Why did God lead Joshua and the Israelites (Joshua 3) east of the Dead Sea, causing them to cross the Jordan River when it was at flood stage?
Why not lead them directly north along the well-worn highways of their day?
In this video, we explore this question and the lesson that emerges out of this event.
The Jordan River at the traditional site of Jesus' baptism. Photo was taken from the Israel side. The opposite bank of the Jordan River is the country of Jordan.
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Jesus stilling the sea (Mark 4:35-41) and the story of Jonah are intricately connected.
Join us this week as we explore the possible meanings of the phrase "Sign of Jonah" and the connections to Jesus and his ministry.
his video is a continuation of our series on the Sea of Galilee (part 1 and part 2).
In today's video, we take a second look at the story of Jesus "stilling" the storm but will do so by looking at the version from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 4:35-41).
As was mentioned in part 2 of this series, Jesus "stilling" the storm is an act that only God does throughout the Old Testament. This act's meaning is that the "authority of the Father" is being passed down to the Son. A counterpart for this story from the Old Testament is Psalm 107 - a Psalm of redemption. See Psalm 107:23-32.
We also begin to look at the next part of the story (Mark 5:1-20), where Jesus goes across the lake to heal a demon-possessed man.
Mark calls this the region of the "Gerasenes." This word presents a difficult interpretation for scholars. We will look at one possible meaning of what Mark was attempting to communicate.
Bargil Pixner - With Jesus Through Galilee, According to the Fifth Gospel
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One cultural aspect that is important for us to understand when reading our New Testament is the symbolism of the "Sea" that existed in the minds of the Israelites and other ancient Near East people groups.
The "sea" and the storms associated with it represent the abyss, the enemy of God, and the primordial chaos.
Once we understand that symbolism, we can see a deeper meaning in the actions of Jesus.
The question we ask in this lesson is, "Who has authority over the sea?"
The depiction of Jesus having authority over the sea communicates to us that the Father's authority has been passed down to the Son.
Resource for your library:
Ryken, Wilhoit, Longman - Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
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Scholars have noted how important the land is to understand Jesus' message.
A phrase was coined to describe the life-setting of the land as the "Fifth Gospel." Just as we have the other four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - the land itself becomes the “Fifth Gospel” and profoundly speaks to us.
In the series that follows, we will explore many of the biblical stories that take place in the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee.
In each study, we will pay particular attention to the context (location and audience) of where the event is happening.
When we consider the Biblical event's location and who the intended audience is, we can often gain a deeper understanding of God's message.
For more pictures from the Sea of Galilee click here
Reference Material to help build out your library:
Bargil Pixner - With Jesus Through Galilee: According to the Fifth Gospel (Thrift Books)
Bargil Pixner - Paths of the Messiah (Thrift Books)
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Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
- Ladder of Jacob
- Our Rabbi Jesus
- That the World May Know
- Early Jewish Writings
- Early Christian Writings
- Abarim Publications
- Hebrew 4 Christians
- Holy Land Photos
- Biblical Archaeology Society
- Ancient Hebrew Research Center
- First Fruits of Zion
- Jerusalem Perspective
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
- Flavius Josephus.org
- Bible Archaeology Report
- Hebrew Streams
- Biblical Resources