Third narrative

This third narrative centered around a variety of miracles and various comments to his disciples.  Jesus cured the leper before great crowds, but then told him to keep it a secret.  Then he cured the centurion’s paralyzed servant at Capernaum.  This Roman soldier understood the role of authority since he had faith.  Jesus chastised the failure of the sons of Abraham but healed the Roman centurion’s servant.

Jesus also cured other sick and possessed people, including Peter’s mother-in-law.  He thus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  He had some scribe followers, even though Jesus was homeless.  Was the death of a father enough to disrupt a disciple?  During a stormy boat ride, they woke up Jesus.  Thus, he responded by showing them his power by calming the storm.

Jesus cured the two possessed demoniacs who were calling out to him as the Son of God.  These demons wanted to be pigs, so that they died in the sea, jumping off a cliff.  However, the herdsmen in the city were upset so that the people asked Jesus to leave.

Jesus then went home and cured a paralytic.  Did Jesus blaspheme?  What was the difference between sin and sickness?  The people were amazed at his powers.  Jesus then called Matthew, the tax collector.  Jesus hung out with these tax collectors and sinners, so that the Pharisees complained.  Jesus responded by asking if well people needed doctors?  Then there was a citation from Hosea about mercy.

The Pharisees wanted to know why his disciples were not fasting, but the disciples of John the Baptist were.  Jesus explained that there would be no fasting while he, the bridegroom, was present.  You did not use old cloth to mend clothes or put new wine in old wineskins.

Then Jesus cured the woman with hemorrhages, because she was a woman of faith.  Then he cured the dead girl who was only sleeping.  He cured the two blind men because they were believers also.  He cured the mute person so that he could speak again.  The Pharisees questioned the power of Jesus.  However, Jesus had compassion for the sheep because there would be a need for many laborers at the harvest time.

Then Jesus began his apostolic talk to his disciples, in particular about the authority of the twelve disciples, with four major apostles.  Matthew then listed the twelve apostles that would be sent to the Jews and what their work was.  Jesus told them what to bring with them and where to stay.  He told them how to enter a house.  Those unhospitable towns who did not accept them would be punished.  These apostles should be like wise simple sheep.  When they would be persecuted, the Holy Spirit would speak through them.  They would be involved in family disputes and hated.  Both the teacher and his disciples would suffer, but they should not be afraid.  They should proclaim the message.  They were to worry about their souls, since they had more value than sparrows.  They should acknowledge Jesus whether in peace or with the sword.  Who was worthy of Jesus?  You had to pick up your cross and lose your life to find it.  Receive Jesus and be a prophet as the righteous disciple of Jesus.

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The invitation to repentance (Jer 3:12-3:13)

“Go!

Proclaim these words

Toward the north.

Say!

‘Return!

Faithless Israel!’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will not look on you in anger!

I am merciful!’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will not be angry forever.

Only acknowledge your guilt!

That you rebelled

Against Yahweh

Your God!

You scattered your favors

Among strangers

Under every green tree.

You have not obeyed my voice.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh then told Jeremiah to say these words to the northern tribes. Tell them to return. Yahweh was not going to be angry forever with them because he was merciful. They only had to acknowledge that they rebelled against Yahweh, their God. They had scattered their favors under every green oak tree in false worship. They had not obeyed the voice of Yahweh. The problem, of course, was that they had already been sent into captivity, nearly a century earlier.

The petition to the Father (Isa 63:15-63:16)

“Look down from heaven!

See!

From your holy habitation!

See!

From your glorious habitation!

Where is your zeal?

Where is your might?

Where is the yearning of your heart?

Where is your compassion?

They are withheld from me.

You are our Father.

Abraham does not know us.

Israel does not acknowledge us.

You!

Yahweh!

Are our Father!

Our Redeemer!

From of old is your name.”

The prophet wants to remind Yahweh, who is in his holy glorious heavenly dwelling, to look down on him. He questions him about his zeal and might as well as his heart and compassion. Why was Yahweh holding back from him? Yahweh was his father, even though Abraham and Jacob/Israel would not know and acknowledge him. Yahweh was his father and redeemer from the good old days.

Watch out sinners (Isa 33:13-33:14)

“Hear!

You who are far away!

What I have done!

You who are near!

Acknowledge my might!

The sinners in Zion

Are afraid.

Trembling has seized the godless.

‘Who among us can live

With the devouring fire?

Who among us can live

With these everlasting flames?’”

Isaiah has Yahweh ask the Israelites to listen, just as he had done. If they are far away, can they see what he has done? If they are near, then they should acknowledge Yahweh’s might. The sinners at Mount Zion are afraid. The godless are trembling. They seem to ask how they can live with this devouring fire and these everlasting flames.

Peace (Isa 26:12-26:13)

“O Yahweh!

You will ordain

Peace for us!

Indeed,

All that we have done,

You have done for us.

O Yahweh!

Our God!

Other lords besides you

Have ruled over us,

But we acknowledge

Your name alone.”

Now Isaiah and his friends were lucky that they had peace. Yahweh has helped them to do all the things that they have done. Although they have had other rulers and lords, they freely acknowledge the name of Yahweh alone.

Trust in Yahweh (Prov 3:5-3:8)

“Trust in Yahweh

With all your heart!

Do not rely on your own insight!

In all your ways

Acknowledge him.

He will make straight your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes!

Fear Yahweh!

Turn away from evil!

It will be healing to your flesh.

It will be refreshment to your body.”

At the heart of wisdom is trust in Yahweh. You are to trust God with your whole heart. Do not rely on yourself for insight. Acknowledge God in all ways. He will lead you down the right path. Do not pretend to be wise in your own eyes. Fear God. Turn away from evil. This is straight forward advice that will bring healing and refreshment to your body.

Worship Yahweh (Ps 96:7-96:9)

“Ascribe to Yahweh!

O families of the peoples!

Ascribe to Yahweh

Glory and strength!

Ascribe to Yahweh

The glory due his name!

Bring an offering!                                             

Come into his courts!

Worship Yahweh in holy splendor!

Tremble before him!

All the earth!”

This is a universal call for all people to worship Yahweh. They were to recognize his glory and his strength. They were to acknowledge the glory of his name. They were to bring offerings to the court of Yahweh with their best garments on them. All the earthly humans should tremble before him.