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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 38: Jesus’s Ministry in Galilee

This entry is part 38 of 42 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 38: Jesus’s Ministry in Galilee

Weekly memory verse:

Colossians 1:18 – “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”

Weekly hymn:

“When Morning Gilds the Skies” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

What is the church?
The church is a community of believers in which the gospel is truly preached and the ordinances are rightly administered.

Day 186: Jesus Heals Many in Galilee

Reading: Mark 1:21–45, Psalm 108–109

Notes

Mark 1, Verse 21. Capernaum. An important fishing village on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, which Jesus used as his center of ministry while in Galilee.

Verse 29. The house of Simon and Andrew. Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John were all from the nearby town of Bethsaida (John 1:44); they may have relocated to Capernaum when Jesus established his ministry there.

Psalm 108. David combined parts of two of his other psalms, Psalm 57 and 60, to compose this psalm.

Summary

Early in his ministry, Jesus began to cast out demons and heal many. This confirmed that he was truly the Messiah since Old Testament prophecies had predicted that after Messiah came, there would no longer be any sickness. The complete fulfillment of such promises will not occur until Jesus returns to set up his Kingdom, but during his first coming he gave a foretaste of these Kingdom blessings in order to demonstrate who he truly was.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do the demon’s statements reveal about demons’ beliefs concerning Jesus?
  2. Why did Jesus heal people while he was on earth?
  3. Why do God’s works on behalf of his people deserve praise?
READ
Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 40: True Repentance and Faith in Christ

Day 187: The Sermon on the Mount

Reading: Matt 5:1–7:29

Notes

Verse 1. Sat down. This was the normal teaching posture for a rabbi. This discourse, the first of five recorded in Matthew, is Christ’s exposition of the true meaning of the Mosaic Law, which both condemned the legalism of the Pharisees and revealed the impossibility of perfect obedience, leading those who wished to enter Christ’s Kingdom to rely solely on him for salvation.

Verse 3. Blessed. This word literally means “happy.” It refers to a deep. Long-lasting well-being enjoyed by the faithful.

Verse 17. Fulfill. Jesus fulfilled the Law by perfectly obeying it, establishing the positive righteousness necessary for sinners to be reconciled to God.

Verse 18. Not an iota, not a dot. These are two of the smallest markings in Hebrew writing.

Verse 32. Except on the ground of sexual immorality. There is much debate over what, exactly, this indicates. Some suggest this allows for divorce when one spouse has committed adultery; others argue that this does not allow for divorce, rather, it simply indicates that divorce does not cause adultery if adultery as already been committed.

Summary

Jesus taught that the Law requires perfect obedience in order for someone to enter his Kingdom. Yet in his thorough exposition of the true meaning of the Law, Jesus also reveals that it is impossible for any human being to perfectly obey it. Jesus, as the Son of God, was the only human ever able to fulfill the Law, and thus entrance into his Kingdom is possible only for those who receive his righteousness.

Discussion Questions

  1. What message did this discourse present for the Pharisees?
  2. What message did this discourse present for those who wish to enter Christ’s Kingdom by obeying the Law?
  3. What is the only way to enter the Kingdom of Christ?
READ
1 John 5:18, and a Note on Perseverance and Preservation

Day 188: Jesus Heals a Paralytic

Reading: Mark 2:1–12; Psalm 111–112

Notes

Mark 2, Verse 1. Home. This was likely Peter’s home.

Verse 4. Roof. Homes at this time had flat roofs made of dried clay that were placed on supporting beams. Thus, it was easily removed to allow room to lower the paralytic.

Psalm 111. This psalm and the next are acrostic poems, with each of the its 22 lines corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 112, Verse 9. Horn. The horns of an animal signified strength.

Summary

Although forgiveness of sin does not always result in physical healing in this life, such healing will be a reality in the life to come. By both forgiving the paralytic’s sins and healing him, Jesus was foreshadowing the blessings of his Kingdom. Forgiveness of sin, and future healing, are possible only by faith in Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions

  1. What did the paralytic’s friends’ actions reveal about what they thought of Jesus?
  2. Why did Jesus heal the paralytic?
  3. Why did the people think Jesus had blasphemed God?

Day 189: Praise the Lord for Delivering Us

Reading: Psalm 113–116

Notes

Psalm 113. This psalm begins a series of six psalms known as the “Egyptian Hallel.” “Hallel” is Hebrew for “praise.” These psalms were associated with the Exodus from Egypt and thus traditionally sung as part of the celebration of Passover.

Psalm 114. This psalm has the most direct connection to the Exodus.

Summary

God demonstrates his grace, mercy, and steadfast love through what he has done, and each of these are marvelously displayed through the Exodus from Egypt. By recounting these things, we are led to praise the Lord as if we had been there ourselves.

READ
The Lord is God (still)

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did the people of Israel regularly recount the events of the Exodus?
  2. How does the Exodus from Egypt display the power of God?
  3. How does the Exodus from Egypt display the grace and mercy of God?

Day 190: Jesus Raises the Dead to Life

Reading: Luke 7:1–17; Psalm 117

Notes

Luke 7, Verse 6. Not worthy. A Jew who entered a Gentile’s house was considered unclean.

Verse 11. Nain. A town south east of Nazareth.

Verse 14. Touched the bier. Jews would have considered this defiling.

Summary

Not only does Jesus perform healing miracles, demonstrating that he is Messiah, but he literally reverses death itself. This begins to show the people that God himself is at work.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do the centurion’s actions reveal about him?
  2. Based on the centurion’s actions, what is faith?
  3. Why did fear seize the people after Jesus raised the boy to life?
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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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