Jesus feeds 5,000 (Journey 28)

We are seeing Christ’s next period where He is ministering to the Twelve Disciples. We are journeying in Mark 6:30-44; Matthew 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13.

When the Apostles returned from their first tour, they met Jesus in Galilee and wanted to be alone with Him for a while. Jesus also needed rest, so He did not mind. However, when He saw crowds of people flocking to Him in need, He felt pity. They appeared to be spiritually starved sheep that had no food, because there was no shepherd to feed them.

Jesus alone could satisfy spiritual needs of the people, and without Him, the Apostles were not able to satisfy even the physical needs of the people. With five loaves and two fish, Jesus miraculously fed a huge crowd, and reminded the Apostles of the miracles they did on their tour was because of His Power.

To many people, the miracle was a sign that Jesus was the Great Prophet of promise. Just as Moses was, He has miraculously fed God’s People in the wilderness.

What can we learn from this?

By Christ’s blessing, a little can go a great way, for He had fed so many people with such a small load, because of His ability to multiply. This is also a bit like sowing and reaping, for the little bit of provision they had was the seed, and Christ came and made the harvest so that many people could reap.

We know that by this, His Blessing is proven to be available to believers and unbelievers alike, so we need not be afraid to tell people of the bountiful riches that are in Christ Jesus!

Jesus refuses political Messiahship

We are now journeying in Mark 6:45-46; Matthew 14:22-23; John 6:14-15. Jesus is dealing with several issues, especially due to His marvelous miracles.

When Jesus sees they are going to take Him by force and make Him King, He sends the Twelve by boat across to the other side of the Sea ahead of Himself. He dismisses the crowd, and then goes up into a mountain alone to pray.

The multitudes that saw Jesus perform such great things wanted to make Him their King, and were going to take Him by force. However, He was able to escape by first sending the Twelve Disciples onto a boat, and then going up to a mountain alone to pray.

What can we learn from this?

We must learn to do the same in times of popularity and temptation. Many today will say they are God’s man of the hour. Instead of doing that, they should humble themselves. Instead of getting puffed up over their ability or gifts, they should be more dependent on God.

Jesus ran away from titles, honorariums, designations, and other counterfeit affections, because He had the only approval He needed: God! And because of this, we too can receive the same kind of approval and stop our need for power and respect. Respect of persons is sin, and Jesus knew this, so He avoided their treacherous behavior (Romans 2:11; James 2:9; 1 Peter 1:17).

Prejudice hindered Jesus' Mighty Works (Journeys 26-27)

Jesus is finishing ministry in Galilee, but first stops at Nazareth. This is not permanent, but due to the extent of ministry in the Galilean region, He is targeted from the powers that be. Most of His Ministry has been more public, but He is preparing for private ministry. Some adversity is encountered before these things become so.

Jesus’ Final Visit to Nazareth

Jesus makes a 7 hour journey to Nazareth, as we are reading in Mark 6:1-6; Matthew 13:54-58. Jesus comes again to Nazareth and teaching in the Synagogue. Their prejudice hinders Jesus from doing a mighty work, although He heals a few sick people; Jesus marvels at their unbelief.

The people there where Jesus came next in Nazareth were surprised that such a person they had known only as a carpenter could preach so well; therefore, they refused to accept His evidence and admit that this One was indeed God.

They refused belief in Him, and therefore, Jesus would not use His Miracles to help them believe; however, out of compassion, He privately healed some sick people.

What can we learn from this?

Some people may despise us, because they know who our old selves are, but we claim to be otherwise, which causes them to disbelieve. Unbelief is a great hindrance to our work, and therefore, we may not be accepted in our original area, but in a new area, we may be widely accepted. Influence comes in many shapes and sizes, and we must depend upon Christ to bring the insight to lead us where to go to be able to have ability for influencing.

Third Tour of Galilee & Sending the Twelve forth

Jesus is taking a painstaking journey now.. From Nazareth to villages (small towns) around Nazareth. Around cities and villages of Galilee (Galilee about 10 hours North to South and 6 or 7 hours East to West). No doubt ending up at Capernaum where His Disciples met Him after their preaching tour. We are reading in Mark 6:6-13; Matthew 9:35-38; 11:1; Luke 9:1-6.

A third tour of Galilee (the last) with the Twelve Disciples: “teaching… preaching… and healing…” Jesus’ compassion for the crowds is seen. They are as “sheep without a Shepherd,” or a “harvest to be gathered.” Jesus gives the Twelve Disciples power over unclean spirits and power to heal the sick.

