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.
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!