Humility is the most direct route to becoming like the God we believe in.
The exile metaphor is 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. After humanity is banished from Eden, we embark on the first exile journey – settling in a world that is no longer home. When God calls Abraham to leave Babylon (Ur), he and Sarah lack a true home but Abraham has a promise from God that he will have a “promised land.”
The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of being saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith.
Great villains make for great heroes. Before Mark tells the story of Jesus’ showdown with death, he pits Jesus against all kinds of lesser bad guys – demons, sickness, hunger and storms to make the case that Jesus has authority over everything. For Mark’s persecuted readers in Rome, the message is clear – nothing could stop Jesus then, nothing’s going to stop Him now.