The Chronological Gospel –

Miracles and Mission Trips

Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious Art, Step 9: Numbers 34:10-12; Luke 5:1-3; John 21:1-14, Map – The Sea of Galilee by Any Other Name
Mark 4:35-41, A storm on the Sea of Galilee
Mark 5:1-20, The Gerasene demoniac (SE of the Sea of Galilee)
Mark 5:21-32, Luke 8:45b-46, Mark 5:33-43, Matthew 9:26, Two miraculous healings
Mark 6:1-6a, Matthew 9:35-38, Jesus again rejected in Nazareth, but welcomed elsewhere
Luke 9:1-2, Matthew 10:5-15, Jesus sends the Twelve out to practice (Galilee)
Matthew 10:16-11:1, Luke 9:6, Jesus’ instructions for the journey

More of The Chronological Gospel

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Random Walk in a Gallery of Religious Art, Step 9: Numbers 34:10-12; Luke 5:1-3; John 21:1-14, Map – The Sea of Galilee by Any Other Name (3/12/15)

Quick! Did Jesus walk on the Sea of Galilee, the Sea of Tiberias, the lake of Gennesaret, or the Sea of Chinnereth? You get partial credit for any one of these answers, but full credit only if you said, “Yes.” The land we know as Palestine or Israel has been inhabited by many nations over the course of history, and prominent landmarks pick up additional names as time goes on. The lake is about eight miles across at its widest point, and about thirteen miles long.

Previous Step. Next Step.
Map of the Sea of Galilee. Click to enlarge.
"Sea of Galilee," from the Thomas family Bible,
now in a collection of a family member.



Mark 4:35-41, A storm on the Sea of Galilee (4/28/14)

Several of the disciples were fishermen who worked on the Sea of Galilee. This lake is about 13 mi (21 km) long and 8.1 mi (13 km) wide, with a maximum depth of about 141 feet (43 m). I wanted to give you an example of a lake of equivalent size, but I couldn’t think of one in the United States that turned out to be this small; I suspect that the Sea of Galilee is the most famous small lake in the world. Nevertheless, being four miles from land in a small fishing boat in the middle of a bad storm could be pretty frightening. This raises a question: Why were the disciples “filled with terror” only after Jesus calmed the storm? Probably because they did not yet understand – in spite of all the miracles they had seen – who he was or what power he had.


Mark 5:1-20, The Gerasene demoniac (SE of the Sea of Galilee) (4/29/14)

When Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and landed in the country of the Gerasenes, he was in the Gentile region known as the Decapolis (Ten Towns). The herd of swine shows clearly that he was not in a Jewish neighborhood. Although Jesus said he was sent to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel,” he ministered to whoever he ran into who needed him. Reactions to the miracle varied: the cured man wanted to come with Jesus, the townspeople who heard about the pigs wanted Jesus to leave quickly, and the people the cured man talked to were astonished. It’s amazing to me that even though Jesus himself ministered to Gentiles and taught them, it wasn’t until well after Jesus’ death that the disciples finally got the message, through the means of Peter’s vision, that they should do the same (Acts 10).


Mark 5:21-32, Luke 8:45b-46, Mark 5:33-43, Matthew 9:26, Two miraculous healings (4/30/14)

The power of Jesus’ miracles is building. The Gerasene man we read about yesterday had been demon-possessed, mentally ill, and violent for many years until Jesus cured him by casting out the demon. After recrossing the Sea of Galilee, Jesus meets two more people who come to him with serious medical conditions. Although the story begins with a plea from the father of a little girl who is dying, the first cure is of a woman who has been impoverished, physically ill, and desperate for many years. Jesus cures her just by being who he is, through her faith in him. He doesn’t actually do anything active.

The third cure is the most miraculous: either the little girl has indeed died, or she has slipped so far toward death that her family thinks she is gone. Jesus’ comment that she is “asleep” is a little ambiguous; he said Lazarus was “sleeping” when he was in fact dead, but on the other hand, “asleep” could mean “comatose” or something. It isn’t really important: without the intervention of Jesus, the child either was dead or irretrievably dying, and he raised her up and gave her to her parents, whole and sound.


Mark 6:1-6a, Matthew 9:35-38, Jesus again rejected in Nazareth, but welcomed elsewhere (5/1/14)

Although by this time Jesus was apparently living in Capernaum, he visited his home town once in a while. He had family there – brothers and sisters, and probably cousins and uncles and aunts – so maybe he was there to visit them; we don’t know. When he began to teach in the synagogue, however, people took offense. The kid from down the street, a carpenter, had a lot of nerve to try to teach in the synagogue! People elsewhere took the view that a miracle-working teacher is a miracle-working teacher, even if he used to be a carpenter.

Luke 9:1-2, Matthew 10:5-15, Jesus sends the Twelve out to practice (Galilee) (5/2/14)

We saw earlier that Jesus was giving the twelve more intensive training than he was giving to the larger groups of disciples that followed him from place to place. Now he sends the twelve out on a mission trip to practice what they have learned.


Matthew 10:16-11:1, Luke 9:6, Jesus’ instructions for the journey (5/5/14)

My husband and I have recently contributed money to two mission trips – one by the youth at our own church and one that our granddaughters will go on. If you’ve ever been on a mission trip, or have had a family member go on a mission trip, or have belonged to a church that was planning a mission trip, you know that the first thing to be done is to plan all the stops, and the second thing is to raise money!

Strangely enough, Jesus did neither of these in sending his disciples out on their first mission trip. He seemed to think it was more important to warn them of all the trouble they were probably heading into. I doubt that our youth are going to be persecuted during their trips; however, adult Christian missionaries go into dangerous places every day to bear witness to Christ. Pray for them and for the spread of the Gospel.


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
Sabbath Controversies
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 Teachings
To Jerusalem for the Festival of Tabernacles
Some Results of Luke’s Research
Light
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, More Trials
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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