Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Jesus: The Kingdom of Heaven is Near

By Mary Vee
Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4

From Matthew, Mark, and Luke's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
The Sea of Galilee
My name is Matthew, I am a disciple of Jesus. Mark and Luke are sitting here with me, ready to tell what we know about our time with Jesus. 

News about John the Baptist spread. Herod had put him in prison. When Jesus heard what happened, he acted like he knew. Although the news made Jesus sad, he got up and walked to the road as if there was a job that needed to be done. 

"We are returning to Galilee," He said.

We gathered our few belongings and left Nazareth, the city where Jesus grew up. I was happy about our leaving. Not many of the people treated him very well there.  

We walked northeast toward the Sea of Galilee. Just so you know, that body of water isn't huge like the Mediterranean Sea. If you went to visit it today, it wouldn't seem gigantic. Water is drained from this sea in your time and bottled. As a result, the water level is going down. During the time Mark, John, and I lived, no one bothered to bottle water. So the sea level was much higher.

On the north side of the lake is a city called Capernaum. This was the town Peter and his mother-in-law had a home. It was the land given to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali back in the days of Joshua. Come to think of it, the prophet Isaiah wrote these words long ago:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
The people living in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  (Note from Mary Vee: this is Isaiah 9:1,2)

This is exactly what John the Baptizer said about Jesus. John the Baptizer said he was the one preparing the way and that Jesus was the light. Now here we are, going along the Jordan, up to Galilee after leaving Nazareth and into the land of Zebulun. I don't know about you, but I find this exciting to be a part of Isaiah's words coming true.

Jesus woke early each morning when we lived in Capernaum. We ate fish for breakfast then a crowd of people would gather around him. It was at this time that Jesus began to preach this message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Luke here. News spread throughout the whole countryside about Jesus and the things he said. Jesus taught in the synagogues, because it was a place where regular men went to debate all kinds of topics. He like to teach these men about God. If you could have heard how smart Jesus was. There wasn't a single question that caught him off guard. Jesus knew a lot and he enjoyed helping people.

I'm not surprised everyone praised him as the Messiah. Probably because...He is.

Come back to read the next story.


*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.

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