Introduction to Lukan Lenten Connections

Luke’s Lenten Lessons Through Jesus’ Galilee Ministry

What is Lent?

Lent came out of the Catholic faith to encourage believers to experience a period of Spiritual preparation and to grow closer to God in preparing for Easter.

Interesting note: the Hebrew word SHALOM has multiple meanings. One of the meanings is “to grow spiritually closer to God.”

Jesus’ Galilean Ministry:

  • Jesus spent 40 days in the Wilderness preparing for his spiritual growth needed to fulfill his ministry.
  • Jesus’ Galilee Ministry was three years in length.
  • To understand the Lenten Lessons in Luke, we need to review Jesus’ Galilee Ministry.

Map depicting Jesus’ Galilean Ministry:

galilee

Sea of Galilee—Calm and Beautiful Day

Photo by Heidi Melleby, March 3, 2017—Friend and Former Colleague

Sea of Galilee from Heidi Melleby 3.4.17

Galilee’s Spoken Language: Regional Vernacular—Aramaic

Jesus’ Ministry focused on the region in Northern Israel that centered around the Sea of Galilee. The language in this area was a vernacular of Hebrew known as Aramaic. Alfred Edersheim writes in the Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah that “there were approximately 70 dialects of Hebrew at the time of his ministry.” According to Tov Rose in Jesus in the Targums, much of the pure Hebrew language had been forgotten during the Diasporas. The Prophet Ezra—aka 2nd Moses—tried to bring back the Hebrew language by translating the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic so peoples in the Talmudic communities who spoke the vernacular could read the Word in the synagogues along with the Torah, the Writings, and the Prophets.

Ezra’s translations and commentaries were called the Targums. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls included scrolls of the Targums. Only three books in the Hebrew Bible do not have a Targum—Ezra, Daniel, and Nehemiah. The gift that Ezra gave to the Hebrews was a copy of the Word in a language they spoke. Thus, the Word of God would continue to share His message of repentance, salvation, and the coming Kingdom in a language the people could readily understand.

Edersheim, a Messianic Christian, frames Jesus’ ministry to all the peoples of Palestine—Jews and Gentiles—and to all times. Written in 1825, Edersheim’s work provides the reader with “a full portrait of Jewish life, society, and thinking while also shedding a vindication and an illustration of the Gospel narratives.” How? Coming to grasp with an expansion of our knowledge of the culture of the Middle East in the days of our Lord and Savior, we walk away with a real historical scene of the people, places and circumstances under which Jesus lived out his mission.

Thus, we can conclude that Jesus spoke to the Jews as a Jew. However, Jesus not only spoke to the marginals of society, he spoke to the learned and highest of teachers—rabbis. He spoke with manifest authority in a contrariety of spirit in a far-off little place of Galilee. Yet, as Edersheim maintains, to truly grasp the message of the Teacher from Nazareth, we must be aware of a knowledge of Jewish life and society at the time of Jesus’ life—what they produced, what they imported, what foods they ate, the clothes they wore, every detail that gives us a more vivid picture of the life they lived. We cannot accurately connect the dots until we understand the culture, time, and the teachings of rural Galilee. Then we can, in our imagination, enter their dwellings, associate with them as we follow them into the Synagogue, the Academy, the market-place, the workshop, and how they did or did not relate to the Gentile world.

Galilean Ministry and Jesus’ Revelations:

  • Demonstrated a New Way to Spiritual Relationship with God
  • Utilized Words and Deeds to Teach God’s Word
  • Pointed to Salvation and the Coming Kingdom
  • Empowered by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh)
  • Ministered with power and authority
  • Exhorted people to Repent, Forgive, and Love Your Neighbor
  • Preached to the People Living on the Margins
  • Cared for and Healed the Sick
  • Showed Compassion for the Orphans and Widows
  • Exhibited desire to be Inclusive
  • Reached out to the Gentiles and All Nations

Next: Repentance, Baptism, John the Baptist, and Living Waters

Luke’s Lenten Lessons Summary

Jesus Still Crosses the Water to Meet Us....Scott W. Ziegler Photo by Scott Ziegler, March, 2016 at the Sea of Galilee on Third Church’s Journey of a Lifetime
  1. Luke 4:1-13 TEMPTATIONS: A Time of Testing

          LESSON: We meet the human side of Jesus.

  1. Luke 9:28-36 THE TRANSFORMATION: When Jesus took three disciples to a high mountain, they saw him in his Glory. Along with Moses and Elijah, Jesus wanted to encourage his disciples who had just learned of Jesus suffering and coming death. They heard the Voice of Heaven: “This is my son. Listen to him.”

