Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious Art, Step 15: Mark 8:10-11; Matthew 15:39, Map – The Journeys of Christ (3/20/15)
The Chronological Gospel –
Jesus’ Galilean Ministry
John 4:44-45, Mark 1:15, Luke 4:14b-15, John 4:46-54, Arrival in Galilee, and a miracle
Luke 4:16-30, Matthew 4:13-16, Rejection at Nazareth and Jesus’ new home in Capernaum
Luke 5:1-10a, Mark 1:16-20, Call of Peter, Andrew, James, and John (at the lakeside)
Mark 1:21-34, Matthew 8:17, A Sabbath in Capernaum
Mark 1:35-37, Luke 4:42b-43, Matthew 4:23-25, From town to town in Galilee
Luke 5:12, Mark 1:41-45, Luke 5:15-16, Good news, bad news, in Galilee
Mark 2:1-2, Luke 5:17-19, Mark 2:5-12, Healing of the paralytic (Capernaum)
Mark 2:13-16, Matthew 9:12-13, The call of Matthew Levi
Mark 2:18, Luke 5:34-39, A question about fasting (Capernaum)
More of The Chronological Gospel
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John 4:44-45, Mark 1:15, Luke 4:14b-15, John 4:46-54, Arrival in Galilee, and a miracle (3/10/14)
I sort of grew up thinking that Jesus spent his time in Galilee, with one trip to Jerusalem at the end. Although I gradually came to understand that my idea wasn’t correct, it was this study of the chronological Gospel that thoroughly disabused me of it. It would have been easier and faster to look at this map! The map shows four major journeys during Jesus’ public ministry. We know that any map of his travels will be a simplification, because several scriptures say, for example, that “And Jesus went about all Galilee” (Matthew 4:23), without specifying where.
Even so, a lot of places are on this map, and I’ve never been to any of them. The map is very useful in visualizing where Jesus went, how far he traveled (on foot), or where in the world he was when he got to Magdala (also called Magadan).
Previous Step. Next Step.
"Journeys of Christ" from the Thomas family Bible, now in a private collection of a family member.
Any Jews who could make the trip had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover, and while they were there they had heard Jesus teach and had seen him cleanse the Temple and perform miracles. He was the man of the hour. When he arrived in the backwater of Galilee, naturally they were delighted and welcomed him eagerly.
Jesus was skeptical about their motives, however, because he knows that we have a tendency to believe most strongly when we have just seen or are in immediate need of a miracle. Fortunately for us, Jesus often puts our needs ahead of our motives when he decides to help us.
44-45 Jesus Himself declared that a Prophet has no honour in his own country. When however He reached Galilee, the Galilaeans welcomed Him eagerly, having been eye-witnesses of all that He had done in Jerusalem at the Festival; for they also had been to the Festival.
Luke 4:16-30, Matthew 4:13-16, Rejection at Nazareth and Jesus’ new home in Capernaum (3/11/14)
15 "The time has fully come," He said, "and the Kingdom of God is close at hand: repent, and believe this Good News.”
14-15 and His fame spread through all the adjacent districts. And He proceeded to teach in their synagogues, winning praise from all.
46-47 So He came once more to Cana in Galilee, where He had made the water into wine. Now there was a certain officer of the King's court whose son was ill at Capernaum. Having heard that Jesus had come from Judaea to Galilee, he came to Him and begged Him to go down and cure his son; for he was at the point of death.
48 "Unless you and others see miracles and marvels," said Jesus, "nothing will induce you to believe."
49 "Sir," pleaded the officer, "come down before my child dies."
50-53 "You may return home," replied Jesus; "your son has recovered." He believed the words of Jesus, and started back home; and he was already on his way down when his servants met him and told him that his son was alive and well. So he inquired of them at what hour he had shown improvement. "Yesterday, about seven o'clock," they replied, "the fever left him." Then the father recollected that that was the time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son has recovered," and he and his whole household became believers.
