Showing posts from May, 2022

Canaanite Woman

Jesus and His disciples left Galilee and travelled to the district of Tyre and Sidon. These were port cities on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Tyre was roughly 34 miles northwest of Capernaum and Sidon was about 21 miles up the coast from Tyre. These cities were part of the coastal region known as Phoenicia, which was part of the Roman province of Syria. The people of Phoenicia were called Canaanites.  Jesus did not want anyone to know He was in Phoenicia. And so, He stayed in a house with His disciples. But Jesus was unable to escape the notice of the people. A Canaanite woman had a young daughter who was possessed by an unclean spirit--a demon. And when the woman heard that Jesus was in the area, she came to the house. Now, she was a Greek woman from that area, and she kept asking Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. She cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is miserably possessed by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word to the woman. So, His di


Jesus turned from the Pharisees and scribes and called the crowd to Him. He said to them, “All of you, listen to Me and understand. A person is not defiled by what enters their mouth, but by what comes out of it.” Then the disciples came to Him and said, “Are You aware that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” But Jesus replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by its roots. Disregard them! They are blind guides. If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” After Jesus left the crowd and went into the house, Peter said to Jesus, “Explain this parable to us.” Jesus asked, “Are you still so dull? Do you still not understand? Whatever enters the mouth does not defile a person because it does not enter their heart, but it goes into the stomach and then is eliminated. (Thus all foods are clean). Jesus continued: “What comes out of a person, that is what defiles them. For from within the hearts of people come evil tho

Traditions Condemned

Some Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came and gathered around Jesus. While there, they saw some of His disciples eating with hands that were defiled—that is, unwashed.  Now, in holding to the tradition of the elders, the Pharisees and all the Jews did not eat until they washed their hands ceremonially. And on returning from the market, they did not eat unless they washed. And there were many other traditions for them to observe, including the washing of cups, pitchers, kettles, and couches for dining. So, the Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus: “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands before they eat. Instead, they eat with defiled hands.” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your own tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever you would


The next day, the crowd that had remained on the other side of the sea, in Bethsaida, realized that only one boat had been there and that Jesus had not boarded the boat with His disciples, but they had gone away without Him. However, some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread and fish after Jesus had given thanks. So, when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Him. When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they asked Him, “Rabbi,” which means teacher, “when did You get here?” Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, it is not because you saw these signs that you are looking for Me, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.” Then the people asked, “What must we do to perform th


When Jesus and His disciples had crossed over the Sea of Galilee, they landed at Gennesaret, on the northwestern shore. And they moored the boat there. As soon as they got out of the boat, the people recognized Jesus and they sent word throughout the whole region about His arrival. Wherever Jesus went—villages and towns and countryside and marketplaces—the people brought all the sick to Him on mats and they begged Him just to let them touch the fringe of His cloak. And all who touched Jesus were healed. See Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 6:53-56 -

On the Water

On the shores of Bethsaida, Jesus sent His disciples away in a boat. Then He dismissed the crowd. And then Jesus went up on the mountainside to pray. Later that evening, the disciple had rowed about three or four miles and they were out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. A strong wind was blowing, and the sea had grown agitated. Jesus could see that the disciples were straining to row the boat because the wind was against them and they were being buffeted by the waves. Finally, during the fourth watch of the night, or between the hours of 3 and 6 in the morning, Jesus went out toward the boat, walking on the sea. And He intended to pass them by. But when all the disciples saw someone walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear. But Jesus spoke up at once: “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” “Lord, if it is You,” Peter replied, “command me to come to You on the water.” “Come,” said Jesus. Then Peter got down out of the boat, wa

Avoiding Kingship

When the people saw that Jesus had fed them all with five loaves and two fish, they considered it to be a miraculous sign of Jesus's authority from God. And the people began to say, “Truly this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Then Jesus realized that the people were about to come and make Him king by force. And so, when evening came, Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him, back across the sea toward Capernaum. Jesus stayed behind and dismissed the crowds. And after they departed, Jesus went up on the mountain to pray by Himself. See John 6:14-17; Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-46 Notes: The Gospel of Mark records that the boat was sailing to Bethsaida, but the Gospels of Matthew and John record that Jesus and His disciples were already in Bethsaida and that the boat was sailing toward Capernaum. -

