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.
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 episode picks up with the conclusion to Jesus visit to the Samaritan village of Sychar and how one conversation changed that village. He then travels north and revisits Cana, the village where we saw his first miracle. He heals a government official’s son from 25 miles away! From there, he proceeds to Capernaum – the town where he would base his ministry for the next couple of years. But, his ministry requires travelling. So, he will press on from there to visit his home town, Nazareth. After teaching in the synagogue there, he is almost killed, because, as he says, “No prophet is accepted in his own home town.” When his hometown folks try to kill him, he escapes and goes down to the Sea of Galilee where he teaches and calls more to be his disciples. Then we follow him back to his base, Capernaum, where we meet an evil spirit!
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.
This week’s Jesus Stories, “Cries from the Wilderness”, cements the author’s validation of the identity of Jesus. John the Baptist points at Jesus calling him the Messiah. While Matthew and Luke show Jesus confrontation with Satan in which Satan loses and Jesus wins. To them, anyone who can stand against Satan, could only be the Messiah.