Monday, April 2, 2012
"It's Jesus, come quick" Matthew 4:23-25, Mark and Luke
The Chronological order of the life of Our Christ
Do you ever wonder why God's word, the Holy Bible refers to the Jews so often as being "stiff necked"? Well, what else would you call a people who for years were looking for the Messiah, yet when Jesus came, most rejected Him, even after He did things that no one had ever done before. Maybe it was jealousy. For the two or three years that Jesus walked the earth, He came pretty near to putting the medical crews out of business. He made the other preachers, teachers and other religious leaders look like slouches, and He never preached a funeral, He simply brought them back to life. And still, even after two or three years of preaching, doing miracles, and feeding tens of thousands, the majority ruled and He was crucified because they favored a lying, stealing murderer, like themselves, over the Lord. While most of the references to "stiffnecked" are in the Old Testament, we find one in Acts that pretty near sums them all up.
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Acts 7:51
Today, we shall look at a day in the life of the Lord in Galilee and elsewhere.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 24 And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. 25 And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. Matthew 4:23-25 ACP/KJV
In the account given by Matthew above, we see Jesus healing any and all who were sick along with chasing devils out of those that were possessed. And we see that He preached to people as far away as Decapolis. Decapolis is the ten-city region called the Decapolis, a district in Syria. And while Jesus did not go into Syria, people from Syria came to see Jesus, to hear Him preach to get the sick they brought with them healed.
Now let us move on to Mark and see if Mark's account can shed any additional light on this miraculous preaching tour.
35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 36 And Simon and they that were with Him(Jesus) followed after Him. 37 And when they had found Him, they said unto Him, "All men seek for Thee." 38 And He said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39 And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. Mark 1:35-39 ACP/KJV
Mark explains why Jesus went into other towns in Galilee. For that is why He came to earth, to preach the Good News of the Gospel. Back in Matthew we know that Jesus was followed not by people from only the area HE was preaching in, but from Jerusalem and even beyond the Jordan river. This is shaping up to be quite a preaching tour.
Without further ado, let us see what Luke's account can add to our knowledge of this wonderful preaching tour.
42 And when it was day, He departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought Him, and came unto Him, and stayed Him, that He should not depart from them. 43 And He said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. 44 And He preached in the synagogues of Galilee. (Luke 4:1-44 ACP/KJV)
First let us look at the word translated "stayed" in verse 42. The Greek word is katecw or katecho, it is pronounced kat-ekh'-o and it literally means to hold fast onto, to not allow to go any further, to keep Him right there, restraining Him, not with bands or bonds, but with the sheer volume of people holding Him and surrounding Him and keeping Him so busy that He could no longer move freely from their midst.
In verse 35 of Mark we know that Jesus got up at the crack of dawn and went out to pray, and here we see that not only was He followed by Peter and other disciples, but by a huge number of other people as well, surrounding Him and preventing Him from leaving. But HE did leave, going to preach in synagogues all over Galilee.
We have seen, through the accounts recorded in Matthew, Mark and Dr. Luke this miraculous preaching tour, where all who were sick were healed, all who had devils were freed from them, and still we do not read that people believed on Him, as we did back at the account of the Samaritans at the well. A stiff necked people? Yes, a stiff necked people indeed.
Yes, while most of the references to "stiffnecked" are in the Old Testament, we find one in Acts that pretty near sums them all up.
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Acts 7:51 ACP/KJV So now you know that stiffnecked means one who resist the Holy Spirit. Very much like us here in the US of A.
Sometime in the not too distant future I want to talk to you men in the Militias, about Luke 20:25 and Matthew 24:24.
Lord, make my faith as that which I perceive the Samaritans to have had. Amen.
As you ponder today's Scripture, ponder also your own relationship with Christ. Are you a Samaritan or are you a Galilean?
Lord give us eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart attuned to Your word.
Men, let us strive to be men who follow Christ, and pray our wives will, as Peter's and Abraham's wives did, simply follow.
Nai erchomai kurios Iesous.
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