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Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

|| Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:14

MT4:12 Now, having heard John [the Baptist] was arrested, Jesus retired into Galilee.[1] MT4:13 Leaving Nazareth[2] Jesus took up residence in Capernaum[3] by the sea in the districts of Zebulun[4] and Naphtali,[5] MT4:14 so that it might be fulfilled as it as spoken by Isaiah[6] the prophet, saying, MT4:15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, by the sea on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee[7] of the nations, MT4:16 those people[8] sitting in a region of death’s dark shadow saw a great Light rise upon them.” [Isaiah 9:1, 2] MT4:17 From that time[9] Jesus started preaching, saying, “Repent,[10] for the Realm of the heavens[11] has drawn near.”

Wooden longboat, Israel. 02.jpg

Wooden longboat in the large freshwater lake Sea of Chinneret (Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias) Sea of Galilee, Tiberias.

[1] Galilee: The place occurs 76 times in the Bible with the region first mentioned at Numbers 34:11 (Joshua 20:7). The fresh water “lake” is also called the Sea of Chinnereth (Numbers 34:11), the Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1), and the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1). Jesus begins his ministry here and essentially ends it also at Galilee (John 21:1, 4-19). The lake is green/blue 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. “The density of the shoals of fish in the Sea of Galilee can scarcely be conceived by those who have not witnessed them. Frequently these shoals cover an acre or more of the surface and the fish, as they slowly move along in masses, are so crowded, with their back fins just appearing on the level of the water, that the appearance at a little distance is that of a violent shower of rain pattering on the surface.” (The Natural History of the Bible, H. B. Tristram, 1889, p. 285) All of Jesus’ faithful apostles came from this area.

[2] Nazareth: Probably just after Luke 4:28-30.

[3] Capernaum: The name means “Comforting Place.” The place occurs 16 times in the Christian Bible. Mark 2:1 calls this Jesus’ “home.” (“his house”)

[4] Zebulun: The territory named after a son of Israel occurs 48 times in the Bible with the first at Genesis 30:20. Compare Psalm 68:27. The name means perhaps “Toleration” or “Lofty Abode.” Compare Revelation 7:8.

[5] Naphtali: The name means “My Wrestlings.” The territory named after a son of Israel occurs 55 times in the Bible with the first at Genesis 30:8. Compare Revelation 7:6.

[6] Isaiah: Isaiah 9:1, 2. The prophet Isaiah is named 22 times in the Christian Bible (Matthew, 6; Mark, 2; Luke, 2; John, 4; Acts, 3; Romans, 5). In addition to direct quotations there are many allusions which are subtle paraphrases (Compare John 5:29 with Isaiah 26:19 LXX).

[7] Galilee: A prophecy indicating where Messiah would begin his ministry. It is in this area where the Nazarene sees his greatest fruitage – the foundation of Christianity.

[8] Those people: Note Acts 1:11; 2:7. We have a great spiritual debt to these folks.

[9] From that time: About a year after John the Baptist began his own ministry.

[10] Repent: The first words of the “Gospel” in the mouth of Jesus. Repentance is part of the Lord’s Gospel.

[11] Realm of the heavens: Or, “kingdom of the heavens.” The meaning is two fold: a) the King is present; and, b) the opportunity to enter the Nazarene’s realm of profession by confessing him as Lord.

Capernaum, Sea of Galilee

Capernaum, Sea of Galilee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

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Additional reading

  1. Invitation for the Studyday about Isaiah Messenger of joy
  2. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  3. John 4 exhortation: The one that broke the mould
  4. Repentance and conversion are not milestones which we pass on the way of life and never see again
  5. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  6. Together tasting a great promisse
  7. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  8. Doest thou well to be Angry?

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Further reading

  1. Man’s true destiny
  2. My People Do Not Know
  3. The carnal mind – January 25, 2017
  4. We Have Sinned
  5. God’s Plumb Line
  6. Surrender
  7. Having Faith in God 
  8. Scripture at Sunrise 2.7.2017
  9. God’s Faithful Are Forever Blessed
  10. Only Jesus Will Give You Eternal Life
  11. Choose good over evil – February 01, 2017
  12. What is your goal in publishing Christian Pharisees?
  13. Our God is a Holy God
  14. Two Selves: One Cannot Be Improved, the Other is Perfect in Christ (Part 1)
  15. Repent
  16. “Repent and Believe in the Good News”
  17. Repentance is More than saying I’m Sorry
  18. Am I Wired To Repent?
  19. Embracing Repentance
  20. Hold Fast In The Lord and Repent
  21. Repent While You Can
  22. Guilt — Why won’t it go away?
  23. How Does One Repent?
  24. Ask The Lord To Cast Away Your Sins
  25. Jesus sends you out for your sake
  26. Living in the Light
  27. Why A Christian Should Not Say “This” To A Non-Christian – Part II
  28. Do You Really Love Jesus?
  29. Stones Into Bread
  30. 3rd Sunday After Epiphany, January 22, 2017
  31. Third Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Matthew 4:21-22
  32. 40 days
  33. 40 days and 40 nights
  34. Jesus Keeps Walking, God Keeps Moving
  35. Light to the Nations?
  36. Follow
  37. Follow Me
  38. Invited To Follow
  39. Immediate
  40. Repentance – Sermon on Matthew 4:12-23
  41. Jesus calls his first disciples
  42. Answering the Call (Mt 4:12-23)
  43. Called Together
  44. What Does ‘Fish for Men’ Mean?
  45. Are You Really Following?
  46. Faith & Fisherman
  47. Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