          LESSON: Listen to the Voice of Heaven.

  1. Luke 13: 1-9 JESUS AND THE CROWD OF PEOPLE: Jesus was determined to make the trip to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. He had heard the people upset over the blood of Galileans being used in sacrifices. Jesus reacted to this disturbing news and to the deaths of soldiers when a tower collapsed. Jesus used the parable of the Fig Tree illustrating barrenness to symbolize the people’s failure to live out a life God wants us to live.

          LESSON: God gives us mercy again and again.

  1. Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON: Addressing his opponents and critics, Jesus used the 1st son who repents, the 2nd son’s response to how his father treats the returning 1st son, and how the father welcomes and rewards the 1st son for returning home, which challenges every conventional picture of God the Jewish people at that time had.

          LESSON: Does our image of God identify with the God Jesus proclaims?

Sermon on the Mount

SERMON ON THE MOUNT:

Jewish prayers of blessing have always started with the words, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe . . .” In the 1st century, blessings (Berakhot) were much shorter and simply began with the words “Blessed is he . . . .”

In Jesus’ profound Sermon on the Mount, he “demonstrated that the way to heavenly blessedness is antithetical to the worldly path normally followed in pursuit of happiness. The worldly idea is that happiness is found in riches, merriment, abundance, leisure, and such things.” (John MacArthur Commentaries)

Real happiness is the very opposite. It is in his Beatitudes that Jesus describes true faith. Spiritual growth and faith (emunah) are the opposites of self-sufficiency. Those who are acutely aware of their own lostness and hopelessness apart from divine grace are those who recognize their salvation comes from God’s grace and mercy—not from the good works one does.

Emunah is the Hebrew word for faith, and faith is linked to truth. Faith is linked to what is rock solid. As is the case with most Hebrew words, emunah has multiple meanings including, steadfast, established, stable, and steady. Thus, faith makes you strong.

Another word that is associated with the root word for emunah is amen, which means “it is true, I agree, yes”

Faith is to give your amen or say yes to God.

“Take a word from the Word of God today and give it your strongest amen, the total yes of your heart, soul, mind, and will.” Rabbi Jonathan Caan, The Book of Mysteries

 

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CLOSING PART: Luke’s Lenten Lesson Summaries

Jesus’ Aliyah

FOCAL POINTS OF JESUS’ MINISTRY:

There were specific topics that Jesus focused on in his ministry—Repentance, Salvation, Forgiveness, Loving One Another, Healing the sick, Visiting the prisoners, Feeding the hungry, Caring for the Poor, Blessing others, Spiritual Growth, Faith, and the Coming of the Kingdom of God. Where ever Jesus traveled, his message stressed these points. The bottom line was Jesus reached out to the marginal, to foreigners, to Gentiles, and focused on personal transformation to achieve the blessings while also advocating the eschatological promises in the Word.

JESUS’ ALIYAH IN NAZARETH:

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus goes back to Galilee and preaches in the Synagogues. Obviously, word began to spread about this Nazarene. Jesus makes his way back to visit his hometown of Nazareth. Maybe he wanted to see his family, get a home cooked meal, and reunite his familiar surroundings. But we know he did visit the Synagogue where he gave his Aliyah—which is someone going up to read from the Torah and teaches the lesson.

The chazan, leader of the elders, would roll out the scroll, and the reader would begin to read the Scripture. As was the tradition, Jesus stood to read Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4: 18-19 (Year of the Lord is a reference to Jubilee)

Then Jesus sat down, which was customary in order to teach the Scripture and answer people’s questions. As everyone was focusing on Jesus, he spoke out “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21b

Obviously, the people rightly expected the Scripture to be fulfilled in the Messianic period and in the Coming of the Kingdom. But this was Joseph’s son making this proclamation.

Then Jesus continues with a diatribe about prophets and their ministry to Gentiles: “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, “Do here in your hometown what we have hear that you did in Capernaum. Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” Luke 4: 23-27

Think about it: Jesus was presenting facts to them that probably rubbed this crowd wrong. Maybe they did not want to hear the reality of his message: Inclusion of the sick, lame, unclean, and Gentiles on top of that!

Yes, the crowd reacted with intense anger and passion: “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” Luke 4:28-30

MOUNT PRECIPICE:

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CAPERNAUM:

Capernaum: means the field of repentance, city of comfort

Keep in mind what the word Capernaum means and keep in mind the importance of context in studying something from an exegetical perspective. Peter was from Capernaum and so was the centurion that Jesus found filled with emunah (Hebrew for faith).