54 This is the second miracle that Jesus performed, after coming from Judaea into Galilee.
Public opinion is fickle. The people of Nazareth were glad to have Jesus come back and visit. The home-town boy had made good and was famous for what he had said and done in Jerusalem and Cana – he had been preachin’ there. Unfortunately, when he began to speak, he immediately started meddlin’. (Preachin’ is when you step on my neighbor’s toes. Meddlin’ is when you step on my
toes.) They were offended, and Jesus left Nazareth to travel further north (see C3 and B3 on the map
Luke 5:1-10a, Mark 1:16-20, Call of Peter, Andrew, James, and John (at the lakeside) (3/12/14)
We learned earlier that Jesus had met Peter, Andrew, Nathaniel, and most likely John and James while he was down in Judea. Some of them apparently returned to Galilee with him when he went to the wedding at Cana (John 2:2), and some of them apparently were in Jerusalem with him during the Passover (John 2:22). (I say “apparently” because the disciples who went to Cana and Jerusalem with him are not named.) They weren’t officially called to be his disciples until a little bit later, however, as we read today. They had had some time to consider all that they had seen, and when Jesus decided it was time for them to join him, they literally dropped everything to follow him.
Mark 1:21-34, Matthew 8:17, A Sabbath in Capernaum (3/13/14)
It’s interesting that the first reaction of the people of Capernaum wasn’t surprise that Jesus was able to cure people. Their first reaction was amazement that he spoke with such authority
… that even foul spirits would obey him and leave demoniacs and that ill people would be cured. The religious teachers of Jesus’ day rarely said anything on their own authority. Instead, they nearly always quoted some former teacher, or maybe two or more former teachers who contradicted each other. Someone who spoke with authority was amazing.
Mark 1:35-37, Luke 4:42b-43, Matthew 4:23-25, From town to town in Galilee (3/14/14)
News about Jesus spread like wildfire, and everyone who heard about him wanted to be near him. It’s quite likely that most of those who wanted to be near him wanted something from
him – miraculous cures, mostly, at this stage. Some wanted to see what all the excitement was about. Some wanted to hear what he had to say about the good news of the kingdom of God.
35 In the morning He rose early, while it was still quite dark, and leaving the house He went away to a solitary place and there prayed.
Luke 5:12, Mark 1:41-45, Luke 5:15-16, Good news, bad news, in Galilee (3/17/14)
36-37 And Simon and the others searched everywhere for Him. When they found Him they said, "Every one is looking for you."
42b-43 but the people flocked out to find Him, and, coming to the place where He was, they endeavoured to detain Him that He might not leave them. But He said to them, "I have to tell the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because for this purpose I was sent."
23-24 Then Jesus travelled through all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and curing every kind of disease and infirmity among the people. Thus His fame spread through all Syria; and they brought all the sick to Him, the people who were suffering from various diseases and pains – demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He cured them.
25 And great crowds followed Him, coming from Galilee, from the Ten Towns, from Jerusalem, and from beyond the district on the other side of the Jordan.
Jesus had been going from town to town in Galilee, teaching in the synagogues. He also did a lot of healing, and this attracted many of the local people wherever he went. The leper whom Jesus healed on one occasion, however, was so excited that he told everyone he saw – even though Jesus had expressly instructed him not to do that. Now people started coming from everywhere, in such great numbers that Jesus couldn’t even enter the towns without being mobbed by admirers and supplicants. This is one of those good news, bad news situations. Lots of people were hearing about
Jesus, but there were so many of them that most of them couldn’t hear him
12 On another occasion, when He was in one of the towns, there was a man there covered with leprosy, who, seeing Jesus, threw himself at His feet and implored Him, saying, "Sir, if only you are willing, you are able to make me clean."
Mark 2:1-2, Luke 5:17-19, Mark 2:5-12, Healing of the paralytic (Capernaum) (3/18/14)
41 Moved with pity Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. "I am willing," He said; "be cleansed."
42 The leprosy at once left him, and he was cleansed.
43-44 Jesus at once sent him away, strictly charging him, and saying, "Be careful not to tell any one, but go and show yourself to the Priest, and for your purification present the offerings that Moses appointed as evidence for them."
45 But the man, when he went out, began to tell every one and to publish the matter abroad, so that it was no longer possible for Jesus to go openly into any town; but He had to remain outside in unfrequented places, where people came to Him from all parts.
15-16 But all the more the report about Him spread abroad, and great multitudes crowded to hear Him and to be cured of their diseases; but Jesus Himself constantly withdrew into the Desert and there prayed.
