THE STORY chapter # 24
(My home church is participating in the study of THE STORY – The Bible As One Continuing Story Of God And His People. Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. Each week, my Thursday post focuses on our current study chapter.)
Jesus’ ministry spanned approximately three years. During that short time, He traveled through what we now call Israel, along with His twelve disciples. Often, He shared His teachings to great crowds. On a hillside near Capernaum, Jesus shared the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5,6,7. In chapter five we find the Beautitudes. Beatitude comes from the Latin word for blessed, which is beatus. Each verse in the eight Beatitudes Matthew 5:3-10, start with Blessed are, and describe how Christ followers should act.
Usually Jesus’ lesson was centered around a parable-a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. The Twelve, and a few others, inquired about their usage.
He [Jesus] told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that “ ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ “ Mark 4:11-12
This meant that some, whose hearts are hardened, will never understand His message of the Kingdom of God. This truth is repeated, as Jesus often stated “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” Yes, we all have ears, however, His statement means we will only hear (understand) the gospel if our heart desires to accept it.
This truth appears at the end of chapter six. Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. This teaching was not understandable to many in the crowd so they turned back and stopped following Him.
As Jesus traveled teaching multitudes and individuals, He also healed the sick. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23
Some of His miracles include:
- Mark 5:1-20, Jesus sent evil spirits out of a man, into a herd of pigs and had the pigs drown in a lake.
- Mark 5:25-34, Jesus heals a woman who suffered from bleeding for twelve years. Jesus said it was her faith in Him, that healed her.
- Mark 5:35-43 shares the story of Jairus, a synagogue leader whose daughter died. Jesus raised the dead girl to life.
Jesus also has all power over nature. In Mark 4:39, Jesus calms the wind during a wicked storm. And at the Sea Of Galilee near Bethsaida, Jesus feeds five thousand followers, Mark 6:35-34, with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Next week, the messages and the miracles of Jesus continue.
THE STORY foreword by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee