Get Washed Up

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you the first in a series of special Easter-related posts.

Imagine for a moment that you’re Jesus. You have one last meal with your disciples. What lesson do you want to leave them with and how will you teach it?

In describing the scene, one eyewitness began his account with these words:

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. (John 13:3)

“Be opened!”

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Jesus left the region of Tyre and traveled through the region of the Decapolis, a league of ten cities east of the Jordan River. Some people brought Jesus a man who was deaf and could barely talk and begged Jesus to heal him.

Jesus took the man aside, away from the crowd. Here’s what happened next:

“Good Answer!”

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Jesus was staying in a house near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman came to him, pleading, ”Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”

Jesus said nothing at first. His disciples came and urged him, “Tell her to go away — she’s bothering us with all her begging.”

Jesus then gave a rather provocative response:

Inside Out

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The religious leaders came to Jesus with a rather accusatory question:

“Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

The Bread of Life

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After Jesus miraculously fed the crowd, the people had lots of questions. Jesus’ mind-blowing answers led many to stop following him:

They asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

Job One

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After Jesus fed a huge crowd with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, people started to get more than a little curious about Him.

When he slipped away from the crowd, people began searching all over for him. When they finally found him on the other side of the lake, here’s what he said:

Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. (John 6:26-27)

That prompted a question:

Jesus Walks on Water

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Yesterday, we discussed how Jesus fed a hungry crowd of more than 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish.

Jesus dismissed the crowd and told the disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to Capernaum on the other side of the lake. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

Here’s what happened next: