This week’s Jesus Stories podcast continues the narrative of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. We start in Capernaum – Jesus’ home base – where he teaches and, again, confronts an evil spirit. This is followed by more teaching and lots of healings. We’ll see two well-known healings: Peter’s mother-in-law and the man let down through the roof of an over-crowded house. Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) and then attends a party which Levi throws for him. In both of these last instances, Jesus confronts the attitudes of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.
I reference a map of the region in today’s show. Here it is!
As we open this week’s Jesus Story, the disciples of Jesus think that they are in competition with John the Baptist. However, Jesus sets them straight on this point. Even John informs us of his non-competitive position; he will become less while Jesus becomes greater.
Jesus and his disciples leave Judea and head to Galilee. They use the short route which takes them through the region of Samaria. Jesus stops to rest and we drop in on another interesting conversation between Jesus and a woman from Samaria – a person whom Jesus shouldn’t have been talking with – if he listened to the culture. Jesus spoke with her, identified himself to her, and gave her water that would be life for her and her village.
In this week’s Jesus Stories, we listen in to a conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus – a conversation which occurred in the night under the cover of darkness. Nicodemus, as one of the religious leaders of the Jewish people, had some deep questions for Jesus; and Jesus has some deeper answers for Nicodemus. We’ll delve into the conversation, explaining what is going on as it occurs.
This conversation will take us further into understanding the Holy Spirit and the idea of being “born again.” We’ll look at what is probably the most quoted verse from the scriptures and think about the meaning of that verse. And we’ll wrap up with some of the images from the Old Testament which Jesus used to communicate his message to Nicodemus. (You may need to look these scriptures up from the links below.)
As Jesus ministry begins, he begins collecting followers. We meet the first followers and see the first miracle (or an early miracle) which Jesus performed. Jesus also travels to the first Passover and has his first confrontation in the Temple with the religious leaders of Israel. This is an eventful episode full of meaning which is necessary for understanding the Messiah.
This week’s Jesus Stories introduces us to the first people who met or wanted to meet Jesus. Two of them met Jesus in the Temple and praised and prophesied about him. A third person – an evil ruler – sought to kill him; while three magi came from afar to worship him and bring him gifts. Then we meet Jesus as a twelve year old giving his parents a scare of their life-time.
This episode of Jesus Stories takes us into the birth stories of both John and Jesus. Remember, both mothers – Elizabeth and Mary – had been told that their babies were to be dedicated to the service of God. Elizabeth’s child was to prepare the way for the Lord – as prophesied long ago. Mary’s child was to be called the “son of God.” These births bring us praises; special songs dedicated to the glory of God. These are the first Christmas carols! Take a listen!
We open the “new” Narration by George podcast this week with “Jesus Stories”. We will cover the life of Jesus in a chronological manner using the work of F. LaGard Smith. This week’s podcast begins where the Gospels begin – before the birth of Jesus. Then, we continue by telling the stories of both Elizabeth and Mary and the babies which God gives to each of them.