THE CONSPIRACY to kill Jesus of Nazareth gains momentum as the Pharisees begin to look for reasons to stone him. Twice in this week’s reading Jesus hid himself because the time for him to be lifted up was not yet.
We also discuss the disbelief of his brothers, how allegorizing John 7:10 led to the heretical eschatology of the Latter Rain movement, and why Jesus’ reference to Psalm 82:6 (“I said you are gods”) in John 10:34 does not debunk the Divine Council paradigm.
THREE OF the most iconic moments of Jesus’ ministry are the focus of this week’s New Testament study: Jesus walking across the Sea of Galilee, the feeding of five thousand men (plus women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish, and the decapitation of John the Baptist on the orders of the cowardly Herod Antipas.
JESUS’ MINISTRY of healing and casting out demons is a key part of our New Testament study today. We discuss the healing of the centurion’s servant, the paralytic lowered through the roof of the house in Capernaum, and the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda, and we read Matthew’s account of the Gadarene (or Gerasene) demoniac(s). (More on that story still ahead in Luke and Mark.)
But even more important, and the purpose of these miracles, is the clear message that Jesus did, in fact, claim to be divine, and those claims were the motivation for the plots to take Jesus’ life.