Episode 125 – Who’s the GOAT? Jesus vs. Caesar

The New Testament uses all kinds of words and phrases to describe Jesus and his kingdom. Savior. Son of God. Gospel. Forgiveness of sins. But these aren’t just poetic, flowery phrases. They’re actually concrete ideas everyone in Jesus’s world was familiar with. But not because of Jesus. They were familiar with those ideas because of Caesar. What the New Testament, and especially Paul’s writings, do is they show us two competing narratives: The gospel of Caesar in which peace is imposed by a sword, and the gospel of Jesus in which peace is offered through a cross. One is strong. The other is weak. One dominates. The other is gentle. Which narrative will you allow to order your world? By the end of this episode, you’re going to hear all those poetic, flowery titles for Jesus through a completely new lens.

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • How do you feel about the fact that these ideas and titles were used by Caesar prior to the time of Jesus?
  • The gospel of Caesar and the gospel of Jesus are very different. Using your own words, describe how the way Caesar brings peace is different from the way Jesus brings peace?
  • What are some of the other “gospels” or “lords” that compete with the gospel of Jesus in our day and age?
  • If the gospel of Jesus is upside-down and peculiar when compared to the gospel of Caesar, in what ways is your life upside-down and peculiar when compared to the competing “gospels and lords” of our day?
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?
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