16 Calming the Storm and Driving Demons into Pigs

Dr. Doug Bookman

A. Jesus Stills a Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Scripture: Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25

Notes: This miracle occurred late on the same day as the “unpardonable sin” and the teaching of the Kingdom parables (Mark 4:35).

B. Jesus Delivers a Demon-Possessed Gadarene

Scripture: Mark 5:1-20 and Mark 8:28-34

Notes: As the boat carrying the apostles and Jesus arrived on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus encountered this Gadarene man, delivered him of his demon possession.

Questions/Observations: There is a perceived contradiction between Mark’s geographic reference (the country of the Gadarenes) and that of Matthew (country of the Gergesenes). Can you propose a way to reconcile these accounts?

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

17 The Collapse of the Galilean Campaign

Dr. Doug Bookman

Note: Jesus’s ministry of public presentation, which He had pursued so carefully and so persistently in Galilee for some 18 months, is deliberately suspended for a strategic season; this is because the nation has demonstrated its commitment to disbelief, irrespective of evidence. There are two great “moments of disbelief” – the unpardonable sin (discussed earlier) and the feeding of the 5000. The latter and climactic event will be considered here.

A. Jesus Withdraws from Galilee after the Death of John the Baptist

Scripture: Matthew 14:1-13

Notes: The only record of the death of Jesus’s forerunner, John the Baptist, is told here in terms of a report brought to Jesus.

Questions/Observations: Notice that Matthew 14:13 is explicit that it was in response to this report that Jesus decided to depart from Galilee.

B. Great Crowds Pursue Jesus; He Miraculously Feeds 5000

Scripture: Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; and John 6:1-13

Notes: This is the only miracle (save the resurrection of Jesus) that is recorded in all four gospels.

Questions/Observations: Why is this miracle recorded in all four gospels? That is, what part does it play in the narrative of Jesus’s ministry that makes it so strategic to our understanding of that ministry?

C. The Response of the Multitudes to the Miracle

Scripture: John 6:14-15

Questions/Observations: What do you think it looked like when the masses tried to “take Him by force and make Him king”?

D. Jesus Prays Alone; the Disciples Caught in a Storm; Jesus Walks on Water

Scripture: Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:47-52; and John 6:16-21

Notes: This event happened the night of the Feeding of 5000.

Questions/Observations: Notice the amazement of the disciples, in spite of the fact that just a few hours earlier they had participated in the remarkable miracle of the feeding. Notice as well Mark’s (i.e., Peter’s) assessment as to why they were so amazed (John 6:52).

E. Jesus Arrives on the Eastern Shore of the Sea of Galilee

Scripture: Matthew 14:34-36 and Mark 6:53-56

Notes: This occurred on the day following the Feeding of the 5000.

Questions/Observations: Notice that this is very late in the Galilean ministry, and Jesus (alone) has discerned that the nation is determined to reject His claims. But that does not mean that Jesus is no longer the wildly popular folk hero of the masses. This remarkable scene is clear evidence that the common man was still fascinated with this wonder Worker, even though that fascination was self-serving and shallow, as demonstrated by the way this event was yet to unfold.

F. The Crowds Go Looking for Jesus

Scripture: John 6:22-25

Notes: Only John tells of the mad dashing about that ensued on this following day; the crowds that had eaten the lunch produced by Jesus, and who had wanted to take Jesus by force and make Him king, were anxious for the excitement to continue. Thus, the frenetic scurrying about of these verses.

G. Jesus Speaks “Hard Sayings” to Test the Crowd

Scripture: John 6:26-59

Notes: This very important teaching was spoken by Jesus in the synagogue at Capernaum (John 6:59). It was intended by Jesus to test the reality of this people to “make Jesus king,” and it was effective to that end.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Notice the stern and telling rebuke with which Jesus introduces His conversation with these people who were ostensibly so anxious to have Him as king (John 6:26-27).
  2. John 6:53-56 are widely regarded as difficult verses, and they have often been so misconstrued as to be put to ignoble purposes. However, those verses must be understood in the context of the illustration to which Jesus appealed earlier (John 6:32-40), as well as the specific and straightforward application of that illustration He had made in John 6:48-51. The point has been made explicitly that the only “work” demanded by the Father is that men “believe in [i.e., depend entirely upon] Him whom He sent” (John 6:29). The reference to “eating in His flesh/drinking His blood” calls to mind sacrificial death and must be understood in its context: just as the Israelites had no food or drink other than the bread which fell from heaven and the water flowing from a rock, so men have no hope of eternal life unless they utterly depend upon the sacrifice to be made by Jesus – as it were, eat His flesh (as the Israelites ate manna) and drink His blood (as the Israelites depended on the water provided by God).