He sends them to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom. He gives them careful instructions about their ministry, and warnings. Jesus goes from city to city, alone.

Jesus sent out His Twelve Disciples (Apostles) to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Messiah, to which, the miraculous powers of the Messiah were given to them also that the can use, so that the knowledge of His Love and Mercy might spread quicker through the land.

Jesus could not spread the Gospel worldwide in His Lifetime; therefore, the Apostles had to concentrate on Israel. They were to take with them the bare necessities for daily needs, so they are not hindered in travel. They were not to waste time preaching to people who were refusing to listen. Go to areas where the Gospel hasn’t been heard yet.

What can we learn from this?

Go and do as the Lord has called you to do without apprehensions of needs and other things, for He has provided all of the needs that we have. In addition, don’t bother with people who only ignore you, but go to people who will receive you and be willing to listen.

Herod has fear for murdering John the Baptist

Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great, is fearing for his life due to his murdering of John the Baptist. News of Jesus’ Ministry finally reaches the King, who supposes superstitiously that it is John the Baptist resurrected. Then the gruesome story of Herod’s murder of John is told. We are reading now in Mark 6:14-29; Matthew 14:1-12; Luke 9:7-9.

John the Baptist has been executed, and when Herod heard about Jesus’ Miracles, he feared that Jesus was really John that had come back to life and that supernatural powers were working within Him. Remembering back when John went to prison, this was because John accused Herod of adultery in marrying Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother Philip.

Herod respected and feared John, as He knew that John was godly and that such accusations were true. However, no discussion with John could persuade Herod to conquer his passions and give up Herodias.

John’s place of imprisonment was a dungeon inside Herod’s palace, which gave Herod the opportunity to speak to John often and made it easier for Herodias to get rid of him. She hated John for interfering with them, and she was quick to act when she saw the chance for him to be executed.

What can we learn from this?

Accusations do not change who a person is, nor does it change the situation. John was a good man, and people believed good things about him. Even though he was imprisoned for accusing Herod for adultery, he was still a good man whom Jesus honored.

Preparing for the next period

With Christ’s blessing, a little goes a long way. The next period of Jesus’ Life is a bit more secluded, as He becomes a tutor for the disciples. One of His most amazing miracles is upcoming that we will explore. Stay tuned into this blog for more marvelous information about our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ Robe Brings Healing; The Dead are raised (Journey 25)

Part 1: Healing & Deliverance

Jesus is still at sea (Galilee), and arrives just off the lake at Capernaum to find a large crowd. We are reading in this part in Mark 5:21-43; Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56.

Jesus has returned to the Jewish regions, to which, a Synagogue elder named Jairus has asked Jesus to come and heal his ill daughter. Jesus saw the man’s faith, to which, He made His way to the man’s house.

On the way, they were interrupted by a sick woman who had an issue of blood twelve years, to which, if she could only touch His clothing, she would be healed.

Because of her faith, Jesus knew someone needed help along the way. He searched for the woman so she could show her faith openly and be healed.

Jairus’ faith was tested while Jesus was healing the woman with the issue of blood, because he heard that his daughter died. Jesus responded by doing a greater miracle than he expected, for he brought his daughter back to life.

He allowed only five people to see this miracle and told them not to tell anybody else, because He did not want people flocking to Him for the wrong reasons.

What can we learn from this?

Jesus attracts those of little and great faith, and He will help them as needed. Once Jesus determines He will help someone, it does not matter the circumstance, even death, because He will bring the problem to resolution.

Part 2: Healing of the Blind & Dumb

We are seeing Jesus continue His Miracles; therefore, we are reading now from just Matthew’s account in Matthew 9:27-34.

Two blind men approach Jesus and beg Him to heal them, even using His Messianic title “Son of David,” to approach Him. However, He wanted them to have sincere faith, and would not heal them until they had it.

Jesus decided to heal them, but warned them not to tell anyone. Although some people misinterpreted His Miracles because of the Power He had, others misinterpreted His Miracles because they just hated Him.

What can we learn from this?

Some have lost their sight (not specifically eyesight), to which, they may, by God’s Grace have their eyes opened for a fuller understanding in the enlightening power of the Gospel!

The Gadarene Demoniac Healed (Journey 24)

Jesus is traveling to the East shore near Gerasa (Gadara) off of the lake of the Sea of Galilee. We are reading in the Bible in Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-39.

