it And the way he takes this theme I think That's what he wants us to hear like he Is that that Divine glory and word and Purpose took up Physical form Among Us and when we looked at that Human what we saw was the tabernacle Fiery glory of God and then he gives the Line to clarify he said the glory As of the one and only From the father And so this is the first he doesn't use The word Sun Here But by saying that this glory is from The father He's implying the son father Relationship here now a lot will depend On the translation that you're reading

I decided that you switched yeah okay We're like yeah Yeah because the one we were looking at Before said begotten from the father and We talked about that word begotten yeah Because it came up in Psalm 2. is that Right yes or it uses the birth language Of today I have begotten you yeah today I have birthed you birthed you yeah okay So but I have a I have a sense that That's not what's going on here correct With the translation discrepancy yeah so Just to I'll just flag it because it's Often helpful to do this The New American Standard says the glory of the Only begotten from the father begotten Being an older English word for born See and that at least among Modern translations oh yeah and that King James that comes from the King James yeah sounds very King Jamesy all The way back to the year 1611. the first Edition of the King James where the King James adopted that translation from was From the Wycliffe Bible one of the Earliest English translations from the Mid-1500s And that was one of the first uses of This English phrase the begotten one if You look at all of the other modern Translations they Translate The phrase will talk the word that we'll Talk about as just the one and only or The only son

Or Yeah the one and only okay so here's a Little Nerdy deep dive on what's going on here The Greek word underneath this is the Word monogamous and it's actually it's a Compound Greek word yeah I think I can Guess it yes so mono mono you know it's One we have lots of single version yep Single yep and then genes Actually is what's underneath our word Genus which is also a Latin word Category So the one and only of that category Yeah okay but what's interesting is Early on The word could possibly or has been Taken from another Greek root ganao Which means to be born oh yeah the only Born And so suginus might have its origins in The word born yeah it doesn't oh it Doesn't but it would be spelled slightly Different as I understand okay the Greek Etymology of the word the word would Actually look different if it was from Born okay so it has a different Yeah a Different history And it means category monogamous means The only one of whatever category we're Talking about and when was do you use This word like describing what like what Yeah other thing yeah would be the only Of its kind yeah so the words used nine

Times in the New Testament three times By Luke To describe the only son of a widow okay The only daughter of uh a guy named Jairus and the only child of a guy who Was demon-possessed the other five Times it's used once in Hebrews oh to Apply to Isaac because this is what Isaac is called In the opening of Genesis 22 to Abraham Take your one and only son and is that How the Septuagint translates it then And the Greek translators of the Hebrew Bible translated it with the word Monokinase and then the word appears Five times in the writings of John and That's the main usage of this word in The New Testament outside the New Testament it's used to refer to all Kinds of things one actually is Post New Testament it's a Christian author named First Clement and he weaves this whole Parable about the Phoenix the mythical Bird the Phoenix that can rise from its Ashes and he calls the Phoenix a one and Only a monogamous kind of bird Meaning it's the only one of its kind So the word monogamous doesn't mean only Child It means the only one in that category It's often used of the only child Because that's the word because it can Mean that that's right I see but like Isaac wasn't an only child but he was

The only child to receive the blessing Yeah he was the only son of Sarah but he Wasn't Abraham's only son yeah yeah That's right so where the King James and The Tyndale got this translation from Was not from Hebrew and not from Greek They got it from the Latin Vulgate Translated under the supervision of Jerome a scholar in the mid 300s who Translated monogamous with meaning the Only borniti Um My Latins are not not sharp at all So that's important just because the Emphasis of this word isn't about birth Right the emphasis is about unique Identity right and so when you take that Into the equation What John is saying is that Jesus is the Embodiment of that Divine Glory that Took up residence in the Tabernacle and That glory is divine like that's Yahweh's Glory However we enlisted with the god series Was in the podcast years ago we made our God video all about this is that the Hebrew Bible actually has a really Nuanced portrait of God's identity The God is God and that there is one God Like in the Shema but that also when God Appears or contacts creation He does so in ways that reveal part of God's self And that God has the second self as it

Were through whom he connects to the World And that one is not created It is God but it's also somehow a Distinction within God's Own identity so God's wisdom God's word God's glory are All ways the Hebrew Bible talked about That And What the gospel authors what John is You're saying is The guy we met in Jesus is that he's the One who is God And is distinct from God he's God's Glory he's God's wisdom he's God's word Become human And he's the one and only from the Father That's what he's trying to communicate Here yeah and this is the foundation bed Of Christian Orthodoxy through the Centuries this is what Early Christian Bishops were like Debating about fiercely in the early Centuries is trying to hammer out What does it mean yeah to talk about God As one and yet having a plurality within That Oneness at the same time yeah I Think we could try to make even more Sense of that but that's the god series That's totally you know But now that we're there The identity of Jesus as God but also Separate from God in that whole

