As 30 A.D. begins, Jesus has one last chance, before suffering and dying for humanity, to visit his home in Capernaum and journey through the Galilee region where his ministry started. He leaves Jerusalem then crosses over to the eastern side of the Jordan River (likely near Jericho). Jesus then travels north along the river, through Perea, to where John the Baptist first began to baptize (John 10: 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 Jesus and the disciples travel, one last time, to his home in Capernaum.
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).
Jesus further teaches the crowd, gathered around the Pharisees house, about the importance of unconditional mercy and generosity, especially to the poor. He then gives the parable of the great supper (Luke 14:12 - 24).
Jesus continues to teach 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).
Christ 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 (Luke 16:13 - 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 journey by traveling through the middle of Samaria (Luke 17:11). They soon arrive in an unnamed village where ten men with leprosy cry out to be healed.
The Lord, hearing the pleas of the lepers, commands the group show themselves to the priests. The lepers, as they are walking way, are surprised to find they are miraculously cured! Sadly, only one of them, a Samaritan, returns to thank him who took away his sufferings (Luke 17:12 - 19).
Continuing his journey, Jesus 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).
Jesus and his disciples, at last, enter Judean territory after their long trip from Capernaum and Galilee. They soon receive a message that Lazarus, who lives in Bethany near Jerusalem, 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)! Some who witness this extraordinary miracle (the Lord is recorded to have only resurrected two others) run to the Pharisees to inform them of what occurred. The Pharisees, as well as the chief priests and other religious leaders, convene after they are made aware of Jesus' unprecedented show of power (John 11:46 - 47).
Jewish leaders, in a breathetaking show of raw carnality, gather not to rejoice over the display of God's mercy but rather how the miracle of Lazarus' resurrection might jepordize their relationship with the Romans! The leaders state, "What shall we do? For this Man does many miracles. If we allow Him to continue in this manner, all will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away from us both this place and the nation." (John 11:47 - 48, HBFV).
The High Priest, in the middle of the discussion of how to respond to the perceived threat Jesus poses, unknowingly predicts his death. He states, " . . . it is better for us that one man die for the people, than that the whole nation should perish" (John 11:50). Those gathered in the meeting agree that they must find a way to put Jesus to death (verse 53).