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Last Visit to Galilee

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Life of Jesus Map - His last travels before his death in 30 A.D.

Jesus has one last chance, before suffering and dying for the sins of humanity, to visit Galilee and the region in which he grew up. He leaves Jerusalem a short time after Hanukkah in 29 A.D. (John 10:22 - 39). He then crosses over the Jordan River and travels to where John the Baptist first began to baptize (verses 40 - 42). John's baptisms began in Bethabara (John 1:28) which, although it likely existed just south of the Sea of Galilee, may have been located closer to the Dead Sea. After staying in the Bethabara area for an unspecified period he and the disciples travel, one last time, to his hometown of Capernaum.

Capernaum is one of the economically prosperous areas of Galilee. The group enters the city and, on the weekly Sabbath day, Jesus is invited to eat at the house of a Pharisee. While he is at the home he heals a man who has dropsy. Noticing how others invited to the meal sought out the best places to sit, he informs the guests it is far better to be humble and have others exalt you than exalting yourself (Luke 14:1 - 11). He further teaches the crowd in Galilee about the importance of unconditional mercy and generosity, especially to the poor, and gives the parable of the great supper (verses 12 to 24).

While still in Galilee, Jesus teaches the multitudes that those who follow him must place a relationship with him as their highest priority (Luke 14:25 - 35). He also gives several well known parables such as those concerning lost sheep (15:1 - 7), a lost coin (verses 8 - 10), a prodigal son (11 - 32), and an unjust steward (Luke 16:1 - 9). He boldly proclaims that no one can fully serve both God and mammon (money, possessions) then follows this declaration with a parable about a person named Lazarus and his relationship with a rich man (verses 13 - 31). Jesus finishes his discourse by answering a question regarding how faith can be increased (Luke 17:5 - 10).

Jesus and his disciples leave Galilee, pass near Nazareth, and then continue their travels by going through Samaria (Luke 17:11). They arrive in a village where ten men with leprosy cry out to be healed. The Lord, hearing their pleas, commands the group show themselves to the priests. The lepers are miraculously cured as they walk away! Sadly, only one of them, a Samaritan, returns to thank him who took away his sufferings (verses 12 - 19).

What event does Hanukkah commemorate?
What made Galilee special?
The city of Capernaum

Continuing his travels, the Lord warns that his Second Coming will come suddenly upon the world (Luke 17:24 - 25). He states that before his arrival people will be living their normal lives just as they did before the Flood and before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (verses 26 - 33). His discourse ends with the parables of the unjust judge and the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:1 - 14).

The group finally enters Judean territory after their long trip from Galilee. They soon receive a message that Lazarus, who lives in Bethany, is quite ill and near death. The Lord knows, however, that Lazarus died soon after the messenger left the home of Mary and Martha. He waits two more days before traveling toward Bethany. Lazarus, when the group arrives in the city, has spent four days in a tomb. After the tomb's stone door is removed, Jesus miraculous brings Lazarus back to life (John 11:1 - 45)! The Pharisees, who hate Christ, find out about the miracle and conspire to have him murdered. The High Priest unknowingly predicts Christ's death when he states it is better for one man to die for the nation than all the people perishing (verses 46 - 53).

Next Map in Life of Jesus Series
Final trip to Jerusalem

Additional Study Materials
The Life of John the Baptist
How many churches were started near Galilee?
Why did Jesus teach in parables?

Life of Jesus - Last Visit to Galilee
Primary Sources

AMG Concise Bible Dictionary
Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
Harmony of the Gospels in Modern English

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