Jesus of Nazareth
—A Landmarks of Faith Seminar—
Lecture #4b Audio
Galilee in the Ministry of Jesus
See notes below. (Sections in parentheses are covered in the longer form of this seminar and in a coming book version.)
Lecture #4b Notes
In earlier times he treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on he will make it glorious, by the Way of the Sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.... For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace...
Major industries in Capernaum: 1) fishing, 2) manufacture of glassware, 3) manufacture of millstones from black basalt
Two Women Grinding at the Mill
Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken along, and one will be left behind.
There was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out.... And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
Be quiet, and come out of him! And throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice, and came out of him.
Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?.... And after looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand’.... And the Pharisees went out and immediately began taking counsel with the Herodians against him, as to how they might destroy him
‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink’.... Many of his disciples withdrew, and were not walking with him anymore
...the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
1 Cor. 11:29:
For the one eating and drinking eats and drinks judgment to himself by not discerning the body [correctly].
I am the vine, you are the branches
It is the Spirit that gives life
island-like walled compounds in which people lived in extended families.
The Insula of Peter’s Mother-In-Law at Capernaum
In my Father’s house are many rooms...
What women, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
Discovery: Stone rollers used to maintain dirt roofs in ancient times. These roofs were made of cedar beams that were covered with bullrushes and 2-4 inches of mud.
2 Kings 19:26:
As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up (Also Psalm 129:6, Isaiah 37:27).
They removed the roof above him; and when they had dug an opening...
Discovery: A Byzantine period church built over a first century house (an insula, see diagram above) dating to the lifetime of the disciples. Possibly the house in which Jesus stayed in Capernaum: the house of Peter’s mother-in-law. One room in the house was used as an early house-church. It had graffiti scratched in the plaster mentioning Jesus as Lord, Messiah, the Most High, and God.
But he would go away to desolate places and pray.
And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had happened in Sodom which happened in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless, I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you
Kosher fish: Permitted by Jewish law. They must have scales and fins (Lev. 11:9).
Musht: Include Telapia (
St. Peter’s fish). Also known as the
Nurse fish. Probably the type of fish of the miracle catches (Luke 5:6-9, John 21:6).
Barbels: Bottom feeders. Probably the type of fish caught by Peter with a coin in its mouth (to pay the annual half-shekel Temple tax, Matt. 17:27).
Fresh water sardines: More than half the yearly catch. Salted and shipped from Magdala. Main export fish of Peter and Andrew, James and John.
Casting net (amphiblestron): 18 to 24 feet (6-8 m) in diameter. Peter and Andrew were casting this kind of net when Jesus called them (Matt. 4:18, Mark 1:16).
Trammel net (diktuon): used from the back of a boat in deep water. A compound net. John and James were mending this kind of net when Jesus called them (Matt. 4:21, Mark 1:19). This is the net used for the miraculous catches in Luke 5 and John 21.
Dragnet (sageenee): 225 to 900 feet (75-300 m) long. Requires two teams to drag in the net.
The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind—and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach, and sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous and will cast them into the furnace of fire, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
SERMON ON THE MOUNT
#1: Matt. 5:3:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for of them is the kingdom of the heavens.
This crowd which does not know the Law is accursed
A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not extinguish
I dwell...with the contrite and lowly of spirit
#2: Matt. 5:4:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
To establish those who mourn over Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning...
#3: Matt. 5:5:
Blessed are the gentle, for they will inherit the earth.
The humble will inherit the land
#4: Matt. 5:6:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
God...will render to every man according to his deeds
#5: Matt. 5:7:
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
#6: Matt. 5:8:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Don’t you understand that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him;...but...that which proceeds out of a man, that is what defiles a man
#7: Matt. 5:9:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Do not suppose that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets [the Old Testament]; I did not come to abolish, but to fill them [fill them with their true meaning]. For ‘amen’ I say to you all, until the heaven and the earth pass away, a single ‘iota’ [the smallest letter of the alphabet] or a single stroke [of a hand-written letter of the alphabet] will certainly not pass away from the Law until all [that is written in it] comes to pass. Whoever, therefore, looses [does away with] one of the least of these commandments and teaches the people in this manner, will be called the least in the kingdom of the heavens [the kingdom of God]; but he who obeys and teaches it [even the least commandment], this one will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens [the kingdom of God]. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness is abundantly greater than the scribes and Pharisees, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven
(The rabbis taught:
Be as careful to obey a light precept as a weighty one, for you don’t know the recompense of reward for each precept (Mishnah, Aboth 2:1)
Run to fulfill the lightest duty even as the weightiest (Mishnah, Aboth 4:2)
You have heard that the ancients were told,
You will not commit murder.... But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be guilty before the court
You have heard that it was said,
You will not commit adultery; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart
You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law
The Law of Messiah is referred to by many different names in the New Testament:
the Law written in their hearts (Rom. 2:15),
a Law of faith (Rom. 3:27),
the Law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Jesus (Rom. 8:2),
the Law of Messiah (1 Cor. 9:21, Gal. 6:2),
the perfect Law of liberty (James 1:25),
the Royal Law (James 2:8),
a Law of liberty (James 2:12),
the commandment of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:2),
the holy commandment (2 Pet. 2:21),
the commandment (1 Tim. 6:14),
his commandments (1 John 2:3-4; 2 John 1:6),
my commandments (John 14:15,21, 15:10), a
new covenant (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6; Heb. 8:8, 9:15, 12:24).
(The rabbis taught:
The Law that a man learns in this world is empty in comparison with the Law of the Messiah (Eccl. Rab. 11:8).
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Jesus: for the Law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.... in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit
Is the Lord pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Should I put my sin on my first born [making him a sacrifice], on the fruit of my body the sin of my soul?
Is the Law sin? May it never be!.... The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.... The Law is spiritual....
What the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh
...in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit
How narrow the gate and difficult the way that leads to life; and few are those who find it
Many will say to me on that day,
Lord, Lord... And then I will declare to them,
I never knew you; depart from me, you who are practicing lawlessness.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me
He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for my sake will find it
But Jesus said to him,
No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.