This episode is full of amazing action and confusing teaching!
Jesus apostles come back from their teaching, preaching and healing to report to Jesus all that happened. They bring a crowd with them! So, instead of getting a much needed rest, they are caught up with Jesus in teaching and ministering to a crowd of over 10,000 people. This includes feeding them! Using the provision of two pieces of fish and five loaves of bread, Jesus feeds this crowd.
Jesus sends the apostles across the Sea of Galilee while he goes to the hills to pray. In the middle of the night, in the midst of a rough storm the apostles are having trouble keeping their boat afloat. Jesus comes to them – walking on the water. While they think he is a ghost, he comforts them and even invites Peter to join him – on the water.
They arrive on the other side of the Sea – meeting back up with the crowd that has already been fed. Jesus tells them that they have followed him because they were fed the day before. They really don’t understand what that miracle was about. Then he launches into a dialog with the crowd and shows that he is the Bread of Life that they need to be seeking and taking into themselves.
This confuses them and some disciples decide to leave. The apostles, however, stay, asserting that Jesus is the one with words which give life forever.
This is a busy episode for Jesus as he moves from teaching and story-telling to action. At the request of a leader of a synagogue, he heals her daughter. But, not before healing a woman whom he calls “my daughter” from a disease which has ostracized her from society for 12 years. He helps two blind me to see because of their faith. And he throws out another demon.
But, opposition is beginning to build against his healing. The Pharisees think that he is throwing out demons by the power of Satan. And, when Jesus goes back to his home town of Nazareth, he is rejected and not believed. “Where did he get all this wisdom and power to perform such miracles.” He’s just a carpenter and the son of Mary.
Travelling around with a great crowd following, Jesus sees a massive work-load. So, he commissions his apostles to go – teach, heal, and throw out demons. He gives them specific instructions for their task ahead. Some of those instructions apply to us as well.
Finally, we learn of the fate of John the Baptist at the hands of King Herod.
I start out by telling you that you’re listening to episode #18. Nope. It was late and I was wrong. This is episode #19!
Jesus tells stories in this episode of Jesus Stories! Jesus was the consummate story teller. But, his stories all had a purpose. They were used to teach secrets about the Kingdom. These are secrets that some can hear and understand; others cannot. We go through some of Jesus’ stories in this episode including the explanations which Jesus offers to his disciples. Then, we begin telling the stories of Jesus’ miracles. We watch as Jesus stills a storm at sea. And we meet a man who is possessed by a Legion of demons – until Jesus meets him.
This Jesus Stories episode picks up where the last one left off. Jesus is in the midst of a crowd of thousands of people. People are stepping all over each other – in spite of Jesus rough teaching to the Pharisees. Now Jesus turns to these people with his own warnings about the Pharisees. He continues with a challenge to speak up for him even when it is difficult. Remember, he says, don’t be afraid of the ones who can just kill you. Be afraid of the One – Jehovah God – who can condemn you in eternity. He is the One who deserves your focus.
Jesus then teaches about greed. “Life is not measured by how much you own.” To illustrate his point, he tells a parable – a story. A man with much gains more. But, he loses his life. And he has no relationship with Jehovah God
Jesus then repeats his lessons from the Sermon on the Mount. Don’t worry about what you’ll eat or wear. God knows you need these things. He’ll take care of you. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” So, sell your possessions; give the money to the poor. And be ready. Jesus will return at a time that we cannot know. Be ready.
There is more teaching based on some current events. People have died in a couple of catastrophes. Jesus says that it is more important to recognize that we must repent; we must be ready.
In this episode of Jesus Stories, we find out who provides support for Jesus and his disciples as they travel around Israel. We see the opposition to Jesus ministry increase. But, we also see Jesus fighting back with some very “to the point” teaching. In this episode, Jesus is accused after he throws a demon out of a man of working in league with the devil. Jesus corrects that misconception with some simple logic. Then he refuses the Pharisees demand for a miraculous sign; he changes the definition for family; and roundly condemns the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and teachers of the law.
In this episode of Jesus Stories, we hear of two remarkable people who have faith which is commended by Jesus. A Roman Centurion is sure that Jesus can hear a deathly ill slave just by speaking. And a prostitute honors Jesus at the home of a Pharisee exercising a faith that Jesus says saves her. In between, Jesus raises the son of a widow and shows John’s disciples that he is the one for whom they have been waiting.
In this episode of Jesus Stories, we will complete the confrontation between Jesus and the religious leaders of the day; including the arguments Jesus presents to prove his identity. He will make them even madder when his disciples “harvest” grain and eat it on the Sabbath and heal a man in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Finally, he leaves the city and goes out to the Sea Galilee only to be met with a crowd of people needing healing and exorcisms. But all of this fulfills prophecy told 600 years before by Isaiah.
There are lots of Scriptures used in today’s episode. They include:
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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!