(1) THE STORY OF JESUS
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John rearranged by Subject & in Date order
Part 14 - HIS HEALING MIRACLES
Sections 1-27 of Part 14 bring together all the relevant verses from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - in that order.
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Key: 1 - The believed order of Jesus' recorded
Also the numbers in the Contents List above:
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Year One - c AD27-28
14.1 THE OFFICIALS' DYING SON
John 4:43-54 - After the two days were over (following his meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well), Jesus left and went away to Galilee. (For Jesus himself testified that a prophet enjoys no honour in his own country.) And on his arrival the people received him with open arms. For they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem during the festival, since they had themselves been present. So Jesus came again to Cana in Galilee, the place where he had made the water into wine. At Capernaum there was an official whose son was very ill. When he heard that Jesus had left Judea and had arrived in Galilee, he went off to see him and begged him to come down and heal his son, who was by this time at the point of death.
Jesus said to him, "I suppose you will never believe unless you see signs and wonders!"
"Sir," returned the official, "please come down before my boy dies!"
"You can go home," returned Jesus, "your son is alive and well."
And the man believed what Jesus had said to him and went on his way.
On the journey back his servants met him with the report, "Your son is alive and well." So he asked them at what time he had begun to recover, and they replied: "The fever left him yesterday at one o'clock in the afternoon". Then the father knew that this must have happened at the very moment when Jesus had said to him, "Your son is alive and well." And he and his whole household believed in Jesus. This, then, was the second sign that Jesus gave on his return from Judea to Galilee. (The first was changing the water into wine, also at Cana, earlier in John 2:1-11) .
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Year Two - c AD28-29
14.2 THE MADMAN IN THE SYNAGOGUE AT CAPERNAUM
(Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37)
Mark 1:21-28 - They (Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John - the newly called disciples) arrived at Capernaum, and on the Sabbath day Jesus walked straight into the synagogue and began teaching. They were amazed at his way of teaching, for he taught with the ring of authority - quite unlike the scribes. All at once, a man in the grip of an evil spirit appeared in the synagogue shouting out, "What have you got to do with us, Jesus from Nazareth? Have you come to kill us? I know who you are - you're God's holy one!"
But Jesus cut him short and spoke sharply, "Hold your tongue and get out of him!"
At this the evil spirit convulsed the man, let out a loud scream and left him. Everyone present was so astounded that people kept saying to each other, "What on earth has happened? This new teaching has authority behind it. Why he even gives his orders to evil spirits and they obey him!"
And his reputation spread like wild-fire through the whole Galilean district.
Luke 4:31-37 - So (after preaching in the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth, and being rejected by the people there) he came down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath day. They were astonished at his teaching, for his words had the ring of authority.
There was a man in the synagogue under the influence of some evil spirit and he yelled at the top of his voice, "Hi! What have you got to do with us, Jesus, you Nazarene - have you come to kill us? I know who you are all right, you're God's holy one!"
Jesus cut him short and spoke sharply, "Be quiet! Get out of him!"
And after throwing the man down in front of them, the devil did come out of him without hurting him in the slightest. At this everybody present was amazed and they kept saying to each other, "What sort of words are these? He speaks to these evil spirits with authority and power and out they come."
And his reputation spread over the whole surrounding district.
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14.3 PETER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW'S FEVER: JESUS ALSO HEALS MANY OTHERS THAT EVENING
(Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41)
Matthew 8:14-17 - Then on coming into Peter's house (in Capernaum, after healing the leper and the centurion's servant in Matthew's Gospel) Jesus saw that Peter's mother-in-law had been put to bed with a high fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her. And then she got up and began to see to their needs.
When evening came they brought to him many who were possessed by evil spirits, which he expelled with a word. Indeed he healed all who were ill. Thus was fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy - 'He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses'.
Mark 1:29-34 - Then (after healing the madman according to Mark's Gospel) he got up and went straight from the synagogue to the house of Simon and Andrew, accompanied by James and John. Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever, and they lost no time in telling Jesus about her. He went up to her, took her hand and helped her to her feet. The fever left her, and she began to see to their needs.
Late that evening, after sunset, they kept bringing to him all who were sick or troubled by evil spirits. The whole population of the town (of Capernaum) gathered round the doorway. And he healed great numbers of people who were suffering from various forms of disease. In many cases he expelled evil spirits; but he would not allow them to say a word, for they knew perfectly well who he was.
Luke 4:38-41 - When Jesus got up and left the synagogue (after healing the madman) he went into Simon (Peter)'s house. Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus about her. He stood over her as she lay in bed, brought the fever under control and it left her. At once she got up and began to see to their needs.
Then, as the sun was setting, all those who had friends suffering from every kind of disease brought them to Jesus and he laid his hands on each one of them separately and healed them. Evil spirits came out of many of these people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!"
But he spoke sharply to them and would not allow them to say any more, for they knew perfectly well that he was Christ.
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14.4 JESUS CONTINUES PREACHING AND HEALING
(Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:35-39; Luke 4:42-44)
Matthew 4:23-25 - Jesus (after calling the brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, and James and John to be his disciples, and before the Sermon on the Mount) now moved about through the whole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news about the kingdom, and healing every disease and disability among the people. His reputation spread throughout Syria, and people brought to him all those who were ill, suffering from all kinds of diseases and pains - including the devil-possessed, the insane and the paralysed. He healed them, and was followed by enormous crowds from Galilee, The Ten Towns (Decapolis), Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the river Jordan.
Mark 1:35-39 - Then (after calling the first four disciples and healing Simon Peter's mother-in-law.....), in the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a deserted place, and there he prayed. Simon and his companions went in search of him, and when they found him, they said, "Everyone is looking for you."
"Then we will go somewhere else, to the neighbouring towns," he replied, "so that I may give my message there too - that is why I have come."
So he continued preaching in their synagogues and expelling evil spirits throughout the whole of Galilee.
Luke 4:42-44 - At daybreak (after healing the madman in the synagogue and Simon Peter's mother-in-law), he went off to a deserted place, but the crowds tried to find him and when they did discover him, tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he told them, "I must tell the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns as well - that is my mission."
And he continued proclaiming his message in the synagogues of Judea.
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14.5 THE LEPER
(Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16)
Matthew 8:1-4 - Large crowds followed him when he came down from the hillside (after the Sermon on the Mount). There was a leper who came and knelt in front of him. "Sir," he said, "if you want to, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand and placed it on the leper saying, "Of course I want to. Be clean!" And at once he was clear of the leprosy.