Jesus encounters two fierce demoniacs upon reaching the East shore of the lake and delivers them. In doing this, He allows the demons to enter a herd of “many” swine (2,000), causing them to drown in the lake. The whole nearby city asks Him to leave. One of the freed men asks to go with Jesus, but he is told to stay and testify.

Jesus visits the district of Gadara (or Gerasa). While there, He saw many Gentiles there who were called Gadarenes (or Gerasenes). Jesus encountered a man whose body was possessed and tormented by demons, and in order to release this torment, Jesus commanded the demons to come out of him.

These demons knew that Jesus was the Son of God and that one day He would judge them; therefore, they were angry He came to interfere with them before the appointed time. Jesus commanded the man to tell Him his name so that he might see how great a power of evil that has possessed him.

The demons saw the judgment that was nigh unto them; therefore, they begged Jesus not to send them immediately away to the place of punishment just yet. They decided they wanted to still be within living things; therefore, if they could not be in a man’s body, they would rather enter into animals, such as pigs. Jesus met their request; however, in entering the many swine, the swine went mad and drowned in the sea. This was proof of His Power over demons.

With the swine drowning, villagers were concerned over their farms & what might happen if Jesus remains; therefore, He was asked to leave. The man was left with the ability to spread the good news around the area.

Since these people were Gentiles, men did not have to keep quiet about the miracle (unlike in the Jewish communities where people were instructed to keep quiet about the miracles so Jesus is not quickly taken in, or attracting curiosity or people needing entertainment).

What can we learn from this?

The life of one man is more important to Jesus than 2,000 some swine.

Jesus Stilled the Storm (Journey 23)

We are beginning Journey 23 in Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 8:18, 23-27; Luke 8:22-25, where Jesus is journeying from the West shore of The Sea of Galilee to some point on the lake. Storms were common on the Sea of Galilee and often came with no warning.

Cold air would sweep down from Mt. Hermon on the North, displacing warm air that was rising from the calm sea. This storm was similar. Jesus needed to rest from all of His Work He had recently done, so He laid down in the boat and slept. The storm didn’t bother Him.

Storms blew up quickly on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus wanted to board a ship to cross the lake, to take a rest from ministry. As they were sailing across the lake, a storm blew in, but it didn’t bother Jesus. The Disciples were sore afraid, and were disappointed with Jesus that He did nothing to help them.

Jesus was asleep on the back of the boat. They wake up Jesus, and He quieted the storm, and then rebuked them for lacking faith. They were amazed at His Power to quiet the storm and the seas.

What can we learn from this?

Even in the midst of storms in our lives, we must be faithful to trust in Him who will provide help in the time of need. We must be patient and willing to endure until the Lord helps us. Yes, He can help us at any time, but He wants us to endure some things so we can become more spiritually strong to withstand trials of our faith!

The Parables of the Kingdom of God (Journey 22)

  • Jesus began teaching extensively in Parables to separate those who were sincerely interested from those who were just curious or following Him for entertainment
  • Parables may provide an illustrative way to teach truth
  • The Kingdom of God is not for those that are just curious, evil, or blasphemous

We begin in Period 4 of Jesus’ Life, where He begins speaking to the people in Parables. Now, we are experiencing Parables of the Kingdom of God. We begin reading in Mark 4:1-34; Matthew 13:1-53; Luke 8:4-18. Jesus goes from the house to the seaside, and teaches a great crowd out of a boat. He uses Parables and explains why He uses this method to teach; The Sower and its interpretation, The Seed Growing of Itself, The Tares, The Mustard Seed, The Leaven, and others.

Great crowds followed Jesus, and were often a hindrance to His Progress in the Gospel. Jesus began teaching extensively in Parables to separate those who were sincerely interested from those who were just curious or following Him for entertainment.

His audience targets were the following:

  • Sower and Seeds = Farmers and Gardeners
  • Leaven = Homemakers or Bakers
  • Hid Treasures/Pearls = Prospectors or Miners
  • Dragnet = Fishers
  • Household = Tailors
  • Winemaker

The Sower

The Parable of the Sower draws its lessons from four different types of soil rather than standard work of the sower. The preacher puts the message of the Kingdom into people’s hearts as a farmer puts seed into the ground; however, people’s hearts vary just as the soil varies in different places.

Some people hear the message; however, they don’t understand it because they are disinterested. Others show early interested; however, they soon give up, because they have not a deep spiritual concern. Others are too worried about the affairs of everyday life. Only a few respond to the message in faith; however, when they do, their lives are changed and see a spiritual harvest!

