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 failure of Jerusalem (Jer 6:16-6:19)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Stand at the crossroads!

Look!

Ask for the ancient paths!

Where does the good way lie?

Walk in it!

Find rest for your souls!’

But they said.

‘We will not walk in it.’

I raised up sentinels for you.

Saying.

‘Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!’

But they said.

‘We will not give heed.’

‘Therefore hear!

O nations!

Know!

O congregation!

What will happen to them?

Hear!

O earth!

I am going to bring disaster

On this people.

This is the fruit of their schemes.

Because they have not given heed

To my words.

As for my teaching,

They have rejected it.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, explains the failure of the people of Jerusalem. He wanted them to follow and walk on the ancient path of the good way, where they would find rest for their souls. However, they responded that they would not walk down this path. Then Yahweh sent sentinel prophets to sound the trumpet. However, once again they did not pay attention to this call to be on guard. Thus Yahweh announces to the world that disaster was going to come upon the people of Jerusalem. This was the result of their own schemes, since they did not listen to his words and teachings. Instead, they rejected the word of Yahweh.

 

Yahweh has helped me (Ps 92:10-92:11)

“But you have exalted my horn

Like that of the wild ox.

You have poured over me fresh oil.

My eyes have seen

The downfall of my enemies.

My ears have heard

The doom of my evil assailants.”

Luckily, this psalmist has been helped by Yahweh. His metaphorical horn of strength and honor has been lifted up like that of a strong wild ox. He has had fresh oil poured over him. His eyes have seen his enemies fall. His ears have heard the failure of his evil attackers.

The problem of the Ephraimites (Ps 78:9-78:11)

“The Ephraimites,

Armed with the bow,

Turned back on the day of battle.

They did not keep God’s covenant.

They refused to walk according to his law.

They forgot what he had done.

They forgot the miracles

That he had shown them.”

In a strange twist, Asaph, this psalmist, blames the failure of the Israelites on the Ephraimites, the descendents of Joseph. Within the biblical literature there does not appear to be mention of this specific incident. He seems to say that they would not fight. Interesting enough, this hints at the breakup between Judah and Israel, where the northern Israelites slowly became the Samaritans. Ephraim, the son of Joseph was one of the northern tribes that were not part of Judah. They did not keep God’s covenant. They refused to walk according to his laws. They seem to have forgotten all the miracles that God had done for them and the other Israelites.