Feeding 5000

When evening came, the apostles came to Jesus and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is already late. Dismiss the crowds so they can go to the villages in the surrounding countryside to buy something to eat and find lodging. But Jesus told them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Jesus said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?” But He was asking this to test him, for He knew what He was about to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to have a small piece.” For there were about five thousand men, in addition to the women and the children. And hearing Philip, the other apostles asked Jesus, “Should we go out and spend two hundred denarii to give all of them bread to eat?” Jesus told them, “Go and see how many loaves you have.” One of His apostles, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “Here is a boy with five barley loaves and two small fish. But what difference will these

Crowds Followed, Jesus Welcomed

Many people watched Jesus and His disciples sail away and they had heard that Jesus was sailing to Bethsaida. Others watched the boat from a distance and they recognized Jesus. They had seen Him heal the sick and they saw the healings as a sign of His authority. All the people followed the boat, running on foot along the shore. And the news reached the nearby towns and they also came out and followed the crowd.  When Jesus stepped ashore,  He saw a large crowd of people. And He had compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And as more people arrived, Jesus welcomed them. He healed those who were sick.  Then Jesus went up on the mountain and sat down with His disciples. He spoke to the people about the kingdom of God. And He taught them many things. Now the Jewish Feast of the Passover was near. See Matthew 14:13-14; Mark 6:33-34; Luke 9:11; John 6:2-4 -

Return and Withdraw

The apostles returned to Jesus from their travels. And they gathered around Jesus and brought news of all they had done and taught. About this time, Jesus heard about the execution of John the Baptist.  Many people were coming and going, and Jesus' apostles did not even have time to eat. So, Jesus said to them, "Come with Me privately to a solitary place, and let us rest for a while."  So, they went away, crossing the Sea of Galilee (also called the Sea of Tiberias), to a town called Bethsaida. But the crowds found out about it and followed Jesus on foot from the towns. See Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:30-32; Luke 9:10; John 6:1 Notes: 1. "they gathered": The passages do not say where they gathered, but since Jesus had relocated to Capernaum when He began His Galilean ministry, it would seem logical to assume that the apostles returned to Capernaum after their travels. 2. John the Baptist: It is not certain how Jesus heard the news of the death of John the Baptist. But


On Herod's birthday, he held a banquet for his nobles and military commanders, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias saw the banquet as her opportunity finally kill John the Baptist. And so, for the meal's entertainment, Herodias had her daughter dance. Now, the Bible does not name the daughter of Herodias. But according to historian Flavius Josephus, her name was Salome. And Salome's dancing pleased Herod and his guests. So, Herod said to Salome, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” And he swore an oath to her, “Whatever you ask of me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom!” Salome went to her mother and asked, “What should I request?” Herodias answered,  “The head of John the Baptist.” Salome immediately went back to Herod with her request: “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter immediately.” Herod was consumed with sorrow and grief. But because he had given an oath, which was witnessed by all his guests, Herod did not w


After Jesus finished instructing His twelve apostles, He went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. So, the apostles set out and went from village to village. They preached the gospel. They told the people to repent. They drove out many demons. And they healed many of the sick and anointed them with oil. See Matthew 11:1; Mark 6:12-13; Luke 9:6 -


“The one who receives you receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives the One who sent Me. Whoever receives a prophet because they are a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous person because they are a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because they are My disciple, truly I tell you, they will never lose their reward.” See Matthew 10:40-42 -

Lose to Find

Jesus continued telling His apostles about the importance of sacrifice in following Him. "Whoever finds their life, or tries to save their life, will lose it. But whoever loses their life for My sake will find it or preserve it." See Matthew 10:39; Luke 17:33 -