H. The Masses Are Offended

Scripture: John 6:60-71

Notes: Notice especially John 6:66.

Questions/Observations: Although there are brief events to follow before Jesus actually abandons Galilee and sets out on His mission of private preparation, it is this event that functionally brings to an end the Galilean ministry and thus causes the effort at public presentation to be suspended for a strategic season.

I. Jesus Confronted Once Again by Pharisees from Jerusalem

Scripture: Matthew 15:1-20 and Mark 7:1-23

Notes: In both Matthew and Mark, this incident is narrated as the last in Jesus’s ministry of public presentation in Galilee.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Note that the Pharisees who confronted Jesus had come from Jerusalem. This is strong indication that Jesus’s enemies were growing more committed to silence Him.
  2. Why do you think the parable spoken by Jesus in response to those Pharisees (Matthew 15:10-11) was so offensive to them (Matthew 15:12)?

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

18 Unsuccessful Attempts to Find Solitude with His Apostles

Dr. Doug Bookman

Note: At this point in His ministry Jesus’s death is about one year away. (That is, 2 1/2 years of the 3 1/2 years of His ministry have been accomplished.) It is here that Jesus’s purpose – and consequently His tactics – change dramatically. Jesus has discerned that the hardness of this generation is full, that they have determined to disbelieve no matter the evidence set before them that Jesus is who He claims to be. Thus, Jesus sets out to find the solitude necessary to share with His apostles instruction which is unspeakably important and just as difficult – a task which will prove logistically difficult because Jesus the miracle Worker is still so wildly popular with the common man, even beyond the borders of Judea. The specific instruction He is seeking opportunity to give is that He is going to die at the hands of His enemies. In that connection, remember that to this point Jesus has never openly spoken of dying. Notice in the passages to follow the sudden and radical change in tactics employed by the Lord Jesus.

A. Jesus Encounters Syro-Phoenecian Woman with Demon-Possessed Daughter

Scripture: Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28

Notes: Here, Jesus takes the 12 to Phoenecia, a difficult journey to a place where there were few Jews among the populace. Notice that Jesus is reluctant to do a miracle of healing in this place.

Questions/Observations:

  1. As you read these passages, how many particular ways can you find in which Jesus’s tactics change from that which has characterized His ministry for the years past.
  2. Why do you think Jesus was reluctant to do the miracle of healing requested by the Syro-Phoenecian woman for her daughter?
  3. Notice the response of this woman to Jesus’s remarkably harsh reply to her request. In what ways might her response be regarded as a model?

B. Jesus Heals Many and Feeds 4000 at Decapolis

Scripture: Mark 7:31 and Matthew 15:29-38

Notes: Jesus leads the 12 on a long journey around the Sea of Galilee into the very Gentile region of Decapolis.

  1. Notice the special steps Jesus employs in healing this man brought to Him. Why do you think He healed the man in this manner?
  2. Notice Jesus commanded the man and his companions to tell no one of the healing. Why did Jesus make this demand? How did the man who had been healed respond? What was the result of his response?

C. Back Across the Sea to Galilee; Jesus confronted by Pharisees; Sets out Again

Scripture: Matthew 15:39 and Mark 8:10-21

Notes: This seems to be an attempt by Jesus to return to Galilee – His home and that of 11 of His apostles – unobtrusively. But the attempt is aborted when a Pharisee confronts Jesus as soon as He alights from the boat.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Where is Dalmanutha (Mark)/Magdala (Matthew)?
  2. How do you understand Jesus’s reference to the “leaven of the Pharisees” (Matthew: “and the Sadducees”)?
  3. A very important element of this episode – the (almost comical) dullness of Jesus’s apostles.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

15 The “Unpardonable Sin” and a Shift to Parables

Dr. Doug Bookman

Note: By harmonizing the Synoptic accounts, it is possible to trace the events of one remarkable day late on the second tour through Galilee – remarkable primarily for the spirit of rejection which manifested itself on this day. This day is clearly a turning point in Jesus’s ministry; indeed, it marks the beginning of the end of that ministry – and thus of an extended period during which Jesus’s focus has been public presentation of Himself to the nation.