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Matthew 2:19-23 – Out of Egypt to Nazareth

Matthew 2:19-23 – Out of Egypt to Nazareth

MT2:19 Now when Herod finally deceased, look! an angel of YHWH appeared to Joseph in a dream while in Egypt, MT2:20 saying, “Get up and take along the young child and its mother and be on your way into the land of Israel, for those seeking the soul of the young child have died.” MT2:21 And so Joseph got up and took along the young child and its mother and entered the land of Israel. MT2:22 Joseph became afraid to depart when he heard that Archelaus[1] was reigning in Judea after Herod his father. But, after a divine warning in a dream Joseph finally withdrew into the area of Galilee.[2] MT2:23 Upon arriving Joseph[3] settled in a town called Nazareth so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled that [the young child] would be called a Nazarene.[4] [Isaiah 11:1]

[1] Archelaus: It means “ruler of the people.” (Jewish Antiquities, by F. Josephus, XVII, 194, 195 [viii, 2]).

[2] Galilee: The place name occurs 78 times in the Christian Bible and becomes the most productive area of Jesus’ ministry.

[3] Joseph: It is interesting in this account only Joseph is named and the object of attention, whereas Mary the mother of Jesus is not named.

[4] Called a Nazarene: There are several opinions on the meaning here. Some wish to parallel the word NAZORAIOS with the Hebrew Nazrite. Most see the meaning of Nazareth as “branch-town” (or, sprout-town) and so it is a play on the words root or branch applied to the Messiah. It is possible the name is from the Hebrew netser, meaning “sprout.” Compare Isaiah 11:1 and elsewhere. The word “Nazarene” becomes part of Jesus’ name. Even after his resurrection, and later appearance to Saul of Tarsus, Jesus identifies himself with the term “Nazarene.” Even the demons called him Nazarene. The early Christians were first called by the opposers “Nazarenes.” See Matthew 26:71; Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67; 16:6; Luke 4:34; 18:37; 24:19; John 18:5, 7; 19:19; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 22:8; 24:5; 26:9. Surely Jesus was, indeed, called a Nazarene.

Mark Heber Miller 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM] or Nazarene Commentary, 2000©

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Additional BS notes:

HerodtheGreat2.jpg

Herod the Great (74/73 BCE – 4 BCE), Roman client king of Judea

Herod born around 74 BCE in Idumea, south of Judea, had been apointed governor of Galilee at 25, and his elder brother, Phasael, governor of Jerusalem, by his father Antipater the Idumaean. He had captured Jerusalem and executed Antigonus. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus (Βασιλεύς, “king”) for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. He was granted the title of “King of Judea” by the Roman Senate, and took on an authoritarian attitude, having a secret police to keep everything under control.

Herod was responsible for the construction of the palace of Masada and the rebuilding of the temple on Temple Mount, a portion of which remains today as the Western Wall and re-established the Sanhedrin. In addition, Herod also built the harbor at Caesarea.

In the attempt to destroy the infant Jesus children of Bethlehem “from two years old and under,” were killed by his order. The Innocents have been venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times. In the Eastern Church they are known as the Holy Children. The remembrance of this Infanticide in Bethlehem, venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times, are known in the Eastern Church as the Holy Children, , in Belgium known as “Onnozele kinderen” (Innocent children) is celebrated on Holy Innocents’ Day, December 28, in England known as Holy Innocents formerly remembered on Childermas, celebrated in Spain and parts of Latin America in a similar way to April Fools’ Day.

Herod the Great divided his kingdom among his sons Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Philip. Archelaus (d. after 6 CE) ruled Palestine south of the Vale of Jezreel from 4 BCE to 6 CE; he was removed by Augustus after complaints by the Jews. Herod Antipas (d. after 39 CE), tetrarch of Galilee (4 BCE–39 CE) and Peraea, repudiated his wife, daughter of Aretas, to marry his niece Herodias, wife of his half-brother Herod Philip, whom she divorced to marry Herod Antipas and was the Herod who executed John the Baptist and who was ruling at the time of Jesus’ death.

Herod the Great disregarded many of the demands the Pharisees for the construction of the temple, which caught their anger. Simultaneously, the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, were opposed to Herod because he replaced the high priests with priests from Babylonia and Alexandria (in an attempt to gain support from Jews in the diaspora).

At the end of Herod’s reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common feelings amongst the Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence (such as riots) followed Herod’s death (4 BCE), in many cities including Jerusalem. All the grievances the Jews had toward Herod’s actions during his reign, such as heavy taxes and violating the rules, built up during the years before he died. Because of the treatment the Jews were receiving, they were ready to break free from Roman Rule. Herod’s leadership sparked such anger, that eventually it became one of the causes driving the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.