"Mind you say nothing to anybody," Jesus told him. "Go straight off and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your recovery that Moses prescribed, as evidence to the authorities."
Mark 1:40-45 - Then a leper came to Jesus (as he continued preaching and healing throughout Galilee), knelt in front of him and appealed to him, "If you want to, you can make me clean."
Jesus was filled with pity for him, and stretched out his hand and placed it on the leper, saying, "Of course I want to - be clean!"
At once the leprosy left him and he was quite clean. Jesus sent him away there and then with the strict injunction, "Mind you say nothing at all to anybody. Go straight off and show yourself to the priest, and make the offerings for your cleansing which Moses prescribed, as public proof of your recovery."
But he went off and began to talk a great deal about it in public, spreading his story far and wide. Consequently, it became impossible for Jesus to show his face in the towns and he had to stay outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from all quarters.
Luke 5:12-16 - While he was in one of the towns (of Galilee after the calling of Simon Peter, Andrew, John and James), Jesus came upon a man who was a mass of leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he prostrated himself before him and begged, "If you want to, Lord, you can make me clean."
Jesus stretched out his hand, placed it on the leper, saying, "Certainly I want to. Be clean!"
Immediately the leprosy left him and Jesus warned him not to tell anybody, but to go and show himself to the priest and to make the offerings for his recovery that Moses prescribed, as evidence to the authorities.
Yet the news about him spread all the more, and enormous crowds collected to hear Jesus and to be healed of their diseases. But he slipped quietly away to deserted places for prayer.
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14.6 THE PARALYSED MAN
(Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26)
Matthew 9:1-8 - (After healing the madman - or men - of Gadarene) ... Jesus re-embarked on the boat, crossed the lake, and came to his own town (of Capernaum). Immediately some people arrived bringing him a paralytic lying flat on his bed. When Jesus saw the faith of those who brought him he said to the paralytic, "Cheer up, my son! Your sins are forgiven."
At once some of the scribes thought to themselves, "This man is blaspheming". But Jesus realised what they were thinking, and said to them, "Why must you have such evil thoughts in your minds? Do you think it is easier to say to this man, 'Your sins are forgiven' or 'Get up and walk'? But to make it quite plain that the Son of Man has full authority on earth to forgive sins" - and here he spoke to the paralytic - "Get up, pick up your bed and go home." And the man sprang to his feet and went home. When the crowds saw what had happened they were filled with awe and praised God for giving such power to men.
Mark 2:1-12 - When he re-entered Capernaum some days later (after curing the leper, and staying away from the towns because of his popularity), a rumour spread that he was in somebody's house. Such a large crowd collected that while he was giving them his message it was impossible even to get near the doorway. Meanwhile, a group of people arrived to see him, bringing with them a paralytic whom four of them were carrying. And when they found it was impossible to get near him because of the crowd, they removed the tiles from the roof over Jesus' head and let down the paralytic's bed through the opening. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man on the bed, "My son, your sins are forgiven."
But some of the scribes were sitting there silently asking themselves, "Why does this man talk such blasphemy? Who can possibly forgive sins but God?"
Jesus realised instantly what they were thinking, and said to them, "why must you argue like this in your minds? Which do you suppose is easier - to say to a paralysed man, 'Your sins are forgiven', or 'Get up, pick up your bed and walk'? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has full authority to forgive sins on earth, I say to you," - and here he spoke to the paralytic - "Get up, pick up your bed and go home."
At once the man sprang to his feet, picked up his bed and walked off in full view of them all. Everyone was amazed, praised God, and said, "We have never seen anything like this before."
Luke 5:17-26 - One day while Jesus was teaching (after curing the leper and going out to lonely places where he could pray), some Pharisees and experts in the Law were sitting near him. They had come out of every village in Galilee and Judea as well as from Jerusalem. God's power to heal people was with him. Soon some men arrived carrying a paralytic and they kept trying to carry him in to put him down in front of Jesus. When they failed to find a way of getting him in because of the dense crowd, they went up on to the top of the house and let him down, bed and all, through the tiles, into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, "My friend, your sins are forgiven."
The scribes and the Pharisees began to argue about this, saying, "Who is this man who talks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins? Only God can do that."
Jesus realised what was going on in their minds and spoke straight to them.
"Why must you argue like this in your minds? Which do you suppose is easier - to say, 'Your sins are forgiven' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? But to make you realise that the Son of Man has full authority on earth to forgive sins - I tell you," he said to the man who was paralysed, "get up, pick up your bed and go home!"
Instantly the man sprang to his feet before their eyes, picked up the bedding on which he used to lie, and went off home, praising God. Sheer amazement gripped every man present, and they praised God and said in awed voices, "We have seen incredible things today."
- Jesus now journeys south from Galilee to Jerusalem for a festival - possibly the second Passover of the Gospels:
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14.7 THE INVALID AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA
John 5:1-15 - Some time later (after Jesus had met the woman at the well in Samaria, and then, in Cana in Galilee, saved the official's dying son) came one of the Jewish feast-days and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There is in Jerusalem near the sheep-gate a pool surrounded by five arches, which has the Hebrew name of Bethzatha (the Pool of Bethesda). Under these arches a great many sick people were in the habit of lying; some of them were blind, some lame, and some had withered limbs. (They used to wait there for the "moving of the water", for at certain times an angel used to come down into the pool and disturb the water, and then the first person who stepped into the water after the disturbance would be healed of whatever he was suffering from - this explanation in brackets is only in some ancient manuscripts.) One particular man had been there ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there on his back - knowing that he had been like that for a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to get well again?"
"Sir," replied the sick man, "I just haven't got anybody to put me into the pool when the water is all stirred up. While I'm trying to get there somebody else gets down into it first."
"Get up," said Jesus, "pick up your bed and walk!"
At once the man recovered, picked up his bed and walked.
This happened on a Sabbath day, which made the Jews keep on telling the man who had been healed, "It's the Sabbath, you know; it's not right for you to carry your bed."
"The man who made me well," he replied, "was the one who told me, 'Pick up your bed and walk.'"
Then they asked him, "And who is the man who told you to do that?"
But the one who had been healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away in the dense crowd. Later Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, "Look: you are a fit man now. Do not sin again or something worse might happen to you!"
Then the man went off and informed the Jews that the one who had made him well was Jesus.
