Jesus has already amazed crowds and confounded the Jewish authorities. In the next period of His ministry, His teaching is recorded much more and His miracles surge in their magnitude. Tension also continues to mount between Him and the Jewish authorities. This episode introduces the Middle Galilean period, stretching through several months of the spring of 28AD.
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After continuing all night in prayer, Jesus chooses twelve of His disciples that would go on to be the foundation of the church, the carriers of the Gospel, and the definitive eyewitnesses of all that Jesus said and did when He was among us. This episode looks at the lists of the Twelve from the Gospels and the book of Acts, where we can see that the authors carefully preserved the names of these men.
Here is a link to Richard Bauckham's book, "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses": http...
Many in Israel looked upon tax collectors with disdain because of their dishonesty and greed. By the shores of the sea of Galilee, a man named Matthew sat at his tax booth perhaps observing the ministry of Jesus and hearing His teaching. However, in one unexpected, breathtaking moment, Jesus beckoned this despised tax collector into formal discipleship. This episode examines the calling of Matthew.
Jesus makes another circuit throughout Galilee, yet the Gospels record only two significant events during the period - the healing of a leper and the healing of a paralytic. In both instances, Jesus demonstrates deep compassion for the afflicted and yet again confronts the religious leaders for their hardness of heart.
While traveling with His first four official disciples, Jesus' fame spreads in Galilee like wildfire. While He was staying in Capernaum, Mark 1 and Luke 4 narrate several events that leave the crowds and us as the readers awestruck. This episode develops the healing of the demonized man on the Sabbath, the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, and the healing of many in Capernaum after sunset.
In light of yet another rejection by the Jews in Jerusalem, Jesus leaves the feast and heads to Galilee to formally and permanently call some of His disciples - Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Their call came at no ordinary moment, however. After toiling all night and catching no fish, Jesus instructed them to let down their nets for a catch. This episode looks at these events from Mark 1 and Luke 5.
While in Jerusalem for feast of the Jews, Jesus heals a paralyzed man at the Pool of Bethesda. When confronted by the Jewish authorities, Jesus asserts His divinity by saying that He and His Father are working on the Sabbath. Once again, Jesus asserts His authority over the leadership and their system. This episode examines the events found in John 5.
Upon His return to Galilee, Jesus enters his hometown of Nazareth and stands up in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Reading from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, Jesus identifies Himself as the one who will accomplish the things written. The Jews, in utter disbelief, attempt to throw him off of a cliff. This episode develops the importance of Jesus' words and actions in this scene.
After being rejected in Jerusalem by the Jewish authorities, Jesus heads to Galilee to begin his appeal in the north. This episode discusses why Jesus' ministry likely lasted only two years, lays out the basic timeline of His ministry, and introduces the "Early Galilean" period.
I've been thinking a lot about the 21 Egyptian Christians killed by ISIS in Libya for their faith earlier this week. The media has not only given us glimpse into this horrific situation, but has also put before the world a very potent witness of the worth of Jesus. From the moment I heard about what had happened and from the subsequent details that emerged over the next several days, I was very emotional. I was moved to tears when I saw the brother in the picture above saying his final prayers and when I heard that in the last moments of their lives that the Christians all cried in...