A. The “Unpardonable Sin” and Jesus’s Response

Scripture: Matthew 12:22-37 and Mark 3:20-30

Notes: Most basic to this day was the wickedness remembered as the “unpardonable sin.” It is widely acknowledged that this event functions as a basic turning point in Jesus’s ministry, and it is essential to understand why that is so.

Questions/Observations:

  1. This event is precipitated by a miracle done by Jesus, a miracle specifically foretold of Messiah (cf. Isaiah 42:7, Isaiah 35:6).
  2. Notice very carefully the question asked by the people who witnessed the miracle in Matthew 12:23.
  3. There is much discussion as to the specific character of the sin of “blaspheming the Holy Spirit”; it is an important discussion, but don’t miss the undeniable emphasis of this passage – in committing that sin, the masses have chosen to believe the lying excuse of the Pharisees and thus to reject Jesus’s claims concerning Himself, in spite of the unimpeachable evidence He has just given them in this remarkable miracle.

B. The Reaction of the Pharisees

Scripture: Matthew 12:38-45

Notes: The Pharisees again demand a sign, but Jesus refuses and speaks even greater condemnation upon them.

Questions/Observations: This is the first of at least three times that Jesus refuses any sign but that of Jonah (cf. Matthew 16:4; Luke 11:30).

C. The Reaction of Jesus’s Family

Scripture: Mark 3:31-35 and Matthew 12:46-50

Notes: This is a remarkably difficult time for Jesus, as His own family – including His mother – come to take Him home, thinking Him to be out of His mind (cf. Mark 3:21)

Questions/Observations:

  1. Contemplate the travail of soul Jesus must have felt as word came that His own family thought Him crazy.
  2. Understand that in Mark 3:34-35, Jesus is living up to a very difficult but very clear Old Testament ethic.
  3. An interesting question: could the perception that Jesus was “out of his mind” have anything to do with the strategy He was employing at this time? (See below.)

D. Jesus Begins Teaching in Parables

Scripture: Matthew 13:1-52 and Mark 4:1-34

Notes: As you read these passages, note carefully the movements of Jesus and His apostles – and the consequent audience of the various portions of the text.

E. Jesus Selects 12 from among His Disciples to be His Apostles

Scripture: Mark 3:13-19 and Luke 6:12-16

Notes: This is rather late in His Galilean ministry, and Jesus does this because His enemies are growing sufficiently enraged and emboldened that Jesus knows the time He will have to move about freely in Galilee is short.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Notice the astonishment of the apostles when Jesus began teaching in this fashion and the words of Jesus in response to that astonishment. Give special attention to what Jesus said was the purpose of His speaking in this way.
  2. As you ponder the significance of these parables, measure that against the backdrop of the situation in which they were spoken. (The great key to understanding Matthew 13: it comes right after Matthew 12!) Clearly, something previously understood regarding the Kingdom (i.e., a mystery) is made (cryptically) known here; the issue is, what is that mysterious insight never before understood, but now made known?
  3. Notice carefully the concluding parable (Matthew 13:51-52) intended to give instruction as to how the truth of the former parables is to be received.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

14 Jesus Saturates Galilee with His Message

Dr. Doug Bookman

Note: Jesus’s claim concerning Himself was two-fold: a) Messiah/Christ (i.e., the promised Deliverer); and b) the Son of the Living God (i.e., God come in the flesh). As difficult as these were, Jesus was persistent and strategic in setting them before the Jewish people of His day. Furthermore, as He made these claims, He performed miracles to validate the truth of His claim as a divine messenger, and, thus, the truth of those terribly incredible claims.

A. The First Recorded Tour Through Galilee

Scripture: Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:35-39; and Luke 4:41-44

Notes: These passages were read earlier in another connection. The point here is that these are the narrative of Jesus’s first tour through the villages and synagogues of Galilee. This tour came early in the Galilean campaign.