Prophet Nahum’s town, a Galilean city frequently mentioned in the history of our Lord, Caperanum is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It stood on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The “land of Gennesaret,” near, if not in, which it was situated, was one of the most prosperous and crowded districts of Palestine. This city lay on the great highway from Damascus to Acco and Tyre along the popular route for trade between nations. It has been identified with Tell Hum, about two miles south-west of where the Jordan flows into the lake.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, Capernaum was where so many Gentiles live ‘the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.’

From then on Jesus began to preach, “REPENT of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of God is near.” After his experience in Nazareth and the wrath of the crowd on Mount Precipice, Jesus went down (going down the mountain) to Capernaum next to the Sea of Galilee. This would become the center of his Galilean ministry, and Capernaum became his ‘own city.’

Capernaum was the scene of many acts and incidents of his life: an encounter with the young centurion in Matthew 8:5, healing Peter’s mother-in-law in Matthew 8:14-15, healing a paralyzed man in Matthew 9:2-6, meeting and dining with Matthew the tax collector and other disreputable people in Matthew 9: 10-17, encountering the Pharisees about their hypocrisy in Matthew 15:1-20, and casting out of the demons in Mark 1: 32-34.

The impenitence and unbelief of so many of Capernaum’s inhabitants after the many evidences Jesus gave them about the truth of his mission, Jesus brought down upon the people in darkness a heavy denunciation of judgement in Matthew 11:23 “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No. You will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracle I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today.”

Many people, even Christians, find Jesus’ words as harsh. But then, they have not read some of the harsh words poured out by the prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Habakkuk to the Jewish people in the Hebrew Bible when they failed to live a life of faith and worship of the Almighty.

How fitting is it that Jesus should set up camp in Capernaum? Remember it’s meaning—field of repentance, city of comfort. Jesus preached on the topic of repentance, healed and comforted the sick and the lame, and delivered a blistering warning about what will happen when people fail to turn to God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which nurture’s believers’ faith. Also, did Jesus fill the role of the light shining in the land of Zebulon and Nephtali as foretold by Isaiah? To set up camp in Capernaum, this put Jesus right in the flow of trade, traffic, and influx of people from all walks of life—a ministry of outreach if ever there was one.

By now his ministry had been established. Despite the economically established fishing towns of Capernaum and Magdala with their paved streets, developed ports with breakwaters, docks, tanks for holding fish, and fashioned stones, Jesus looked upon these two places as committed to money, wealth, and currency rather than exchange. Here is where we see the Nazarene background fiercely emerged. Jesus was from rural Galilee, and he distrusted and detested money. To him, the life of many of those in Capernaum and Magdala reflected corrupt behavior. The Galilean rabbi saw this all as “mammon of injustice.” Whereas, in Nazareth everyone was in debt. To Jesus and countless other Jews, ‘debt’ was sin in the Aramaic language of Judea and Galilee. (chova=debt, sin)  “The burden of owing what could not be repaid became the principal metaphor of that alienation from God from which one prayed for release.” (Chilton, p. 80)

Eventually, Jesus came to abhor the elaborate banquets, the tax collectors, the urban ethos, and the decadence of the wealthy citizens of Capernaum and Magdala. He resented the undermining of the purity of he celebrated in his meals. He was more comfortable in the rural area’s small villages and countryside hamlets. (Chilton, p. 82)

While in Israel, what we saw in Capernaum were the extensive ruins of walls and foundations, and also the remains of what must have been a beautiful synagogue, which it is conjectured may have been the one built by the centurion according to Luke7:5. This synagogue may have been the one where Jesus frequently taught (John 6: 59, Mark 1:21, Luke 4:33).

MAGDALA:

Located four miles north of Tiberius, was the village of Migdal as it was known in the days of Jesus. Migdal, which means guard tower, had a fortress tower protecting the roads going to the Valley of the Dovers and the Plains of Genesseret.

Migdal was the home of Mary of Magdalene or Mary of Migdal from whom Jesus cast out seven demons from her and healed her. “Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.” Luke 8:1-3 (JCB version)

Jesus was believed to have come to Magdala after he fed the 4,000. It was also at Magdala that the Pharisees began intensifying their inquiry into the legitimacy of Jesus’ ministry. He continued his ministry in this region taking his disciples with him along with several women–Mary Magdalene, Susanna, Joanna and many others contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples. (Luke 8:1-3) Thus, we see that his ministry including women who served in spreading the Gospel.

