Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Pig Herder's Story

By Mary Vee
Mark 5



From Pig Herder's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee facing the shore where
this story takes place.
Photo by Mary Vee
I am a pig herder. I've lived on the far side of the Sea of Galilee my whole life. I take my large herd to the hills and let them feed. 

In my village, there was a man who for a very long time had demons possessing him. The man seemed crazy all the time. 

The entire village was afraid of him. His eyes were wild. We didn't want him to harm our children or our wives so we hired guards to capture him and tie chains to his arms and legs. Big iron chains. But the man had the strength of a ... well, I don't know any man so powerful. He ripped the chains apart then escaped. 

After many years, the possessed man stayed in the tombs. Living like an animal. We left him alone since nothing could hold him prisoner.

Were we still afraid of him? Yes. We were.

This morning, I took the herd out to the hills to feed. From where I stood I watched several boats dock. One man seemed to lead many who followed him.

The most amazing thing happened after He and his followers stepped on to the shore. The crazy man from our village ran to the leader, falling to his knees. I couldn't hear what was said, but the man seemed desperate. Why he went to this leader, I didn't know.

Moments later something odd happened to our crazy man. He stood without thrashing. He didn't scream or flail his arms. It was the first time I had seen him this way.

At the same time, my pigs acted oddly. They squealed like they were attacked but there wasn't any other animal near. They ran in a pack, all two thousand of them, down the steep hill toward the water. 

I yelled my signal to them to come back, but they didn't obey. The entire herd ran into the sea and sank under the water. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had never seen such a thing. 

I ran to the village, calling for everyone to come and hear what had happened. I told them about the pigs running into the sea and the wild man from our village who no longer was wild. 

"Let's go see," they said.

I took them out to the place and showed them the leader who came ashore from the boat. They looked at the wild man from our village sitting on the ground, dressed, and in his right mind. 

We were terribly afraid. How could he have changed so much?

The people who had traveled with the leader told my villagers what had happened. Their leader stepped out of the boat onto the shore. The wild man from our village came and fell on his knees. Jesus told the evil spirits to leave him. The evil spirits asked to go into the pigs and Jesus allowed it. That was when the pigs ran into the sea and drowned.

The news frightened us. Such power in our presence. We hardly knew what to do. "Please leave our region," we said to Jesus.

Jesus didn't argue. He climbed back in the boat. As he did, our village man who had been healed ran to Jesus and asked to go with him. 

"No," Jesus said. "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you. Tell them how He has had mercy on you."

Our village man watched with great sorrow on his face as Jesus left. 

But, I am a witness, that the village man did as Jesus said. He went throughout Decalopis and told everyone what Jesus had done for him.

Everyone who heard his story was amazed.

It made me curious about this man called Jesus.



 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Herd of Pigs That Ran Into the Sea

By Mary Vee
Mark 5



From Matthew's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee facing the shore where
this story takes place.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Mark, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded some of what I witnessed in this post. 

I and other of Jesus's disciples sailed across the Sea of Galilee last night. A terrible storm rose up during the journey threatening to sink the ship and drenching everything. We woke Jesus, and He calmed the storm instantly.

We were all so thankful. Had He not done that, we all would have drowned. 

We landed on the other side of the lake in the region called Gerasenes and docked the boat. Not long after we stepped onto land a man ran to Jesus from a distance. He was not any ordinary man. 

This man had strong arms and legs. He was unkept with wild hair that had grown unreasonably long. He screamed and jerked his head. I could see where chains had once dug into his wrists and ankles. His power had broken them. None of his words could be understood. The man was a frightening sight.

Someone near said this man had lived in the tombs and rampaged like a possessed man. At one time the townsfolk could subdue him but he grew too strong. Now iron could not hold him. Night and day he would run through the tombs and the hills crying out and cutting himself with stones.

Jesus looked at the man and said, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

The man fell on his knees in front of Jesus. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?"

The voice did not sound like a normal man's voice. He then said, "Swear to God that you won't torture me!"

Jesus said, "What is your name?"

"My name is Legion," the man said, "for we are many." The strange voice coming from the man begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

Off to the right and in the distance a large herd of pigs fed on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs. Allow us to go into them." 