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- Jesus returns to Galilee:
14.8 THE MAN WITH THE SHRIVELLED HAND
(Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11)
Matthew 12:9-14 - Leaving there (the cornfields where Jesus and his disciples were criticised by Pharisees for picking corn on the Sabbath) he went into their synagogue (in Galilee, possibly Capernaum), where there happened to be a man with a shrivelled hand.
"Is it right to heal anyone on the Sabbath day?" they asked him - hoping to bring a charge against him.
"If any of you had a sheep which fell into a ditch on the Sabbath day, would he not take hold of it and pull it out?" replied Jesus. "How much more valuable is a man than a sheep? You see, it is right to do good on the Sabbath day."
Then Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!" He did stretch it out, and it was restored as sound as the other.
But the Pharisees went out and held a meeting against Jesus and discussed how they could get rid of him altogether.
Mark 3:1-6 - On another occasion (after the cornfield incident) when he went into the synagogue, there was a man there whose hand was shrivelled, and they (the Pharisees) were watching Jesus closely to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day, so that they might bring a charge against him. Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, "Stand up and come out here in front!"
Then he said to them, "Is it right to do good on the Sabbath day, or to do harm? Is it right to save life or to kill?"
There was a dead silence. Then Jesus, deeply hurt as he sensed their inhumanity, looked round in anger at the faces surrounding him, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!"
And he stretched it out, and the hand was restored as sound as the other one. The Pharisees walked straight out and discussed with Herod's party how they could have Jesus put out of the way.
Luke 6:6-11 - On another Sabbath day (again after the cornfield incident) when he went into a synagogue to teach, there was a man there whose right hand was wasted away. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Jesus closely to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath day, which would, of course, give them grounds for an accusation. But he knew exactly what was going on in their minds, and said to the man with the wasted hand, "Stand up and come out in front."
And he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, "I am going to ask you a question. Does the Law command us to do good on Sabbath days or do harm - to save life or destroy it?"
He looked round, meeting all their eyes, and said to the man, "Now stretch out your hand."
He did so, and his hand was restored as sound as the other one. But they were filled with insane fury, and kept discussing with each other what they could do to Jesus.
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14.9 JESUS CONTINUES HEALING MANY
(Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 3:7-12; Luke 6:17-19)
Matthew 12:15-21 - But Jesus knew of this (the Pharisees desire to get rid of him, especially after healing the man with the shrivelled hand) and he left the place (possibly Capernaum).
Large crowds followed him and he healed them all, with the strict injunction that they should not make him conspicuous by their talk, thus fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy: 'Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased; I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench, till he sends forth justice to victory. And in his name Gentiles will trust' .
Mark 3:7-12 - Jesus now retired to the lake-side (of the Sea of Galilee) with his disciples (again after healing the man with the shrivelled hand). A huge crowd of people followed him, not only from Galilee, but from Judea, Jerusalem and Idumea, some from the district beyond the Jordan and from the neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon. This vast crowd came to him because they had heard about the sort of things he was doing. So Jesus told his disciples to have a small boat kept in readiness for him, in case the people should crowd him too closely. For he healed so many people that all those who were in pain kept pressing forward to touch him with their hands. Evil spirits, as soon as they saw him, acknowledged his authority and screamed, "You are the Son of God!"
But he warned them repeatedly that they must not make him known.
Luke 6:17-19 - Then (again after healing the man with the shrivelled hand, but here, in Luke's account, also after Jesus has chosen the twelve apostles ...) he came down with them and stood on a level piece of ground, surrounded by a large crowd of his disciples and a great number of people from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal district of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. (And even those who were troubled with evil spirits were cured.) The whole crowd were trying to touch him with their hands, for power was going out from him and he was healing them all.
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14.10 THE ROMAN CENTURION'S SERVANT
(Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10)
Matthew 8:5-13 - Then as he was coming into Capernaum (after healing the leper) a centurion approached. "Sir," he implored him, "my servant is in bed at home paralysed and in dreadful pain."
"I will come and heal him," said Jesus to him.
"Sir," replied the centurion, "I'm not important enough for you to come under my roof. Just give the order, please, and my servant will recover. I'm a man under authority myself, and I have soldiers under me. I can say to one man 'Go' and I know he'll go, or I can say 'Come here' to another and I know he'll come - or I can say to my slave 'Do this' and he'll always do it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished. "Believe me," he said to those who were following him, "I have never found faith like this, even in Israel! I tell you that many people will come from east and west and sit at my table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. But those who should have belonged to the kingdom will be banished to the darkness outside, where there will be tears and bitter regret."
Then he said to the centurion, "Go home now, and everything will happen as you have believed it will."
And his servant was healed at that actual moment.
Luke 7:1-10 - When Jesus had finished these talks (the Sermon on the "Plain" in Luke's Gospel) to the people, he came to Capernaum, where it happened that there was a man very seriously ill and in fact at the point of death. He was the slave of a centurion who thought very highly of him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him with the request that he would come and save his servant's life. When they came to Jesus, they urged him strongly to grant this request, saying that the centurion deserved to have this done for him. "He loves our nation and has built us a synagogue out of his own pocket," they said.
So Jesus went with them, but as he approached the house, the centurion sent some of his personal friends with the message, "Don't trouble yourself, sir! I'm not important enough for you to come into my house - I didn't think I was fit to come to you in person. Just give the order, please, and my servant will recover. I am used to working under orders, and I have soldiers under me. I can say to one, 'Go', and he goes, or I can say to another, 'Come here', and he comes; or I can say to my slave, 'Do this job', and he does it."
These words amazed Jesus and he turned to the crowd who were following behind him, and said, "I have never found faith like this anywhere, even in Israel!"
Then those who had been sent by the centurion returned to the house and found the slave perfectly well.
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14.11 RAISING THE WIDOW OF NAIN'S DEAD SON
Luke 7:11-17 - Not long afterwards (after healing the centurion's servant), Jesus went into a town called Nain (in Galilee), accompanied by his disciples and a large crowd. As they approached the city gate, it happened that some people were carrying out a dead man, the only son of his widowed mother. The usual crowd of fellow-townsmen was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."
Then he walked up and put his hand on the bier while the bearers stood still. Then he said, "Young man, wake up!"
And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus handed him to his mother. Everybody present was awe-struck and they praised God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us and God has turned his face towards his people."
And this report of him spread through the whole of Judea and the surrounding countryside.