B. The Second Recorded Tour Through Galilee

Scripture: Luke 8:1-3

Notes: Only Luke narrates the second tour, and that only briefly.

Questions/Observations: Notice that although some of these men will be later called as apostles, at this point that has not happened; they are traveling with Jesus as His disciples.

C. The Third Recorded Tour Through Galilee

Scripture: Matthew 9:35; Mark 6:6-13; and Luke 9:1-6

Notes: This tour occurs late in the 18-month Galilean ministry, after the nation had determined to disbelieve and after it had become clear that, because of the anger of Jesus’s Pharisaic enemies, He did not have much more time before they would find a way to silence Him.

Questions/Observations:

  1. This sending out of the 12 was a clever strategy devised by Jesus in light of the shortness of time. It enabled Him to more speedily saturate the land one more time with His claims – and with miraculous evidence of the validity of those claims.
  2. Notice especially the remarkable commission given by Jesus as he sent out the 12 before Him as part of this third and final tour of Galilee (Matthew 10:5). This commission must be understood against the backdrop of those exigencies (what was required in that situation) and Jesus’s strategy to accomplish His purpose in spite of those pressures.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

13. Jesus Calls Disciples and Then Apostles

Dr. Doug Bookman

A. Jesus Calls Men to Be His Disciples

Scripture: Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20

Notes: Given the cultural/religious dynamics of first century Judaism, the calling of disciples was very strategic. By definition, a disciple was one who (for a season) abandoned home and profession and traveled with a rabbi. By day the disciples would find day-work and then put the wages in a common bag; this is how the rabbi lived, and this is why rabbis were generally itinerant – they were following the work (harvest, shipping, etc.).

Questions/Observations:

  1. Who are the four men Jesus calls in these passages?
  2. What is it Jesus asks of these men?
  3. Why is it strategic to Jesus’s ministry to have disciples with Him as He travels?

B. Jesus Travels with His Disciples

Scripture: Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:35-39; and Luke 4:42-44

Notes: The point to be made here is simply that as Jesus travels in Galilee (which He does almost constantly), He is accompanied by His disciples.

Questions/Observations: Notice that although some of these men will be later called as apostles, at this point that has not happened; they are traveling with Jesus as His disciples.

C. Jesus Re-commissions Disciples Who Had Grown Careless

Scripture: Luke 5:1-11

Questions/Observations:

  1. Some regard this passage as parallel to those under section A above. Compare this passage with those. What indications can you find as to whether they are indeed parallel?
  2. In that regard, notice the distinction (slight, but important) between the commission Jesus gave these four disciples in the Matthew/Mark passages and the commissions He gives here.

D. Jesus calls Matthew to be His disciple

Scripture: Matthew 9:9-13

Notes: These accounts are probably representative; there were others whom Jesus called to follow Him as His disciples.

E. Jesus Selects 12 from among His Disciples to be His Apostles

Scripture: Mark 3:13-19 and Luke 6:12-16

Notes: This is rather late in His Galilean ministry, and Jesus does this because His enemies are growing sufficiently enraged and emboldened that Jesus knows the time He will have to move about freely in Galilee is short.

Questions/Observations:

  1. How did Jesus spend the night before He chose these twelve?
  2. According to Mark, what was Jesus’s purpose in choosing these twelve, and how did He empower them to accomplish that purpose?
  3. It is very important to understand the significance of the term apostle in the culture of the New Testament – and thus the significance and intent of choosing these men and designating them as apostles.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

12 The Role and Impact of Miracles in Jesus’s Ministry

Dr. Doug Bookman

A. Regarding the Role of Miracles

Scripture: Mark 1:40-45; Mark 3:7-12; Luke 4:31-37; and Luke 4:40-41

Notes: Each of these passages emphasizes the role of miracles, some in a general description of Jesus’s ministry and others in the telling of a specific miracle story. Notice especially the reaction Jesus’s miracles produced in the multitudes.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Why do you think Jesus reacted as He did to the declaration of His identity by demons?
  2. Notice the instruction Jesus gave to the healed leper in Mark 1:44. Why do you think He made this demand of the man?
  3. Notice as well that in the next pericope (section) Jewish leaders from far away were there to catch Him in His words (cf. Luke 5:17). Might there be a connection between this story and that one?