Parables may provide an illustrative way to teach truth; however, they are more than just illustrations, for their purpose is to make the hearers think about the teaching. Those who gladly receive His Teachings will find the Parables full of meaning. Because of this, their ability to understand God’s Truth will increase; however, those who have no sincere interest in Jesus’ Teachings will see no meaning in the Parables whatsoever, and therefore, their spiritual blindness will only grow dimmer and their stubborn hearts harder.

Because their wills are opposed to Jesus and His Teachings, they cannot appreciate His Teachings or Works, to which, their sins remain unforgiven.

Those who are just curious will lose interest in Jesus through these Parables, because the basic purpose of each Parable is to enlighten the audience, not darken. A Parable is like a lamp that is put on a stand to give light, to which, it is not hidden under a bowl or bed. The more thought people put to His Teachings, the more enlightening of a blessing they receive. However, if people remain lazy and do not think about His Teachings, their ability to appreciate spiritual truth will only decrease until it is completely gone.

Jesus comes back to the Parable of the Sower, as He shows the good seed will always produce healthy plants and good fruit if given opportunity. The farmer sows the seed; however, he must wait for the soil to react with the seed so it can grow. Similarly, the messenger of the Gospel must have patience in his faith in God as the message works in people’s hearts.

The Tares

In the Parable of the Tares, two types of seed produce two types of plants in the same field. The plants are wheat and weeds (tares in Scripture), which are not separated while they are growing, for they depend on the farmer to root out the weeds. The weeds are left until harvest time with the wheat, and then the wheat is put into the barn but the weeds destroyed. As preachers and teachers, we sow the seed, but we do not pull up the tares, for the Lord will do this at the end of the age.

Jesus interprets this as in the present world, those who are in the Kingdom of God live alongside those who are not. This was completely different from popular Jewish thinking, because they expected the Kingdom to come in one mighty act that would destroy all enemies and set up God’s Rule of Righteousness and Peace; however, Jesus points out that His Kingdom is in the world already, but will have its climax at the end of World history. When such time comes, the wicked will be destroyed, but the righteous saved to share in the Kingdom’s triumph!

The Mustard Seed

The Parable of the Mustard Seed is told next, to which, the mustard seed is a different kind of seed that has no nutritional value. The mustard seed does not grow into a mighty oak like an acorn; rather, it’s a shrub that thrives best in desert land. It is the least of all seeds; however, the tree described became large enough for birds to find a place to roost.

The interpretation then, is that this foretells the expansion of the Kingdom of God as seen in the remarkable growth of the Church—which grew from small beginnings to a vast community that would cover the planet.

The Leaven

After that was the Parable of the Leaven, to which, a small amount of leaven (yeast) spreads through a lump of dough, which is what would happen for the apparently small Kingdom of God to spread through the world. Leaven is not the Gospel, but the “meal.” Meal is made of grain or seed, and the seed represents the Word of God.

Leaven represents sin or evil, and if leaven were the Gospel, she shouldn’t have hid it. False teachers put leaven in the meal, which produces wrong doctrine in to the Church, leading to apostasy, which was prophesied to come by many people.

The Treasure

The Parable of the Treasure Hid In a Field was about a man finding a treasure, to which he hid, and in his joy, went and sold all that he had to buy that field. The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price was about a merchant man who sought good pearls and found one of great price, to which, he went and sold all he had so he could buy it.

Both of these parables show that when people are convinced of the priceless, lastingly valuable Kingdom of God, they will make any sacrifice to enter it. However, those in the Kingdom still live in a world where the righteous and wicked exist together; therefore, they will be separated at the Judgment Day (the last judgment).

The Net

Next, is the Parable of the Net Cast into the Sea, where every kind were gathered into vessels, to which, the bad were separated. It shall be the same at the end of the world where the evil will be separated from the good and judged, while the good proceed into the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ Teachings are just as valuable goods in a storeroom that are added to the things the owner has already, such as the Old Testament Scriptures. The Disciples of Jesus have a wealth of teaching available for their benefit! After this, Jesus left.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS?

Many things could qualify for the central message, but the one that wins them all is what follows… The Kingdom of God is not for those that are just curious, evil, or blasphemous; rather, it is for those that are sincerely interested and will risk almost everything if not everything in sacrifice to obtain His Kingdom!

In addition, much of what Jesus teaches above has its own (selfsame) central message that you will need to grow into and understand.