Primary scriptures: Matthew 8:18 - 34, 9:1, 18 - 38, 10:1 - 42, 11:1, 13:1 - 58, 14:1 - 12, Mark 4:1 - 41, 5:1 - 43, 6:1 - 29, Luke 8:1 - 18, 22 - 56, 9:1 - 9, John 5:1 - 47.
September 28 A.D.
Healing Leads to Persecution
Jesus, shortly before the fall festival season (likely the Feast of Tabernacles which begins Thursday September 23, John 5:1), travels to Jerusalem.
After arriving in the city he meets a man, on a Sabbath day (verse 9), who had been suffering from an infirmity for 38 years. The man, for many years, had sadly attempted and failed to take advantage of a rare miracle which took place in a pool near the temple.
For from time to time, an angel descended into the pool and agitated the water; and the first one to enter after the agitation of the water was made well from whatever disease he had (John 5:4).
The man's failure was due to a lack of friends to help him (John 5:7). The Lord, taking pity on the man, heals him then tells him he can now take his bedroll and walk away (verses 8)! When certain Jews learn about the miracle, instead of rejoicing, they criticize the man for breaking the Sabbath by transporting his bedroll! They then decide to both persecute and seek Jesus' death for what they viewed as lawless behavior (John 5:1 - 16).
My Father Is God
Jesus, answering those who think his command regarding the bedroll is a sin, states the following.
My Father is working until now, and I work (John 5:17).
The Jews, who pick up that Christ calls God HIS Father (not "our Father"), become further enraged believing he is blaspheming (John 5:18). The Lord then reiterates his goal is to do his Father's will. He then reveals that not only will he be the One who will resurrect and judge humanity, it will be he who will give eternal life to those deemed worthy to receive it (verses 19 - 29). Near the close of his discourse he sums up the primary problem of the Jews.
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life; and they are the ones that testify of Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life . . .
But I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves (John 5:39 - 40, 42).
October 28 A.D.
to Early 29 A.D.
Women Accompany the Lord
Jesus, after the fall festival season, travels north from Jerusalem to go back home to Capernaum. During his journey he and the disciples make it a point to preach the gospel in every city or village possible along the way (Luke 8:1).
The Bible records, at this point in the Lord's ministry, that several women were also accompanying him and supporting his work financially (Luke 8:2 - 3). One such noteable woman, first mentioned by name in Luke 8, is Mary Magdalene.
After arriving back in Capernaum the Lord travels the short distance to the Sea of Galilee. He then gets on a boat and begins preaching to a large crowd gathered on the land. He gives the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1 - 23, Mark 4:1 - 20, Luke 8:4 - 15) and, when asked by his disciples, explains its meaning.
Jesus follows up the sower parable with one about tares (Matthew 13:24 - 30), a growing seed (Mark 4:26 - 29), a mustard seed (Matthew 13:31 - 32, Mark 4:30 - 32) and leaven (Matthew 13:34 - 35).
The Lord, after dismissing the crowd and going back home to Capernaum, explains the tares parable to his disciples (Matthew 13:36 - 43, Mark 4:33 - 34). He then compares God's Kingdom to a hidden treasure (Matthew 13:44), a pearl of great price (verses 45 - 46) and a fisherman's net (47 - 50).
Calming the Sea
Jesus and the disciples get on a boat and begin to travel east on the Sea of Galilee toward the Gadarenes, an area where the city of Gadara was located. When the Lord falls asleep a violent windstorm rocks the ship and causes huge waves to rapidly fill the vessel with water. After being waken by the disciples he chastises them for their lack of faith and quiets the storm (Mark 4:35 - 41, Luke 8:22 - 25, Matthew 8:23 - 27).
A Legion of Demons
Arriving in the Gadarenes region, the Lord encounters two demon-possessed men living amongst the tombs. The multiple demons possessing the men, who call themselves "Legion" (Luke 8:30, Mark 5:9), cry out in fear thinking their punishment for rebelling against God is at hand.
Jesus casts the demons out of the two men and allows the evil spirits to possess a herd of pigs. Such a unnatural possession causes the animals to stampede off a cliff and kill themselves (Matthew 8:28 - 34, Mark 5:1 - 20, Luke 8:26 - 39)! After this horrendous event the group sails back across the sea to (likely) the city of Tiberias.
Raising a Young Girl
The group, upon making landfall, run into a synagogue ruler named Jairus who begs the Lord to heal his twelve-year old daughter. As they travel to see the girl a woman, who had been suffering from blood loss for years, believes if she touches Jesus' robe she will be healed. She touches the robe, is healed, and then professes her faith to Christ (Matthew 9:20 - 22, Mark 5:25 - 34, Luke 8:43 - 48).
Jairus' daughter dies before Jesus arrives where she stays. Our Savior, in spite of the disbelief of the crowd gathered to mourn the girl, raises her from the dead (Matthew 9:18 - 19, 23 - 26, Mark 5:22 - 24, 35 - 43, Luke 8:41 - 42, 49 - 56)!
Jesus encounters, after leaving Jairus' home, two blind men who cry out to be healed. When he finally makes it home to Capernaum the two men enter his house and again request to be healed. After they are made whole another man possessed of a demon, and unable to speak, is brought to the house. The man is miraculously able to speak after the Lord mercifully casts out the evil spirit (Matthew 9:27 - 35). Christ then leaves to continue preaching the gospel in the surrounding area (Matthew 9:35).
Rejection at Home
Leaving Capernaum the Lord travels to his hometown of Nazareth and preaches on the Sabbath. Those in attendance at the synagogue, however, many of whom have known him for years, find reasons to reject him and his message.
From where did this Man (Jesus) get these things? And what is this wisdom that has been given to Him, that by His hands many miracles are done also? Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon (the Lord's half-brothers)? And are not His sisters here with us? (Mark 6:2- 3).
The unbelief of those in Nazareth leads to only a few local people being healed (Mark 6:1- 6, Matthew 13:54 - 58).
The twelve disciples are sent off on their first training mission to get accustomed to preaching the gospel. They are given the ability to heal, raise the dead and cast out demons. They are also charged to visit only the "lost sheep" of Israel. They are warned to act wisely and that they will someday be persecuted for spreading the truth (Matthew 10:1 - 33, Mark 6:7 - 13, Luke 9:1 - 6).
According to Christ, anyone who follows him must be willing to love and obey him above all else (Matthew 10:34 - 42).