B. Regarding the Purpose of Miracles

Scripture: John 3:2; John 5:17-22, John 5:36; Acts 2:22; and Acts 10:38

Notes: Notice what these verses suggest concerning the purpose of God in the miracles done by Jesus.

Questions/Observations: In this regard, it is important to distinguish between purpose and consequence. I would suggest that there were many consequences or results of Jesus’s miracle, but as far as the testimony of Scripture is concerned, only one purpose. In the attempt to understand Jesus’s ministry, it is very important to comprehend what that purpose is.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

11 Jesus’s Ministry in His Hometown, Nazareth

Dr. Doug Bookman

A. Jesus’ First Visit to Nazareth (Near the Beginning of the Galilean Ministry)

Scripture: Luke 4:13-22

Notes: This visit occurred early in Jesus’s Galilean ministry, after He had been gone for about a year. (That is, it was about a year earlier that Jesus had left to be baptized by John; as far as the record goes, He had not returned since.)

Questions/Observations:

  1. Notice that Jesus returned to the synagogue “as was His custom”; it is my belief that the point is that this is the synagogue He had attended when He lived in Nazareth, and, therefore, these people knew Jesus and His family very well.
  2. Jesus was recognized as a rabbi and invited to participate in the Sabbath service. Why do you think He was given that opportunity?
  3. From what Old Testament passage did Jesus read? Do you think He chose that passage, or was the passage was chosen for Him?
  4. How do you understand Jesus’s reference to the Sidonian widow and the Syrian leper? What is Jesus’s point, and why do the townsfolk react with such anger?

B. Jesus’s Second Visit to Nazareth (Very Late in the Galilean Ministry)

Scripture: Matthew 13:54-58 and Mark 6:1-6

Notes: These two passages narrate a visit toward the close of the Galilean ministry. Together, the two events provide an instructive microcosm of the Galilean ministry as a whole.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

10. First Temple Cleansing, Nicodemus, and the Woman at the Well

Dr. Doug Bookman

A. The First Cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem

Scripture: John 2:13-22

Notes: According to the biblical record, Jesus cleansed the temple twice: at the first Passover of His public ministry (John 2) and again at the final (fourth) Passover of His ministry (Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19). There is some debate as to whether the cleansing in John is, in fact, distinct from that of the Synoptics (i.e., did John simply relocate the story for his own literary purposes?). I am convinced that there were two cleansings, that neither was random or impulsive, but that the two cleansings were deliberately and marvelously strategic to Jesus’s ministry.

Questions/Observations: The Gospel of John includes four Passovers during Jesus’s public ministry (three explicit – John 2:13; John 6:4; John 12:1, and one implicit – John 5:1). Those four Passovers become the primary means of determining the length of Jesus’s ministry. Here John tells of Jesus’s visit to the temple at the first of those four Passovers.

B. Jesus’s Encounter with Nicodemus, the Seeking Pharisee

Scripture: John 2:23-25

Notes: Notice that the account of Jesus’s interview with Nicodemus is deliberately set off against this brief section (cf. the conjunction “Now” or δὲ with which John 3:1 begins – a slight adversative conjunction).

Scripture: John 3:1-21

Notes: Compare John 7:50-52 and John 19:38-42. Consider the role Nicodemus plays in John’s carefully crafted narrative.

C. Jesus’s Ministry with John the Baptist

Scripture: John 3:22-24

Notes: Notice carefully this little appreciated phase of Jesus’s public ministry.

Scripture: John 3:25-36

Notes: Notice the remarkable and noble selflessness of John the Baptist.

Questions/Observations: How do you understand John’s figure of the “friend of the bridegroom”?

D. Jesus Determines to Depart for Galilee

Scripture: Matthew 4:12; Luke 4:14; and John 4:1-4

Notes: Notice that John’s narrative “re-joins” that of the Synoptics at this point.

