Jesus turned in the midst of His teaching from those who refused to respond adequately to His message to those who proved more receptive. In the same way, He had turned from those who rejected His miracle-working ministry, in His hometown and homeland, to those outside Israel who would receive Him more gladly.
Matthew 13-53-14-12 opens this section by paralleling Jesus’ rejection in His hometown of Nazareth with John’s rejection and execution by his own governor, Herod. Both reject an inadequate understanding of who Jesus is. The Nazarenes thought Him merely a prophet, Herod thought Jesus was John resurrected.
“And it came to pass, [that] when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this [man] this wisdom, and [these] mighty works?Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this [man] all these things?And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put [him] in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded [it] to be given [her].And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought [it] to her mother.And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.”
The main panel of this section extends from Matthew 14-13 through 16:12. Here Jesus revealed Himself as the bread of life for Jews and Gentiles alike. First He manifested Himself to Israel; He miraculously fed the five thousand from a few loaves and fishes, reminiscent of manna in the wilderness in the days of Moses and the exodus.
Jesus was a new and greater Moses, bringing full, full spiritual redemption for His people Israel if they would accept it. Then He walked on the water, showing Himself as equal to Yahweh, Lord of wind and waves.
The innocuous greeting “It is I” exactly echoes God’s words by Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. It more literally reads, “I am” – the very meaning of the name of God. Appropriately Jesus, disciples reached a provisional high priest in their understanding of Jesus identity, as they acclaimed Him “Son of God.” A flurry of healings on the shores of Galilee rounds out this section.
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”
References: Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor and Holy Bible, King James Version.
Columbia Prayer Chain
Monday, September 19
In our prayers: Jerry Callahan, Russ Meyne, April Goodwin, Laura Bushnell, Loretta M. in Cayce, Kody Oswald, Tina Bailey, Oliver Crawford, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Roamans, Elizabeth Adams, Rootie Pope in Leesville, Gene Awtrey in Spring Valley, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Lindsay Cathcart, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth F., Steven and Janelle, William Alex McDaniels, Maddie Rosenthal, DuBose Tuller, Nancy, Doris C., Lynn in Camden, John in Forest Acres,
In memoriam: David O’Neal Perry, Jr., Thomas Summers, Jr., George J. Black, Dr. Donald Lentz Henson, Sr., Emory Jerome Ayers, Jr.
Our prayers are with: All victims of natural disasters, Mandy and all beloved pets, our president and congress and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily as prayers are requested.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure LaneIn Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at in Columbia.
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