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.
We conclude looking at the Sermon on the Mount in this Jesus Stories episode. Jesus starts by getting into our wallets and our stuff. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth…” He tells us not to worry since Jehovah God will take care of his followers. He reminds us that judgment of others brings judgment back upon us. We can only judge with the guidance of Jehovah God. Then he points out the choices that we have to make. Which road will we travel? Which voices will we listen to? What foundation with will build our lives upon?
In this Jesus Story episode, we continue to break down the famous Sermon on the Mount. We move on from the Beatitudes to the next set of teachings. In contrast to the Beatitudes, Jesus speaks woes – the opposite of blessings – for those who are not seeking and submitting to Jehovah. Then he considers the character of his followers as salt and light and then begins to address what may have been some misconceptions about his teaching that were raised by the religious leaders of the day. Jesus then contrasts the teachings of the law with the teaching of those religious leaders. He specifically addresses six teachings. We’ll talk about the first two of those teachings.
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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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