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14.12 THE DUMB (AND BLIND) MAN
(Matthew 12:22-23; Luke 11:14)
Matthew 12:22-23 - Then (after healing the man with the shrivelled hand, and many others) a devil-possessed man who could neither see nor speak was brought to Jesus. He healed him, so that the dumb man could both speak and see. At this the whole crowd went wild with excitement, and people kept saying, "Can this be the Son of David?" (.... Jesus is then accused by the Pharisees of using the power of the devil.)
Luke 11:14 - Another time (in Luke's account, after teaching the Lord's Prayer and about how God answers prayer), Jesus was expelling an evil spirit which was preventing a man from speaking, and as soon as the evil spirit left him, the dumb man found his speech, to the amazement of the crowds. (Jesus now faces the same accusations as in Matthew's Gospel about being in league with the devil.)
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14.13 THE MADMAN (OR MEN) AND THE GADARENE PIGS
(Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39)
- The different Gospels and various versions of the Bible place this incident in the region of the Gadarenes, the Gerasenes, and the Gergesenes:
(1) The town of Gadara was a few miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee in the Gentile Decapolis. The region of the Gadarenes may well have spread beyond the town to the shoreside;
(2) Gerasa, also in the Decapolis, but much further away, some 30 miles (50 km) from the Sea of Galilee; and
(3) Only Gergesa was on the actual shoreside in the territory of Gaulanitis - the modern Golan.
Whatever the case, it must have been predominantly Gentile to account for the large numbers of pigs or swine. These were forbidden to Jews as food -
Matthew 8:28-34 - When he arrived on the other side (of the Sea of Galilee after calming the storm - which is the Gadarenes' country) he was met by two devil-possessed men who came out from among the tombs. They were so violent that nobody dared to use that road. "What have you got to do with us, Jesus, you Son of God?" they screamed at him. "Have you come to torture us before the proper time?"
It happened that in the distance there was a large herd of pigs feeding. So the devils implored him, "If you throw us out, send us into the herd of pigs!"
"Then go!" said Jesus to them.
And the devils came out of the two men and went into the pigs. Then quite suddenly the whole herd rushed madly down a steep cliff into the lake and were drowned.
The swineherds took to their heels, and ran to the town. There they poured out the whole story, not forgetting what had happened to the two men who had been devil-possessed. Whereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and as soon as they saw him implored him to leave their (Gentile) territory.
Mark 5:1-20 - So they arrived on the other side of the lake in the country of the Gerasenes (again after calming the storm). As Jesus was getting out of the boat, a man in the grip of an evil spirit rushed to meet him from among the tombs where he was living. It was no longer possible for any human being to restrain him even with a chain. Indeed he had frequently been secured with fetters and lengths of chain, but he had simply snapped the chains and broken the fetters in pieces. No one could do anything with him. All through the night as well as in the day-time he screamed among the tombs and on the hill-side, and cut himself with stones. Now, as soon as he saw Jesus in the distance, he ran and knelt before him, yelling at the top of his voice, "What have you got to do with me, Jesus, Son of the most high God? For God's sake, don't torture me!"
For Jesus had already said, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"
Then he asked him, "What is your name?"
"My name is legion," he replied, "for there are many of us."
Then he begged and prayed him not to send "them" out of the country.
A large herd of pigs was grazing there on the hill-side, and the evil spirits implored him, "Send us over to the pigs and we'll get into them!"
So Jesus allowed them to do this, and they came out of the man, and made off and went into the pigs. The whole herd of about two thousand stampeded down the cliff into the lake and was drowned. The swineherds took to their heels and spread their story in the city and all over the countryside. Then the people came to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they saw the man who had been devil-possessed sitting there properly clothed and perfectly sane - the same man who had been possessed by "legion" - and they were really frightened. Those who had seen the incident told them what had happened to the devil-possessed man and about the disaster to the pigs. Then they began to implore Jesus to leave their district. As he was embarking on the small boat, the man who had been possessed begged that he might go with him. But Jesus would not allow this.
"Go home to your own people," he told him, "And tell them what the Lord has done for you, and how kind he has been to you!"
So the man went off and began to spread throughout the Ten Towns the story of what Jesus had done for him. And they were all simply amazed.
Luke 8:26-39 - They sailed on to the country of the Gerasenes (after calming the storm) which is on the opposite side of the lake to Galilee. And as Jesus disembarked, a man from the town who was possessed by evil spirits met him. He had worn no clothes for a long time and did not live inside a house, but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he let out a howl and fell down in front of him, yelling, "What have you got to do with me, you Jesus, Son of the most high God? Please, please, don't torment me."
For Jesus was commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man. Again and again the evil spirit had taken control of him, and though he was bound with chains and fetters and closely watched, he would snap his bonds and go off into the desert with the devil at his heels. Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"Legion!" he replied. For many evil spirits had gone into him, and were now begging Jesus not to order them off to the bottomless pit. It happened that there was a large herd of pigs feeding on the hill-side, so they implored him to allow them to go into the pigs, and he let them go. And when the evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs, the whole herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and were drowned. When the swineherds saw what had happened, they took to their heels, pouring out the story to the people in the town and countryside. These people came out to see what had happened, and approached Jesus. They found the man, whom the evil spirits had left, sitting down at Jesus' feet, properly clothed and quite sane. That frightened them. Those who had seen it told the others how the man with the evil spirits had been cured. And the whole crowd of people from the district surrounding the Gerasenes' country begged Jesus to go away from them, for they were thoroughly frightened. Then he re-embarked on the boat and turned back. The man who had the evil spirits kept begging to go with Jesus, but he sent him away with the words, "Go back home and tell them all what wonderful things God has done for you."
So the man went away and told the marvellous story of what Jesus had done for him, all over the town.
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14.14 THE WOMAN WITH THE HAEMORRHAGE and THE RAISING OF JAIRUS' DAUGHTER
(Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56)
Matthew 9:18-26 - While he was saying these thing to them (parables such as the bride and the bridegroom, and the new cloth sewn onto old; also after healing the madman in the region of the Gadarenes) an official (or synagogue ruler or president) came up to him and, bowing low before him, said, "My daughter has just this moment died. Please come and lay your hand on her and she will come back to life!"
At this Jesus got to his feet and followed him, accompanied by his disciples. And on the way a woman who had a haemorrhage for twelve years approached him from behind and touched the edge of his cloak.