Magdala was a wealthy center of agriculture, fishing, shipbuilding, and trade. However, Rabbinical studies maintain that Magdala was a city known for its sexual sins and immorality. The noted Jewish historian, Josephus, who also served as governor of Galilee, fortified Magdala after the death of Jesus, but Titus destroyed the city between 67-70 A.D.: 6,700 Jews were slaughtered, 6,000 Jews were taken to Corinth to build a canal, and nearly 30,000 Jews were auctioned off as slaves.

Magdala5

Single-handled jug found at Magdala, dating to the Roman period (© Custodia Terrae Sanctae)

Our visit to Magdala was to see the archaeological excavations of a synagogue presumed to have existed at the time of Jesus. Like he taught his disciples to do, Jesus always visited in the synagogues where he preferred to preach. More than likely Jesus shared his message at the Magdala synagogue.

NEXT PART: Tabgha: Multiplication and Primacy

TABGHA: Multiplication and Primacy

TABGHA: MULTIPLICATION AND PRIMACY

Two significant events in the ministry of Jesus took place at Tabgha: Multiplication and Peter’s Primacy. Both events significantly involved his disciples.

Multiplication:

From the Gospel of Matthew 14:15-21 “That evening the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, ‘That isn’t necessary—you feed them.’ But the disciples answered, “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” ‘Bring them here,’ Jesus said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciple picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!”

Jesus makes our insufficiencies sufficient. When we give him our limitations and our insufficiencies, he multiples them into a feast. Amazing that in the end, each of the twelve disciples who, didn’t think it was possible when they started, received a basket of leftovers!

LESSON: When we face challenges that expose our limitations, Jesus wants us to remember that he gives sufficiency out of his own ‘good treasure’—he’s rich in it!

PETER’S PRIMACY:

Following the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples left Jerusalem and returned to their native Galilee. Remember that Peter had denied Jesus three times as predicted by Jesus. Even though Jesus had appeared twice to his disciples after his resurrection, he will again appear to them where he first met and called them to his ministry—the Sea of Galilee.

This was Jesus’ last recorded conversation with Peter before ascending to heaven. Yes, it is an epic moment for Peter. Despite having denied Jesus, Peter is going to receive his ‘missional purpose in life’ from Jesus on the shores of the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha.

Peter and six of his fellow disciples go fishing, but their efforts were in vain. A man standing on the shore calls out to them to cast their nets in a different location. Following the man’s suggestion, they cast their nets as directed. Whoa! They caught so many fish they couldn’t haul in the net. Realizing the man giving the advice was Jesus, Peter in his typical eager reaction headed to the shore to see Jesus.

The disciples on the boat came to shore with their catch. Arriving on shore, they found breakfast awaiting them. Jesus told them to bring some fish they had just caught. Now, all the disciples knew this was the Lord as he served them fish and bread. In Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples after his resurrection and after breakfast, Jesus has the famous commissioning conversation with Peter:

Jesus: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

Peter replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus told him, “Then feed my lambs.”

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

A third time he asked Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”

WHY THE QUESTIONS? 

Those words will direct Peter until the end of his days.

Why the sheep analogy? Sheep need to be fed and nurtured. Throughout all of Israel, wherever we traveled, we could see sheep and a shepherd walking in the fields with their sheep, guiding them, making sure they were cared for and nurtured. Sometimes the shepherd has to stop them from doing something—such as wondering astray from the herd—that could bring them harm. And sometimes a shepherd has to lay down his life for his flock.

PETER’S PURPOSE IN LIFE: Peter’s purpose in life, and our purpose as believers, is to give to others the kind of passion and lack of restraint we’ve seen Jesus—the Good Shepherd—model for us.

 “FEED MY SHEEP”

NEXT PART: Sermon on the Mount

The Wilderness Experience

The Wilderness Experience:

Led to the Judean Wilderness by the Holy Spirit, Jesus ate nothing for 40 days. “The scrub land of wilderness around the Sea of Galilee was no desert, but it was reminiscent of the wilderness that Israel’s patriarchs, as well as Moses and the prophets.” (Chilton, p. 132) It was here that Jesus sought direct communion with God. Instead, this became a confrontation with the Evil One who tempted Jesus to demonstrate his authority as the Son of Man. Three times the Evil One quoted Scripture to taunt and tempt Jesus. In response to the Evil One, Jesus’ narrative came from Deuteronomy 8.

The claim of the Evil One that he possessed the delegated authority over the world fits the Jewish idea prevalent in the days of Jesus about Satan’s rule over wicked nations. However, Jesus knew Satan’s authority was limited.

This event is referred to as the Temptation, believed to have taken place on what is now the Mount of Temptation near Jericho.

