When Jesus was growing up, he gathered with other Jews to reflect on their heritage and hope, to hear the old stories about their ancestors. The world had begun in rebellion to God, who chose Abraham, who passed his faith down to Isaac and Jacob, whose descendants became slaves in Egypt, a multitude, crying out for deliverance, until God sent Moses, who led that multitude back into Jacob's land, Israel, where they struggled and grew into a great nation. God chose King David, a man after God's heart, and David built Jerusalem and worshiped God there. But inevitably Israel grew more rebellious than obedient. There was wickedness and revival, wealth and poverty, exile and return. Through it all, these words appeared over the doorways of Jewish homes through the centuries: "Hear, O Israel, The Lord God is One. You should love God with all of your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength." Now, the most peculiar thing about Jesus was that he seemed to obey that commandment more completely than everyone else, but he was not harsh or self-righteous about his superior sensibility. By his unique nature and by his advancing devotion, Jesus developed into a superior position with God that made him truly humble, and then God called Jesus to begin his challenging ministry. But Jesus' message was too radical for the Judean authorities, who appealed to their Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, so that Jesus was crucified on a cross outside Jerusalem. Within days, Jesus' followers began saying they'd seen him returned from death, and the movement that should have been crushed quickly grew by the thousands, spreading out from Judea to the rest of the world, believers like Peter and Paul spread the message and raised up gatherings of "christ-ones", who believed that Jesus was once more alive and whole on the earth, by his Spirit, dwelling within them. Thus, now as then, Israel's hope stands fulfilled as often as Christ multiplies in the midst of God's people, who reveal Jesus, God's magnificence, both to earth and the heavens.