"If I can only touch his cloak," she kept saying to herself, "I shall be all right."
But Jesus turned right round and saw her.
"Cheer up, my daughter," he said, "your faith has made you well!" And the woman was completely cured from that moment.
Then when Jesus came into the official's house and noticed the flute-players and the noisy crowd he said, "You must all go outside; the little girl is not dead, she is fast asleep."
This was met with scornful laughter. But when Jesus had forced the crowd to leave, he came right into the room, took hold of her hand, and the girl got up. And this became the talk of the whole district.
Mark 5:21-43 - When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side of the lake (after the incident of the madman and the Gadarene swine), a great crowd collected around him as he stood on the shore. Then came a man called Jairus, one of the synagogue presidents. And when he saw Jesus, he knelt before him, pleading desperately for his help.
"My little girl is dying," he said. "Will you come and put your hands on her - then she will get better and live."
Jesus went off with him, followed by large crowds jostling at his elbow. Among them was a woman who had a haemorrhage for twelve years and who had gone through a great deal at the hands of many doctors (or physicians), spending all her money in the process. She had derived no benefit from them but, on the contrary, was getting worse. This woman had heard about Jesus and came up behind him under cover of the crowd, and touched his cloak, "For if I can only touch his clothes," she said, "I shall be all right."
The haemorrhage stopped immediately, and she knew in herself that she was cured of her trouble. At once Jesus knew intuitively that power had gone out of him, and he turned round in the middle of the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?"
His disciples replied, "You can see this crowd jostling you. How can you ask, 'Who touched me?'"
But he looked all round at their faces to see who had done so. Then the woman, scared and shaking all over because she knew that she was the one to whom this thing had happened, came and flung herself before him and told him the whole story. But he said to her, "Daughter, it is your faith that has healed you. Go home in peace, and be free from your trouble."
While he was still speaking, messengers arrived from the synagogue president's house, saying, "Your daughter is dead - there is no need to bother the master any further."
But when Jesus heard this, he said, "Now don't be afraid, just go on believing!"
Then he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John, James's brother. They arrived at the president's house and Jesus noticed the hubbub and all the weeping and wailing, and as he went in, he said to the people in the house, "Why are you making such a noise with your crying? The child is not dead; she is fast asleep."
They greeted this with a scornful laugh. But Jesus turned them all out, and taking only the father and mother and his own companions with him, went into the room where the child was. Then he took the little girl's hand and said to her in Aramaic, "Little girl, I tell you to get up!"
At once she jumped to her feet and walked around the room, for she was twelve years old. This sight sent the others nearly out their minds with joy. But Jesus gave them strict instructions not to let anyone know what had happened - and ordered food to be given to the little girl.
Luke 8:40-56 - On Jesus' return (again after healing the madman), the crowd welcomed him back, for they had all been looking for him.
Then up came Jairus (who was president of the synagogue), and fell at Jesus' feet, begging him to come into his house, for his daughter, an only child about twelve years old, was dying.
But as he went, the crowds nearly suffocated him. Among them was a woman, who had a haemorrhage for twelve years and who had derived no benefit from anybody's treatment. She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, with the result that her haemorrhage stopped at once.
"Who was that who touched me?" said Jesus.
And when everybody denied it, Peter remonstrated, "Master, the crowds are all round you and are pressing you on all sides ...."
But Jesus said, "Somebody touched me, for I felt the power went out from me."
When the woman realised that she had not escaped notice she came forward trembling, and fell at his feet and admitted before everybody why she had to touch him, and how she had been instantaneously cured.
"Daughter," said Jesus, "It is your faith that has healed you - go in peace."
While he was still speaking, somebody came from the synagogue president's house to say, "Your daughter is dead - there is no need to trouble the master any further."
But when Jesus heard this, he said to him, "Now don't be afraid, go on believing and she will be all right."
Then when he came to the house, he would not allow anyone to go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child's parents. All those already there were weeping and wailing over her, but he said, "Stop crying! She is not dead, she is fast asleep."
This drew a scornful laugh from them, for they were quite certain that she had died. But he turned them all out, took the little girl's hand and called out to her, "Wake up, my child!"
And her spirit came back and she got to her feet at once, and Jesus ordered food to be given to her. Her parents were nearly out of their minds with joy, but Jesus told them not to tell anyone what had happened.
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14.15 TWO BLIND MEN and THE DUMB MAN
Matthew 9:27-34 - As Jesus passed on his way (after bringing the daughter of Jairus back to life) two blind men followed him with the cry, "have pity on us, Son of David!" And when he had gone inside the house these two came up to him.
"Do you believe I can do it?" he said to them.
"Yes, Lord," they replied.
Then he touched their eyes, saying, "You have believed and you will not be disappointed."
Then their sight returned, but Jesus sternly warned them, "Don't let anyone know about his." Yet they went outside and spread the story throughout the whole district.
Later, when Jesus and his party were coming out, they brought to him a dumb man who was possessed by a devil. As soon as the devil had been ejected the dumb man began to talk. The crowds were simply amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees' comment was, "He throws out these devils because he is in league with the devil himself."
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Year Three - c AD29-30
14.16 JESUS HEALS THE SICK AT GENNESARET
(Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 6:53-56)
Matthew 14:34-36 - When they had crossed over to the other side of the lake (of Galilee, and after Jesus had walked on the water), they landed at Gennesaret (a plain on the north west coast of the Sea of Galilee), and when the men of that place had recognised him, they sent word to the whole surrounding country and brought all the diseased to him. They implored him to let them "touch just the edge of his cloak", and all those who did so were cured.
Mark 6:53-56 - And when (again after Jesus had walked on the water) they had crossed over to the other side of the lake, they landed at Gennesaret and tied up there. As soon as they came ashore, the people recognised Jesus and rushed all over the countryside and began to carry the sick around on their beds to wherever they heard that he was. Wherever he went, in villages or towns or farms, they laid down their sick right in the road-way and begged him that they might "just touch the edge of his cloak". And all those who touched him were healed.
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14.17 THE SICK DAUGHTER OF THE SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN
(Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30)
- The woman is a Gentile Canaanite living in the Phoenician part of Syria - present day Lebanon. This is another difficult account to understand. First Jesus says the Gospel is only for the Jews - the "lost sheep of the house of Israel". Then, in using the term "dogs" to refer to Gentiles, he is being uncharacteristically unkind.