Looking at the pictures of the Mount of Temptation, one can only conclude how barren and desolate it must have been those 40 days. Perhaps this experience was to remind Jesus of the challenge he would face…. like Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Elijah had experienced. Rather than fret, Jesus put his faith in the Holy Spirit and in the Word of God to get through this challenge.

THE MOUNT OF TEMPTATION NEAR JERICHO:

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NEXT PART: Jesus’ Aliyah in Nazareth and Center of His Ministry

Repentance, Baptism, John the Baptist, and Living Waters

Role of Repentance:

John the Baptist Points the Way Preaching Repentance, Baptism, and Salvation

Luke 3: 3-6 {from Isaiah 40:3-5}

“And he went into all the region around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:

‘A voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth.’

And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

The last verse, “And all flesh”, is unique to the Gospel of Luke. All Flesh is a major point because it calls for, as many of the Prophets such as Isaiah pointed to, reaching out to the Gentiles of all nations.

The Baptism Experience:

Luke 3:21 “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ ”

“For John the Baptist, and in ancient Judaism generally, repentance meant to return (shuva in Hebrew, tuv in Aramaic) to God. By repenting, one acknowledged being headed in the wrong direction; by changing course, one was realigned with the Divine . . . . John, far from peaching hopelessness, offered in repentance a pragmatic alternative to being estranged from God. In both Hebrew and Greek “to sin” (chata, hamartano) originally meant to miss the mark, as in archery. A rabbi’s teachings (mishnah) showed how one could go right again, and only implied where one had gone wrong . . . . in ancient Christian and Jewish culture, repentance was social, involving how people in their communities and families ordered their lives.” (Bruce Chilton, Rabbi Jesus, p. 48)

“The Hebrew word torah is derived from a root word used in the realm of archery, yareh. Yareh means to shoot an arrow in order to hit a mark. The mark or target, of course, was the object at which the archer was aiming. Consequently, torah is the arrow aimed at the mark. The target is the truth about God and how one relates to Him. The torah is, therefore, in the strict sense, instruction designed to teach us the truth about God. Torah means direction, teaching, instruction, or doctrine.” (https://www.torahresourcesinternational.info/definition.php)

Although many practicing Galilean Jews might not have been able to read, they were familiar with the Torah and the Words of the Prophets. They understood what the Torah meant to their faith.

Why John Baptized in the Jordan River:

Baptism, or immersion, was a fundamental tenet in Judaism. It was the process of cleansing or purifying one’s self before approaching the Holy One (Adonai Echad). Immersion is what made John a ‘baptist’ (baptistes) in the Greek language used by Josephus.

The Torah (1st five books of the Bible which means teaching, instructions) required the Israelites to purify themselves by bathing after numerous activities where one may have come in contact with sources of impurity. Bathing or immersion was intended to restore and maintain one’s place in the community— described by Bruce Chilton in Rabbi Jesus as “expressed Israelite identity by means of a common, basic practice. The major issue eventually arose as to “How and in what should one immerse oneself?” (Chilton, p.44-45)

The Sadducees could afford their own private and luxurious bathing pools even in their private dwellings. The Pharisees built ‘stepped tanks’ (miquoth) with a reserve tank of water the same size so that they could serve a community and financed them collectively. The Essenes in Qumran had large tanks for their exclusive community. All the pools were carved and built in rocks.” (Chilton, p. 45)

Baptismal Pool pictured below was taken at the Garden Tomb in Israel on our trip to Israel.

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Many Jews throughout Galilee had no access to baptismal pools. Even if they did, the pools did not meet the standards set by the Zadokites, Essenes, or the Pharisees. Thus, a sense of resentment, resistance, and discontent arose from the average Galilean. What especially irritated them was the exorbitant rates the venders and established Judean Priesthood charged to use the pools around Mout Zion and the Temple. After all, to come to Jerusalem and the Temple three times a year was a commandment by the Holy One. To face these long trips topped off with being charged to enter the Temple was a slap in the face of the average traveler who simply wanted to worship God as commanded.

“Living Water”:

Genesis 1:2 “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”

Jeremiah 17:13 “O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You will be put to shame Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the Lord.”

Zechariah 14:8 “And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.”

Ezekiel 47:8-12 “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes… And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fall, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

Job 33: 4 “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

In John 7: 37 b-39a Jesus says “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive.”

Ezekiel writes in 43:2 “…and the Almighty’s voice was like the sound of many waters.

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Hear the headwaters of the Jordan River in Israel’s Tel Dan in Northern Israel

Next Part: The Wilderness Experience