Thursday, December 23, 2004

Rob Bell on Christmas

For the past few days, I've been listening to Rob Bell's Christmas series. It's overwhelming. The sheer amount of background information he has talked about is incredible, and I've only listened to the first two out of a series of three. He has described things that I have never, ever heard before and how they relate to the Christmas story. For instance:
- Caesar Augustus was a nut. He believed that he was the one that God sent, and he created the 12 days of Advent, in order to celebrate his birthday.
- People under Roman rule were typically taxed somewhere around 80-90 percent. Talk about some serious oppression.
- King Herod was a bad dude. Some believe he was the richest man ever. Technically advanced, he reengineered a desert to capture water for one of his palaces, he rebuilt a coastline so he could build a port there (Caesarea), he built a stadium which seated 500,000 people and had a track 1.3 miles long on the inside. He was also ruthless and bent over backwards for Caesar.
- He also wanted a palace on a mountain at a certain spot, so he built a mountain for it, and then the palace on top (Herodium). Apparently, if you look out from the Mount of Olives, you can see Herodium with the Dead Sea behind it. And that is where Jesus said that if you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could toss the mountain into the sea.
Interesting huh?
If you get some time, listen to them. You won't be disappointed.
The third message was just posted a few days ago too. I'm sure that's just as good.

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