Thing we're distinct I've come to try And use distinct is the one English word I can find that doesn't drive a division Or separation within God's identity Interesting it is God and is distinct From God at the same time Yeah yeah anyway Now connect that back to the theme of The firstborn yeah Well this all goes back to Jesus's own Primary way of referring to God which is To call God my father father or our Father yeah and calling himself the son So the son father language Was the primary language Jesus used to Describe who he was and who he was in Relationship to his father And that's why it's passed on in all the Writings of the Apostles is because this Is Jesus's own language For this And the apostles as they meditated on Their Encounter With Jesus in light of Their meditation on the Hebrew Scriptures Also started to use other categories of Jesus as God's word or God's glory and We can see that reflected in what we've Looked at today but Jesus's way primary Way of trying to communicate all this is Describing himself as the sun And of the father and that in that Revelation of God's identity it's the One God so does it all come together

This way maybe try to let me try to Verbalize something yeah so As we trace the theme of the firstborn What we see is that God has created Humanity and all its uniqueness but not Just Humanity there's the animals There's the Spiritual Beings there's all These creatures and God has created and Given Dominion for all these creatures And it's just kind of generosity is Poured out on all of us and then there's This thing that's happening constantly In the Bible which is like one creature Going wait a second Am I getting my fair share like maybe I'm maybe I can't trust God maybe why Isn't God showing favor on me like I see Him showing favor on this other person And so this is the theme of the Firstborn for us which is like why is God paying attention to someone who Seems lesser than me that doesn't seem Right I'm more powerful God should work Through me why is he bypassing me can I Trust that I will also be exalted and so That theme I'm trying to connect Jesus To it now because so in response to that What we're seeing is that every Generation of God's Partners or Potential Partners yeah keeps getting Hung up on this yes like this is the Thing that keeps sending them off the Tracks to make stupid decisions and hurt Themselves and other people

So the question is how is that Fundamental conflict going to get Resolved when are we going to come Across a partner a human partner That will so trust God's generous Abundance That they won't let even the slightest Hint of Doubt like send them off off the Tracks Right isn't that what we're after here I Think so but I think also what I'm Sensing is that while we're trying to Figure out who's first who deserves the Blessing is it this you know if I'm a Spiritual being I'm like it should be us And if I'm Cain I'm like it should be me You know like everyone's posturing it's Almost like the curtains pulled back and We're like hey that's the guy yeah yes Jesus he's the one if you're all Wondering like who's first who has the Most yeah like it's it's stop squabbling It's Jesus yes and he's the one and only From the father he's the glory and it Just so happens he's gonna be the one That's gonna calm down and show you guys And help you guys through the mess of Your own making of not being able to Come to terms with my generosity yeah in Other words he both models what it's Like to be A son a chosen one who doesn't let it go To his head yeah and he models what it Looks like to trust God's generosity

Even when it looks like he's not coming Through for you so he he models but then Yeah He is not just a model he actually is Finally the human yeah who will be that Trusting human partner to do it on Behalf of the many so that they can Actually finally get the blessing that They keep forfeiting through their lack Of trust wow so profound wait I feel Like he said three things I think They're all really important okay like He is the firstborn he is God's glory So there's that kind of idea we're all Trying to figure out who's more Important it's like it's him yeah Then he's the model for how how to use That power Because we you know we aren't the Firstborn of creation but like we are The image of God and we are supposed to Be able to use God's power to rule and So they becomes the model that's the Second thing I heard you say and then Thirdly he shows us what was the third Thing you said well he shows by showing Us he's the model But then he doesn't just like show us Like okay so here's how you do it so now You guys do it what he does is he just Does it he just he just is the human Partner he is the firstborn oh that's Right he does and then he becomes human Yeah that's the third thing yeah it's

Like not only is he the like The One and Only from the beginning the Word of God through whom everything was Created from the beginning not only is He that and not only can he now be a Model he's going to become human yeah Which is the The Twist of all twists Yeah to do yeah for them what the Human Family hasn't been able to do for Himself and then what we saw in Luke Was he starts folding in all of these People Into the generosity Of the father And giving and sharing with them the Power and the life that he enjoys as the One and only firstborn [Music] [Applause] [Music] And so this is how John Loops it all in This is a great place to land the plane Is in Jesus's prayer in John chapter 17. And he's praying first and foremost for This circle of his followers And then he starts praying for all of These people who will get brought into The family of God through them telling The story about him And so he prays this prayer he says Father this is in verse 24. father I Desire that they these ones that you Have given to me that they would be with Me where I am so that they can see my

Glory Or Glory again the glory you gave me Because you loved me before the Foundation of the world So for eternity we've had this Divine Love Bond As God the father and the son together And I want others to see and participate In that He says o righteous father the world it Doesn't know you yet But I know you and now these that you Sent me to these these now I have made your name known to them and I will make it known so that the love With which you loved me may be in them And I will be in them So this is all both cryptic and poetic So essentially what he's saying is you And I have this Oneness we're one yeah And we've been having the Love Fest for Eternity As and me as your beloved Son but what I Know is that you love them too And you actually love the world John 3 16. all right God loved the whole Cosmos And so here I am I shared with them the Love that you have for me And I want that love to be in them and I Will be in them and what you just said a Few sentences ago is that I am in them And you are in me So if you and I have the Love Fest and I Have the Love Fest with them then that

