Ironclad expectation and how it changed

Jan 19 2021

Jesus’ tradition prescribed affirming “God is one” (Deut. 6:5). In Jesus’ experience, he and his disciples would have repeated this affirmation in their morning and evening prayers.

It’s not a question of whether the Jesus and the disciples thought this way. It’s not a question of whether or not they believed God is one. The devout believed.

For the people of Israel in the first-century, God was in heaven. God’s chosen one, the Messiah, was a human who would come and rule on earth. Their expectation was ironclad.

How do you change an ironclad expectation?

Change the currents of experience. The currents of experience that seemed to flow so neatly were about to flow in a seemingly new direction.

Could Jesus say enough, could Jesus do enough in one lifetime to change the expectation? I think, No.

Because he was human, Jesus could only begin a culture shift that would take generations to unfold. Frankly, compared to others from the Greco-Roman world, he had a limited impact in his lifetime.

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