E. Jesus Makes His Way to Galilee Through Samaria

Scripture: John 4:5-42; John 4:43-45; Matthew 4:13-17; Mark 1:14; and Luke 4:14

Notes: John 4:5-42 is the narrative of the journey – most notably the witness to the woman at the well in Sychar. John 4:43-45 is the narrative of the arrival in Galilee. Recall that Jesus had earlier taken steps to make Capernaum His base of operations in Galilee.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Notice that Matthew sees in Jesus’s ministry in Galilee the “fulfillment” of a portion of Isaiah.
  2. Notice that Matthew and Mark relate Jesus’s decision to leave Judea for Galilee to the arrest of John the Baptist. How do you understand the relationship between these two?

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).

9. The First Five Days of Jesus’s Public Ministry

Dr. Doug Bookman

Note: The months of ministry after Jesus’s baptism and before He commenced His ministry in Galilee are recorded only in John’s gospel. In other words, the narrative of John 1:19 fits entirely between Matthew 4:11 and Matthew 4:12, between Mark 1:13 and Mark 1:14, and between Luke 4:13 and Luke 4:14. Jesus spent those months in Judea, for a time ministering alongside John the Baptist. Throughout those months Jesus primary focus was to gather to Himself the multitude who had obeyed and embraced the message preached by John.

A. John the Baptist Interrogated by a Committee of Sanhedrinists

Scripture: John 1:19-28

Notes: Notice the four chronological notes in John 1:29, John 1:35, John 1:43; and John 2:1. The point of reference (i.e., the day from which the “next day” of 1:29 is computed) is the event of John 1:19-28.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Notice that John’s ministry has become the cause of official concern among the religious leaders of Judea; these who question John at this time were “sent” to do so.
  2. Notice carefully the way John responds to the question “Who are you?”

B. Day #1 of Jesus’s Public Ministry

Scripture: John 1:29-34

Notes: This is the actual beginning of Jesus’s “public ministry.” It is here that Jesus for the first time appears to men as the Messiah.

Questions/Observations: John’s identification of Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” is remarkably insightful and important.

C. Day #2 of Jesus’s Public Ministry

Scripture: John 1:35-42

Notes: This passage is best taken as representative of Jesus’s ministry throughout the months summarized here. In other words, Jesus spends these months gathering to Himself the disciples of John the Baptist.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Who was the second disciple in this narrative?
  2. How do you explain the curious question which these two disciples asked of Jesus after they finally caught up to Him?

D. Day #3 of Jesus’s Public Ministry

Scripture: John 1:43-51

Notes: John 1:43 speaks of Jesus “wanting to go to Galilee.” This is not the commencement of His Galilean ministry (which comes some months later); rather, it is a brief visit to Cana for a wedding feast.

Questions/Observations: Jesus’s ability to know Nathanael before meeting him is clearly an expression of omniscience; that is, it is supernatural. And yet, by John’s nomenclature, it is not a “sign” (cf. John 2:11). What is the significance of that distinction?

E. Day #5 of Jesus’s Public Ministry

Scripture: John 2:1-11

Notes: I believe the “third day” of John 2:1 is best taken as the third day after the day mentioned in John 1:43. Thus, by Jewish reckoning there are a total of five days narrated in this passage, but the narrative skips from the third day (1:43) to the fifth day (2:1, the 3rd day after the day of 1:43). The unrecorded day was a day of travel from Judea to Galilee.

Questions/Observations:

  1. Notice the poignant scene of “leave-taking” between Jesus and His mother at the beginning of this narrative. It is significant that this scene occurs at Cana, and not in Nazareth.
  2. What do you think was Mary’s role at this wedding (if any)?
  3. Why do you think Mary approached Jesus with her concern over the fact that the host had run out of wine for the wedding?
  4. Notice the care Jesus took to avoid any thought that the miracle was simply slight-of-hand.
  5. Notice the significance and consequences of this sign-miracle, according to John 1:11.

Postlude: Jesus Moves His Family to Capernaum

Scripture: John 2:12

Notes: This visit to Capernaum seems to have been in anticipation of a permanent move (cf. Matthew 4:13).

Questions/Observations:

  1. Notice that the move from Nazareth to Capernaum was strategic to the ministry of itinerant teaching which Jesus would commence in Galilee in a few months.
  2. This brief verse suggests that even after commencing His official public ministry, Jesus continued to be faithful to His responsibilities as the eldest son in His family.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).