The term "dogs" is believed to have been meant in the more gentle form of domestic "young puppies". But whatever the actual incident, or how it is reported, Jesus did not refuse her request, and her daughter was healed. And later in the early Church, it is the Gentiles who become the main beneficiaries of the Gospel of Jesus:
Matthew 15:21-28 - Jesus left that place (the Galilee region after clashing with the scribes and Pharisees about what really makes a person clean) and retired into the Tyre and Sidon district. There a Canaanite woman from those parts came to him crying at the top of her voice, "Lord, have pity on me! My daughter is in a terrible state - a devil has got into her!"
Jesus made no answer, and the disciples came up to him and said, "Do send her away - she's still following us and calling out."
"I was only sent," replied Jesus, "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Then the woman came and knelt at his feet. "Lord, help me," she said.
"It is not right, you know," Jesus replied, "to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
"Yes, Lord, I know, but even the dogs live on the scraps that fall from their master's table!"
"You certainly don't lack faith," returned Jesus, "it shall be as you wish."
And at that moment her daughter was cured.
Mark 7:24-30 - Then (as in Matthew's account) he got up and left that place and went off to the neighbourhood of Tyre. There he went into a house and wanted no one to know where he was. But it proved impossible to remain hidden. For no sooner had he got there, than a woman who had heard about him, and who had a daughter possessed by an evil spirit, arrived and prostrated herself before him. She was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she asked him to drive the evil spirit out of her daughter. Jesus said to her, "You must let the children have all they want first. It is not right, you know, to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
But she replied, "Yes, Lord, I know, but even the dogs under the table eat what the children leave."
"If you can answer like that," Jesus said to her, "you can go home! The evil spirit has left your daughter."
And she went back home and found the child lying quietly on her bed, and the evil spirit gone.
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14.18 THE DEAF AND DUMB MAN IN THE DECAPOLIS
Mark 7:31-37 - Once more (after healing the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman) Jesus left the neighbourhood of Tyre and passed through Sidon towards the Lake of Galilee, and crossed the Ten Towns territory (the Decapolis). They brought to him a man who was deaf and unable to speak intelligibly, and they implored him to put his hand upon him. Jesus took him away from the crowd by himself. He put his fingers in the man's ears and touched his tongue with his own saliva. Then, looking up to Heaven, he gave a deep sigh and said to him in Aramaic, "Open!"
And his ears were opened and immediately whatever had tied his tongue came loose and he spoke quite plainly. Jesus gave instructions that they should tell no one about this happening, but the more he told them, the more they broadcast the news. People were absolutely amazed, and kept saying, "How wonderful he has done everything! He even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."
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14.19 THE BLIND MAN OF BETHSAIDA
Mark 8:22-26 - So (after going on to the Dalmanutha/Magadan area, and Jesus has refused to give the Pharisees a sign from heaven) they arrived at Bethsaida where a blind man was brought to him, with the earnest request that he should touch him. Jesus took the blind man's hand and led him outside the village. Then he moistened his eyes with saliva and putting his hands on him, asked, "Can you see at all?"
The man looked up and said, "I can see people. They look like trees - only they are walking about."
Then Jesus put his hands on his eyes once more and his sight came into focus. And he recovered and saw everything sharp and clear. And Jesus sent him off to his own house with the words, "Don't even go into the village."
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14.20 THE EPILEPTIC BOY
(Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43a; 17:5-6)
- If the Transfiguration of Jesus was on Mount Hermon in the north, this healing may have taken place in the town of Caesarea Philippi. Alternatively, if on the more southerly Mount Tabor, the healing was in the Galilee area. Traditions vary:
Matthew 17:14-21 - When they (Jesus and the apostles Peter, James and John) returned to the crowds again (after the Transfiguration) a man came and knelt in front of Jesus. "Lord, do have pity on my son," he said, "for he is a lunatic and is in a terrible state. He is always falling into the fire or into the water. I did bring him to your disciples but they couldn't cure him."
"You really are an unbelieving and difficult people," Jesus returned. "How long must I be with you, and how long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me!"
Then Jesus reprimanded the evil spirit and it went out of the boy, who was cured from that moment.
Afterwards the disciples approached Jesus privately and asked, "Why weren't we able to get rid of it?"
"Because you have so little faith," replied Jesus. "I assure you that if you have as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed you can say to this hill, 'Up you get and move over there!' and it will move - you will find nothing is impossible."
- Some manuscripts conclude with a verse 21:
"However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting"
Mark 9:14-29 - Then as they rejoined the other disciples (also after the Transfiguration), they saw that they were surrounded by a large crowd, and that some of the scribes were arguing with them. As soon as the people saw Jesus, they ran forward excitedly to welcome him.
"What is the trouble?" Jesus asked them.
A man from the crowd answered, "Master, I brought my son to you because he has a dumb spirit. Wherever he is, it gets hold of him, throws him down on the ground and there he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth. It's simply wearing him out. I did speak to your disciples to get them to drive it out, but they hadn't the power to do it."
Jesus answered them, "Oh, what a faithless people you are! How long must I be with you, how long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me."
So they brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it convulsed the boy, who fell to the ground and writhed there, foaming at the mouth.
"How long has he been like this?" Jesus asked the father.
"Ever since he was a child," he replied. "Again and again it has thrown him into the fire or into water to finish him off. But if you can do anything, please take pity on us and help us."
"If you can do anything!" retorted Jesus. "Everything is possible to the man who believes."
"I do believe," the boy's father burst out. "Help me to believe more!"
When Jesus noticed that a crowd was rapidly gathering, he spoke sharply to the evil spirit, with the words, "I command you, deaf and dumb spirit, come out of this boy, and never go into him again!"
The spirit gave a loud scream and after a dreadful convulsion left him. The boy lay there like a corpse, so that most of the bystanders said, "He is dead."
But Jesus grasped his hands and lifted him up, and then he stood on his own feet. When he had gone home, Jesus' disciples asked him privately, "Why were we unable to drive it out?"
"Nothing can drive out this kind of thing except prayer," replied Jesus.
Luke 9:37-43a - Then on the following day (again after the Transfiguration of Jesus ....), as they came down the hill-side, a great crowd met him. Suddenly a man from the crowd shouted out, "Master, please come and look at my son! He's my only child, and without any warning some spirit gets hold of him and he calls out suddenly. Then it convulses him until he foams at the mouth, and only after a fearful struggle does it go away and leave him bruised all over. I begged your disciples to get rid of it, but they couldn't."
