(If you’re just joining us, you’ll need to start with Part One for the series to make sense.)
Over the last two weeks we worked our way through Israel’s defining story – quickly at first, and then slowing down as we approached the time at which Jesus was about to enter the narrative. We concluded on Friday with a summary of the story as it stands in the closing years of the first century BC:
God’s image-bearers are still in exile, despite being back in the promised land. They were looking forward to a time when the exile would truly be over and all of God’s promises would be fulfilled – a time when they’d be able to bear God’s image the way he always intended.
This week, we change gear to look at how Jesus fits into the story: how he presented his message and ministry as the fulfilment of Israel’s hope – the logical next chapter in the story – as well as how he corrected and challenged some of their expectations as to how that would happen. We start today with how Jesus announced the end of Israel’s exile and the coming reign of God.