Conflict and Sacrifice

In the Book of Micah, the prophet Micah spoke of a coming time of strife for friends and family: "Woe is me! For I am like one gathering summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard and there is no cluster of grapes to eat, no early fig that I crave. The godly person has perished from the earth; there is no one upright among people. They all lie in wait for blood. They hunt one another with a net. Both hands are skilled at evil. Both the prince and the judge demand a bribe. When one person of power utters their evil desire, all the powerful conspire together. Even the best of them is like a bush of briers and the most upright is sharper than a hedge of thorns. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come. Now is the time of their confusion. Do not rely on a friend; do not trust in a companion. Seal your lips from the one who lies in your arms. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enem

Shrewd but Innocent

Jesus continued His instructions to His apostles: "Understand that I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. So, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. But beware of people; for they will hand you over to their councils and flog you in their synagogues. On My account, you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to respond or what to say. In that hour you will be given what to say. For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." "Sibling will betray sibling to death, and a father will betray his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved." "When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. Truly I tell you, you will not reach all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.&


Before Jesus sent out the twelve, two by two, He gave them the following instructions: “Do not go onto the road of the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Instead, go to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. “Take nothing for the journey. Do not carry any gold or silver or copper in your belts. Take no bread, no bag for the road, or a second tunic, or sandals, or staff; for the worker is worthy of his provisions. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy there and stay at their house until you move on. As you enter the home, greet its occupants. If the home is worthy, let your peace rest on it; but if it is not, let your peace return to you. “If anyone does not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that place, as a testimony against them.” See Matthew 10:1-4; Ma


Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him. And He gave them authority over all unclean spirits so that they could drive them out and heal every disease and sickness. And Jesus sent the twelve out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James and John, the sons of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew (Nathanael); Thomas and Matthew (Levi) the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (Judas); Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. See Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1-2 Editor's Notes:  1. Jesus had selected the twelve apostles earlier, as recorded in Mark 3:13‭-‬19 and Luke 6:12‭-‬16.) 2. Bartholomew / Nathanael: Modern scholars disagree on this point, but traditional scholars accept that Bartholomew of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and Nathanael of the Gospel of John, are the same person. Bartholomew is English for Bar

Harvest and Workers

Jesus went through all the towns and villages. He taught the people in their synagogues, He preached the gospel of the kingdom, and He healed every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” See Matthew 9:35-38; Mark 6:6b -

More Rejection

Jesus and His disciples traveled to His hometown of Nazareth. And when the Sabbath came, He taught in the local synagogue.  The people were astonished at Jesus. They said to each other, “Where did this man get these ideas? What is this wisdom He has been given? And how can He perform such miracles? Is not this the carpenter and the son of the carpenter and Mary, the brother of James, Joseph (Joses), Simon and Judas? And aren't His sisters here with us as well? Then where did this man get all these things?" And the people took offense at Jesus. But Jesus said to the people, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household and among his relatives." And Jesus did not do many miracles there because of the people's unbelief. Jesus could not perform any miracles in Nazareth, except to lay His hands on a few of the sick and heal them. And He was amazed at the people's unbelief. See Matthew 13:53-58; Mark 6:1-6a -

Blind and Mute

As Jesus went on from the house of Jairus, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”  When Jesus entered a house (possibly the home of Peter), the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”  Then Jesus touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened.  Then Jesus sternly warned the men: “See that no one knows about this!” But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land. As Jesus and His disciples were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Jesus. After He cast out the demon, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. They said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” See Matthew 9:27-34 -

Sickness and Death

Jesus and His disciples sailed back across the lake to Capernaum. And a large crowd gathered around Jesus on the shore because the people had all been waiting for Him. A synagogue leader named Jairus arrived. Seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet and pleaded with Him urgently. "My little daughter is dying," he said. "But even now, if You come and place Your hands on her, she will be healed and she will live." So, Jesus got up and He and His disciples went with Jairus. A large crowd followed them and pressed around Jesus. Also in the crowd was a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She had spent all her money on physicians, but no one was able to heal her. Instead, her condition had only grown worse. But when the woman heard about Jesus, she said to herself, "If only I touch His cloak, I will be healed." So, she came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of His cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she sensed in her body that she was h