If you’ve ever been sick or in an accident, you know that emergency personnel are determined
to get you to the hospital, no matter what obstacles they face in the way of narrow doors, steep stairways, overcrowded rooms, or uncooperative bystanders. Huge crowds had followed Jesus out into the desert, so he apparently decided that he may as well go on back to town. A crowd gathered immediately, although on this occasion he was teaching, not healing. The door was impassible, and anyone who had a spot to listen from refused to give it up.
Undeterred, four men decided that it was easier to carry their friend over the crowd than through it, and they hauled him up to the roof, made a hole through the tiles, and lowered their friend down in front of Jesus. Then, seeing their
faith, Jesus forgave the man’s sins. Never underestimate your power to support others when they need help from God!
1-2 After some days He entered Capernaum again, and it soon became known that He was at home; and such numbers of people came together that there was no longer room for them even round the door. He was speaking His Message to them.
Mark 2:13-16, Matthew 9:12-13, The call of Matthew Levi (3/19/14)
17-19 One day He was teaching, and there were Pharisees and teachers of the Law sitting there who had come from every village in Galilee and Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present for Him to cure people. And a party of men came carrying a palsied man on a bed, and they endeavoured to bring him in and lay him before Jesus. But when they could find no way of doing so because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiling – bed and all – into the midst, in front of Jesus.
5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are pardoned."
6-7 Now there were some of the Scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts. "Why does this man use such words?" they said; "he is blaspheming. Who can pardon sins but One – that is, God?"
8-11 At once perceiving by His spirit that they were reasoning within themselves, Jesus asked them, "Why do you thus argue in your minds? Which is easier? – to say to this paralytic, 'Your sins are pardoned,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your mat, and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins" – He turned to the paralytic, and said, "To you I say, 'Rise, take up your mat and go home.'"
12 The man rose, and immediately under the eyes of all took up his mat and went out, so that they were all filled with astonishment, gave the glory to God, and said, "We never saw anything like this."
Why have I always thought that Levi, also named Matthew, was in Jerusalem when Jesus called him? Probably because I didn’t read carefully; it’s clear that he lived and worked in Capernaum. Levi immediately gave a party for his friends – more tax collectors and sinners – so that they could also meet Jesus and his other disciples. The scribes and Pharisees were quick to find fault with Jesus for going to the party.
I sort of wonder how they knew he was there, if they were so “righteous” that they’d never associate with Matthew and his friends. I need to worry about my own behavior, and let you and God worry about yours.
Mark 2:18, Luke 5:34-39, A question about fasting (Capernaum) (3/20/14)
Jesus brought fresh ideas to the question of what our relationship to God ought to be. One of the great things about reading more than one translation is that you get more than one insight into the original Hebrew or Greek text. Most English translations use the English word parable
for the Greek word parabolay
. That’s just fine if you grew up in the Church and you know what a parable is.
It’s not so fine if you are a new believer – what’s a “parable,” anyway? The Weymouth New Testament has “figurative language.” Some of the modern basic-English translations use illustrations, sayings,
or in a story.
Even for experienced Bible readers like you and me, those translations give us a fresh idea of what it meant for Jesus to speak in parables.
More of The Chronological Gospel
Birth Announcements and Early Lives of Jesus and John the Baptist
Early Ministries of Jesus and John the Baptist
Jesus’ Early Ministry
Jesus’ Galilean Ministry
The Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Plain
John the Baptist
Signs and Parables
Miracles and Mission Trips
Bread of Life
Miracles and Meanings
Transfiguration and TeachingsTo Jerusalem for the Festival of Tabernacles
Some Results of Luke’s Research
More of Luke’s Research
On the Road Again
The Raising of Lazarus
Holy Week: Palm Sunday and Monday
Holy Week: Tuesday, Parables and Questions
Holy Week: Wednesday Part 1, Discussions
Holy Week: Wednesday Part 2, Be Ready!
Holy Week: Thursday Part 1,
Jesus' Celebration of the Passover
Holy Week: Thursday Part 2,
Jesus' Farewell Discourse
Holy Week: Friday Part 1,
Jesus' Arrest and Two Informal Trials
Holy Week: Friday Part 2,
Holy Week: Friday, Part 3, and Saturday, Jesus' Death and Burial
The Empty Tomb
Final Appearances of Jesus Prior to Pentecost
Copyright 2014, 2015, 2016 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. Scripture readings are from the Weymouth New Testament (1912). This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
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