"You really are an unbelieving and difficult people," replied Jesus. "How long must I be with you, how long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me."
But even while the boy was on his way, the spirit hurled him to the ground in a dreadful convulsion. Then Jesus reprimanded the evil spirit, healed the lad and handed him back to his father. And everybody present was amazed at this demonstration of the power of God.
Luke 17:5-6 - On a later occasion in Luke's Gospel, Jesus again speaks about how a little faith can accomplish great things:
And the apostles said to the Lord, "Give us more faith."
And he replied, "If your faith were as big as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this fig-tree, 'Pull yourself up by the roots and plant yourself in the sea', and it would do what you said!"
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14.21 THE TEN LEPERS
Luke 17:11-19 - In the course of his journey to Jerusalem (the last from Galilee), Jesus crossed the boundary between Samaria and Galilee, and as he was approaching a village, ten lepers met him. They kept their distance but shouted out, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
When Jesus saw them, he said, "Go and show yourselves to the priests."
And it happened that as they went on their way they were cured. One of their number, when he saw that he was cured, turned round and praised God at the top of his voice, and then fell on his face before Jesus and thanked him. This man was a Samaritan. And at this Jesus remarked, "Weren't there ten men healed? Where are the other nine? Is nobody going to turn and praise God for what he has done, except this stranger?"
And he said to the man, "Stand up now, and go on your way. It is your faith that has made you well."
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14.22 THE MAN BORN BLIND WHO GOES BEFORE THE PHARISEES
John 9:1-41 - Later, as Jesus walked along (in Jerusalem, after he had forgiven the woman caught in adultery) he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
"Master, whose sin caused this man's blindness," asked the disciples, "his own or his parents'?"
"He was not born blind because of his own sin or that of his parents," returned Jesus, "but to show the power of God at work in him. We must carry on the work of him who sent me while the daylight lasts. Night is coming, when no one can work. I am the world's light as long as I am in it."
Having said this, he spat on the ground and made a sort of clay with the saliva. This he applied to the man's eyes and said, "Go and wash in the pool of Siloam (in the Lower City of Jerusalem)." (Siloam means "one who has been sent".) So the man went off and washed and came home with his sight restored.
His neighbours and the people who had often seen him before as a beggar remarked, "Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?"
"Yes, that's the one," said some.
Others said, "No, but he's very like him."
But he himself said, "I'm the man all right!"
"Then how was your blindness cured?" they asked.
"The man called Jesus made some clay and smeared it on my eyes," he replied, "and then he said, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So off I went and washed - and that's how I got my sight!"
"Where is he now?" they asked.
"I don't know," he returned.
So they brought the man who had once been blind before the Pharisees. (It should be noted that Jesus made the clay and restored his sight on a Sabbath day.) The Pharisees asked the question all over again as to how he had become able to see.
"He put clay on my eyes; I washed it off; now I can see - that's all," he replied.
Some of the Pharisees commented, "This man cannot be from God since he does not observe the Sabbath."
"But how can a sinner give such wonderful signs as these?" others demurred. And they were in two minds about him. Finally, they asked the blind man again, "And what do you say about him? You're the one whose sight was restored."
"I believe he is a prophet," he replied.
The Jews did not really believe that the man had been blind and then had become able to see, until they had summoned his parents and asked them, "Is this your son who you say was born blind? How does it happen that he can now see?"
"We know that this is our son, and we know that he was born blind," returned his parents, "but how he can see now, or who made him able to see, we have no idea. Why don't you ask him? He is a grown-up man; he can speak for himself."
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews who had already agreed that anybody who admitted that Christ had done this thing should be excommunicated. It was this fear which made his parents say, "Ask him, he is a grown-up man."
So, once again they summoned the man who had been born blind and said to him, "You should 'give God the glory'.
for what has happened to you. We know that this man is a sinner."
"Whether he is a sinner or not, I couldn't tell, but one thing I am sure of," the man replied, "I used to be blind, now I can see!"
"But what did he do to you - how did he make you see?" they continued.
"I've told you before," he replied. "Weren't you listening? Why do you want to hear it all over again? Are you wanting to be his disciples too?"
At this, they turned on him furiously.
"You're the one who is his disciple! We are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don't even know where he came from."
"Now here's the extraordinary thing," he retorted, "you don't know where he came from and yet he gave me the gift of sight.
Everybody knows that God does not listen to sinners. It is the man who has a proper respect for God and does what God wants him to do - he's the one God listens to. Why, since the world began, nobody's ever heard of a man who was born blind being given his sight. If this man did not come from God, he couldn't do such a thing!"
"You misbegotten wretch!" they flung back at him. "Are you trying to teach us?" And they threw him out.
Jesus heard that they had expelled him and when he had found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
"And who is he, sir?" the man replied. "Tell me, so that I can believe in him."
"You have seen him," replied Jesus. "It is the one who is talking to you now."
"Lord, I do believe," he said, and worshipped him.
Then Jesus said, My coming into this world is itself a judgement - those who cannot see have their eyes opened and those who think they can see become blind."
Some of the Pharisees near him overheard this and said, "So we're blind, too, are we?"
"If you were blind," returned Jesus, "nobody could blame you, but, as you insist 'We can see', your guilt remains."
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The Last Months - c AD29-30
- The next two miracles probably took place in Perea, from where Jesus travelled to Bethany in Judea to raise Lazarus from the dead:
14.23 THE CRIPPLED WOMAN
Luke 13:10-17 - It happened (sometime after Jesus told the parable of the unfruitful fig-tree) that he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. In the congregation was a woman who for eighteen years had been ill from some psychological cause; she was bent double and was quite unable to straighten herself up. When Jesus noticed her, he called her and said, "You are set free from your illness!"
And he put his hands upon her, and at once she stood upright and praised God. But the president of the synagogue, in his annoyance at Jesus' healing on the Sabbath, announced to the congregation, "There are six days in which men may work. Come on one of them and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day!"
But the Lord answered him, saying, "You hypocrites, every single one of you unties his ox or his ass from the stall on the Sabbath day and leads him away to water! This woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom you all know Satan has kept bound for eighteen years - surely she should be released from such bonds on the Sabbath day!"
These words reduced his opponents to shame, but the crowd was thrilled at all the glorious things he did.