Jesus gave them permission.

Instantly the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank squealing and grunting. They ran as fast as they could into the lake. The herdsman ran after them shouting for them to stop but they didn't. They ran into the water where they drowned.

Shocked, the herdsman turned away and ran toward the town, yelling and raising their fists. 

The story will continue next time.



 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them  and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.



*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Nasty Sea Storms and Ships

By Mary Vee
Matthew 8



From Matthew's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee where Peter, Andrew, and others fished.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Matthew, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded some of what I witnessed in this post. 

I and other of Jesus's disciples are on board a boat sailing across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is also on board. To our left and right, there are other boats sailing with us.

Because of the mountains around this sea, storms can rise quickly and with no notice. When they do, the cool waters fuel the winds, causing the storm to build and rifling tall waves that threaten to overtake the boat. 

Birds circle with the winds, screeching as they fly away from the storm.

The sky darkens. A furious squall appears.

Waves break over the boat, soaking our clothes and chilling us to the bone. 

Water pools inside the boat, rising quickly, threatening to sink the ship. We are absolutely terrified.

Jesus has fallen asleep on a cushion in the stern, (the back of the boat). 

I run to him and shake his shoulder until he wakes. When his eyes open I say, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He has to have known the trouble we are in.

Jesus sits up then stands. He looks out at the wind and says "Quiet!" He looks at the waves and says, "Be still!"

Just like that--the wind dies down as if it had never been stirred.

It took a few minutes for my heart and breath to settle down.

Jesus turns to us and says, "Why are you so afraid?"

It was a fair question. We should have been afraid, not with Him on board, but we are.

He says, "Don't you have any faith?"

We look at each other. Ashamed. Puzzled. Mystified. Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him. 




If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


Next time I will write about amazing miracles performed by Jesus.

 Come back to read the next story.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Ones Who Were Left Behind

By Mary Vee
Matthew 8



From Matthew's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee where Peter, Andrew, and others fished.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Matthew, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded some of what I witnessed in this post. 

Jesus finished explaining the lesson in the last parable to us as the crowds noticed Him and moved our way. They seemed interested in listening to more, but Jesus had other tasks that needed to be done at the time.

We boarded a boat set to cross the Sea of Galilee. 

A teacher of the law approached the boat and said to Jesus, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus answered him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 

It seemed to me that Jesus wanted to help this man understand that following Him would not include a rich lifestyle. There wouldn't be fancy houses or any other lavish perks. Those of us who had been following Jesus saw this to be true.

Jesus turned to another man approaching the boat and said, "Follow me."

The man said, "Lord, I will, but first let me go and bury my father." He wasn't saying that his father had died and needed burial right then. He meant that he wanted to wait until his father grew old and died. That could take several years.

Jesus answered the man, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

Another man approached the boat and said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family."

Jesus answered, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.

By the time evening came, Jesus said, "Let's go across the sea." 

And so the boat set sail, leaving those who did not choose to follow Jesus behind with the crowd.




If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


Next time I will write about amazing miracles performed by Jesus.

 Come back to read the next story.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Great Sorting At the End of Time

By Mary Vee
Matthew 13



From Matthew's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee where Peter, Andrew, and others fished.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Matthew, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded some of what I witnessed in this post. 

The other disciples and I have listened to Jesus teach. He uses short stories called parables to communicate His lesson.  

In each parable, Jesus talked about people like us, living in places like we do, working as we do and such a situation that taught the lesson. 

Other parables have been written In previous posts and sent to you from Mark and Luke. You can scroll down and read them. 

These were the last three parables Jesus shared on this day:

Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a large commercial fishing net that is let down into the lake and catches all kinds of fish. When it is full, the fishermen pull it up on the shore. With the fish spread across the ground, the fishermen sit down and separate the good fish, placing them in baskets. The bad fish that remain are thrown away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw the evil ones into the fiery furnace, where there will be terrible weeping and gnashing of teeth.

"Have you understood all these things I have taught you?"

The other disciples and I looked at each other and nodded. "Yes. We have."

Jesus said, "All right then. Every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom the new and the old treasure to examine. He then decides which is good and keeps those items and which truly did not have value and should be thrown away."