Means they are in me and I am in you Which means this is all about the father And the son In folding all of creation into the Eternal love Fest but that requires if They're gonna anybody who enters that Love Fest needs to trust that God Actually wants to be eternally generous To them in the first place which kind of Wraps it back into our firstborn theme Did I take it I think I'm trying to Bring synthesis to all of this I don't Know if I'm making this clear as mud or Making it clear well I mean you added a New element which is about Unity with God Communion with God that now I feel like Is opening yeah but the new mysterious Idea is that but it ties into this not Trusting God's generosity thing of yeah That Jesus so transparencing the love There you go experiencing the generous Love Yeah knowing the love yeah that we Could Jesus has this unique relationship With God oh well is that is that Orthodox thing to say no that is he is The one and only who has from eternity Past present future experiences the love Of That experience allows maybe not allows But like is What he's pointing out here of being Like I can do this I experience the love And they I can now bring them in to this

Communion through me Because now I am not only Inc it's this Weird this is the crazy like not only is Jesus God but he is human and so now He's like the bridge for Humanity to be Connected to God yeah communed with God Yeah she's our brother yeah to become Sons and Daughters of God yeah yeah yeah Which is what we kind of were always in The biblical story right yes but like It's like Kane though he doesn't feel Like God's beloved Son when God chose The favor to his brother and What God Says is not man like exaltation is all Yours but it just might happen in a time In a way that's going to test your Character Because for Adam and Eve communion with God was eating of the tree of life and Being with God and so Here now it's like re-access is like now The tree of life is Jesus and connecting To Jesus yeah and that's now our Re-entry to that communion of Love okay Yeah but the son the child parent son Father how one realizes one's identity As the Beloved son or daughter of the Father Is by latching on to the cosmic Firstborn who is inviting us in and that Happens through an act of trust which is The key word in the Gospel of John Believe Trust Really profound

Yeah really profound Okay Now that we've made all that clear yeah But but it's also deeply personal Because really this is the question That I woke up with this morning and Probably all of us If we're honest is Like am I safe yeah am I welcome in the World do I belong Is everything going to be okay And inhabiting this story is choosing to Believe As I begin each day I am the the one and Only beloved daughter and the one and Only beloved Son because God's one and Only son has reached out and unfolded us Into his love Which is an audacious astounding claim To make and that it seems to me is Exactly what Jesus and the apostles were We're trying to share with the world Wow Okay do we have one more stop yeah I Thought we're you know the Apostle Paul John in his letters and whoever wrote The letter to the Hebrews is so tracking With all this and so we're gonna work These themes in the New Testament Letters to end our conversation all Right [Music] Uh well hey this is Dan gummel um with Podcasting back with another employee Outro and I have in the studio friend of

Mine go ahead and learn yourself I'm uh Jeremy spingath and Jeremy tell us a Little bit about what you do here yeah I'm a user experience designer on the Website sometimes big Global type things Sometimes my new details of certain Things we've been working on recently I've been working on lots of lots of Little projects that come through and Then a way to simplify the website too To make it a lot more usable a lot more User-friendly a little bit more Beautiful and I just want it to be an Easy experience for people to come find What they need if they don't know what They're looking for we can help them That type of stuff tell me a little bit About your life outside work I have Three kids how old are your kids 13 10 And two oh really oh interesting yeah Get a Whole Decade it's a spread yeah You got a spread there for sure yeah There's 10 years in between the oldest And the youngest so it's it was funny to Kind of go way back into like having a Little kid running around again because We we got out of that stage and then We're back in that stage and and it was Super fun to experience that again and And but have older kids that can kind of Help out and um and all of that so They're great kids super fun we live in Colorado so in the winter like taking up Skiing I'm sure growing up in Colorado

As a kid it's like it's pretty ideal Yeah yeah especially where we live where We're like 20 minutes to the Foothills You know it's so nice the other thing to Mention is that part of the reason why You're in town is that you have a Photography exhibit yeah premiering yeah Right yeah just a little creative Project that I like to do is just go out And take photos I like to take a lot of Photos of landscape stuff you know and Just go outside and just see what the Light's doing and so there's a few of us From a Bible project that where we got Into a local show here outside of Portland and so we're gonna go and show Our stuff and talk about it and see what Happens sweet dude Um what will you read our credits for US Today's Show came from our podcast team Including producer Cooper Peltz and Associate producer Lindsey Ponder our Lead editor is Dan gummel Thank you bro yes additional editors are Tyler Bailey and Frank Garza Tyler Bailey also mixed this episode and Hannah Wu did our annotations for the Bible project app Bible project is a Crowdfunded non-profit everything we Make is free because of your generous Support thank you so much for being a Part of this with us yeah thanks Jeremy Yeah I did Foreign


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