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14.24 THE MAN WITH DROPSY
Luke 14:1-6 - One Sabbath day (as Jesus continued to criticise the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy) he went into the house of one of the leading Pharisees for a meal, and they were all watching him closely. Right in front of him was a man afflicted with dropsy. So Jesus spoke to the scribes and Pharisees and said, "Well, is it right to heal on the Sabbath day or not?"
But there was no reply. So Jesus took the man and healed him and let him go. Then he said to them, "If an ass or a cow belonging to one of you fell into a well, wouldn't you rescue him without the slightest hesitation even though it were the Sabbath?"
And this again left them quite unable to reply.
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14.25 LAZARUS RAISED FROM THE DEAD
John 11:1-44 - Now there was a man by the name of Lazarus (not the poor man who went to heaven in Luke's parable, Luke 16:19-31) who became seriously ill. He lived in Bethany (outside Jerusalem on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives), the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. (Lazarus was the brother of the Mary who poured perfume upon the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus: "Lord, your friend is ill."
When Jesus (across the River Jordan in Perea) received the message, he said, "This illness is not meant to end in death; it is going to bring glory to God - for it will show the glory of the Son of God."
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard of Lazarus' illness he stayed where he was two days longer. Only then did he say to the disciples, "Let us go back into Jude"
"Master!" returned the disciples, "only a few days ago, the Jews were trying to stone you to death - are you going there again?"
"There are twelve hours of daylight every day, are there not?" replied Jesus. "If a man walks in the daytime, he does not stumble, for he has the daylight to see by. But if he walks at night he stumbles, because he cannot see where he is going."
Jesus spoke these words; then after a pause he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going to wake him up."
At this, his disciples said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right."
Actually Jesus had spoken about his death, but they thought that he was speaking about falling into natural sleep. This made Jesus tell them quite plainly, "Lazarus has died, and I am glad that I was not there - for your sakes, that you may learn to believe. And now, let us go to him."
Thomas (known as the twin) then said to his fellow-disciples, "Come on, then, let us all go and die with him!"
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the grave four days. Now Bethany is quite near Jerusalem, rather less than two miles away, and a good many of the Jews had come out to see Martha and Mary to offer them sympathy over their brother's death. When Martha heard that Jesus was on his way, she went out and met him, while Mary stayed in the house.
"If only you had been here, Lord," said Martha, "my brother would never have died. And I know that, even now, God will give you whatever you ask from him."
"Your brother will rise again," Jesus replied to her.
"I know," said Martha, "that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
"I myself am the resurrection and the life," Jesus told her. "The man who believes in me will live even though he dies, and anyone who is alive and believes in me will never die at all. Can you believe that?"
"Yes, Lord," replied Martha. "I do believe that you are Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world." Saying this she went away and called Mary her sister, whispering, "The master's here and is asking for you." When Mary heard this she sprang to her feet and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet arrived at the village itself, but was still where Martha had met him. So when the Jews who had been condoling with Mary in the house saw her get up quickly and go out, they followed her, imagining that she was going to the grave to weep there.
When Mary met Jesus, she looked at him, and then fell down at his feet. "If only you had been here, Lord," she said, "my brother would never have died."
When Jesus saw Mary weep and noticed the tears of the Jews who came with her, he was deeply moved and visibly distressed.
"Where have you put him?" he asked.
"Lord, come and see," they replied, and at this Jesus himself wept.
"Look how much he loved him!" remarked the Jews, though some of them asked, "Could he not have kept this man from dying if he could open that blind man's eyes?" (The man born blind who went before the Pharisees, John 9:1-41)
Jesus was again deeply moved at these words, and went on to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay in front of it.
"Take away the stone," said Jesus.
"But Lord," said Martha, the dead man's sister, "he has been dead four days. By this time he will be decaying ...."
"Did I not tell you," replied Jesus, "that if you believed, you would see the wonder of what God can do?"
Then they took the stone away and Jesus raised his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of these people standing her so that they may believe that you have sent me."
And when he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with grave-clothes and his face muffled with a handkerchief.
"Now unbind him," Jesus told them, "and let him go home."
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14.26 THE BLIND MAN (OR MEN) NEAR JERICHO
(Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43)
Matthew 20:29-34 - A great crowd followed them as they were leaving Jericho (on the final stage of the journey to Jerusalem), and two blind men who were sitting by the roadside, hearing that it was Jesus who was passing by, cried out, "Have pity on us, Lord, you Son of David!" The crowd tried to hush them up, but this only made them cry out more loudly still, "Have pity on us, Lord, you Son of David!"
Jesus stood quite still and called out to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
"Lord, let us see again!"
And Jesus, deeply moved with pity, touched their eyes. At once their sight was restored, and they followed him.
Mark 10:46-52 - Then (as in Matthew's Gospel) they came to Jericho, and as he was leaving it accompanied by his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting in his usual place by the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth he began to call out, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!"
Many of the people told him sharply to keep quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!"
Jesus stood quite still and said, "Call him here."
So they called the blind man, saying, "It's all right now, get up, he's calling you!"
At this he threw off his coat, jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
"What do you want me to do for you?" he asked him.
"Oh, Master, let me see again!"
"Go on your way then," returned Jesus, "your faith has healed you."
And he recovered his sight at once and followed Jesus along the road.
Luke 18:35-43 - Then, as he was approaching Jericho, it happened that there was a blind man sitting by the roadside, begging. He heard the crowd passing and enquired what it was all about. And they told him, "Jesus the man from Nazareth is going past you." So he shouted out, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!"
Those who were in front tried to hush his cries. But that made him call out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!"
So Jesus stood quite still and ordered the man to be brought to him. And when he was quite close, he said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?"
"Lord, make me see again," he cried.
"You can see again! Your faith has cured you," returned Jesus. And his sight was restored at once, and he followed Jesus, praising God. All the people who saw it thanked God too.
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The Last Week in Jerusalem - Spring c AD30
14.27 HEALING THE SEVERED EAR OF THE HIGH PRIEST'S SERVANT
Luke 22:49-51 - And the disciples, seeing what was going to happen (... Jesus was about to be arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane), cried, "Lord, shall we use our swords?"
And one of them did slash at the High Priest's servant (Malchus as reported in John 18:10), cutting off his right ear. But Jesus retorted, "That will do!"
And he touched his ear and healed him.
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J.B.Phillips, "The New Testament in Modern English", 1962 edition, published by HarperCollins, is presented here with the kind permission of Mrs Vera Phillips and the J.B.Phillips estate