There are many similar parables that Jesus shared with us. He did this to help us understand His teachings. In the days he spent with the crowds, He did not say anything without using a parable.

But when Jesus was alone with us, the chosen twelve, he explained everything so clearly we could not possibly misunderstand. Because He did this, Jesus fulfilled prophecies spoken by the prophets who said:

I will open my mouth in parables. I will say things hidden since the creation of the world. 



If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


Next time I will write about amazing miracles performed by Jesus.

 Come back to read the next story.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Jesus Tells A Story

By Mary Vee
Matthew 13



From Matthew's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee.
My name is Matthew, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded in this post some of what I witnessed. 

Jesus gathered the twelve chosen disciples and others who followed him. He chose to teach us using short stories that are call parables to communicate the lesson.  

In each parable, Jesus talked about people like us, living in places like we do, working as we do and in a situation that taught the lesson. 

Other parables have been written In previous posts and sent to you from Mark and Luke. You can scroll down and read them. 

Here are three new short parables Jesus shared with us on this day:

Jesus said to us, "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that is added to flour and water. The cook works the yeast through the dough, kneading, pressing, and pounding the ingredients in a bowl. The dough is left alone to rest. While it rests the yeast works, multiplying and growing. The dough rises above the top of the bowl. At this time, the cook repeats the process, needing, pressing, and pounding then allows the dough to rest, again, for three times. At the end of the time, the dough is of a good quality, ready to be baked."

Jesus told another parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like a great treasure hidden in an abandoned field. When a man happened into the field and discovered it, he immediately rejoiced! He hid it in the same place then went home, and sold everything he had. He took all the money and bought the field.

Jesus then told another parable describing the kingdom of heaven. "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who traveled far and wide searching for fine pearls. He found many small ones. But one day he found one of great value. He went home, sold everything he owned then took the money back to the owner and bought the pearl.  

There are more parables that Jesus shared, which will be told to you in the next posts. But for now, think about these three stories. The yeast. The man who found a treasure and sold all he had to purchase the field. And the merchant who searched for a pearl of great value. 

What do you think the meaning of these parables are?

If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


I will share more of what Jesus taught next time.

 Come back to read the next story.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Jesus Tells Three Parables

By Mary Vee
Mark 4



From Mark's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee.
My name is Mark, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded in this post some of what I witnessed. 

Jesus gathered the twelve chosen disciples and others who followed him for a time to hear short stories that are call parables. He used these parables to teach truths. 

In each parable, Jesus talked about people like us, living in places like we do, working as we do and in a situation that teaches the lesson. 

Other parables have been sent In previous posts sent to you by Matthew and Luke. You can scroll down and read them. 

Here are three short parables Jesus shared with us on this day:

Jesus said to us, "Do you bring in a lamp and set it under a bowl or a bed where no one can see the light?"

He paused and let us respond. Obviously we said no.

Jesus said, "Of course not. You put it on the stand and let the light shine in the whole room. There will come a day when the truth behind these parables will shine brightly. 

I, Mark, am going to interrupt here, because Jesus is about to say something that needs to be thought about carefully. Ready?

"Put into practice what you area able to understand from these parables. The more you do this, the more you will understand what I tell you. To him who has understood and practiced the teachings, more will be given. To him who does not practice, the understanding will be taken away."

Jesus said, "Here is another parable, This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man went out to his field one day and scattered his seed on the ground. During the next nights and days, whether the man slept or rose from his bed, the seed sprouted and grew even though he didn't understand how this happened. 

"All by itself the soil produces grain: first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, the man takes his sickle and reaps the wheat, because the harvest has come."

Jesus gave us a few moments to think about these words.

Jesus then told us another parable. He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though this seed is the smallest of all your seeds it grows to be the largest of the garden plants, turning into a tree and a place where birds of the air can perch in its branches."

There are more parables that Jesus shared, which will be told to you in the next posts. But for now, think about these three stories. The lamp. The seed that grows into a plant when the farmer is away. The tiny mustard seed that grows into a large plant. What do you think the meaning of these parables are?

If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


I will share more of what Jesus taught next time.

 Come back to read the next story.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.