The Division of Herod’s Kingdom:Light green Tetrarchy (Judea) under Herod Archelaus,

Mauve Territory under Herod Antipas

Orange Territory under Herod Philip II

Grey Salome I (cities of Jabneh, Azotas, Phaesalis)

Dark green Roman province of Syria

Yelow Autonomous cities (Decapolis)

There’s no pre-birth travel involved for Joseph and Mary, and indeed the elaborate story of Archelaus’ rule over Judaea is later told to explain why the couple went to Nazareth. Joseph heard that Archelaus ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea (biblical Edom) from 4 BC to 6 CE, the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I had come to power after the death of his father, Herod the Great.

Herod Archelaus from Guillaume Rouillé’s Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum (16th century depiction)

Archelaus appeared to be kind to the populace in Jerusalem in order to appease their desires for lower taxes and an end to the (political) imprisonment of Herod’s enemies. Archelaus acted in every manner a King, before such title had been given by Caesar. He thought of himself highly and is said to have committed suicide after being banished. Archelaus received the Tetrarchy of Judea last will of his father, though a previous will had bequeathed it to his brother Antipas. He was proclaimed king by the army, but declined to assume the title until he had submitted his claims to Caesar Augustus in Rome. In Rome he was opposed by Antipas and by many of the Jews, who feared his cruelty, based on the murder of 3000; but in 4 BCE Augustus allotted to him the greater part of the kingdom (Samaria, Judea, and Idumea) with the title of ethnarch (not king).

Archelaus held, in honour of Zeus, nine days of games in Dion, a small Macedonian village on the slopes of Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus, in Greek mythology, was the home of the gods. While Archelaus’ games were not the famed Olympics, they are an example of the value the ancient Greeks placed on the connections between body, mind and spirit.

Dynasty of herod

Dynasty of herod (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categorie:Afbeelding stamboom Categorie:Afbeel...

Vrouwen en kinderen van Herodes de Grote) – Women and children of Herod the great (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  12. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  13. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  14. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  15. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  16. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  20. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  21. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  22. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  23. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

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Additional reading:

  1. On the Nature of Christ
  2. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  3. Counterfeit Gospels
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  6. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  7. Entry to Herodian Hilltop Palace unearthed

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Further related articles:

  1. Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans
  2. Herod Family and Pilate
  3. Herod dynasty reigning in Palestine at the time of Jesus
  4. Away in a Manger
  5. The Flight to Egypt; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
  6. Herod’s Opinion of Jesus
  7. Herod’s Opinion of Jesus; Luke 9:7-9
  8. Simply Irresistible: Augustus, Herod, and the Empire
  9. Unearthed after 2,000 Years, the Tomb of Herod
  10. Historians, Fans Defend the ‘Real King Herod’
  11. Trip through Time / Merciless Ruler with a Grand Vision: Herod the Great…
  12. Caesarea Mazaca
  13. Spiritualism of the Games
  14. Jesus and the Village Scribes: Galilean Conflicts and the Setting of Q
  15. Reflections Today; Herod’s Opinion of Jesus; the Death of John the…
  16. 2,000-year-old Palace Entryway Found in Judea

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  • Gateway to King Herod’s palace unearthed by archaeologists (ibtimes.co.uk)
    The entrance to King Herod’s 2,000-year-old palace has been discovered in Israel.

    Archaeologists have uncovered the colossal arched corridor leading to a magnificent entrance hall covered with frescoes during excavations at Herodium.

    The main feature is a 20-metre-high royal corridor with a complex system of arches, which would have allowed the king and his entourage direct passage into the palace courtyard.

    The Herodian Hilltop Palace, 10 miles south of Jerusalem, was built to celebrate Herod’s victory over the Parthian Empire from what is now modern-day Iran, according to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    The excavations also found evidence of the vestibule occupied by Jewish rebels during the Great Revolt of 66CE-71CE. The arched corridor contained hidden tunnels dug by rebels from the second century CE as they conducted guerilla war against the Romans.

  • Jesus or Herod? (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com) > Jesus Or Herod?
    In Matthew’s second chapter, we see that Jesus’ birth creates a conflict about who is King. It was in the time period of the reign of Herod the Great. Herod endowed his realm with massive fortresses and splendid cities, as well as a new Temple.
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    Consider what has become of these two kings. Herod the Great is dead and his rule is over. Conversely, Jesus is alive and well; sitting at the right hand of God. The Bethlehem child rules “over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:33 ESV) Men love to play God, but it is Jesus Christ who reigns.
  • today’s birthday: Jesus (c. 4 BCE) (euzicasa.wordpress.com)
    The primary sources for the life and teachings of Jesus—the central figure of Christianity—are the Gospels, but references to his life also appear in the works of non-Christian writers of antiquity, including Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, and Josephus. Most scholars agree that Jesus was born just before the death of King Herod the Great in 4 BCE.
  • A Christmas Wish For Leah (todaysanewday.wordpress.com)
  • Archaeologists Unearth Spectacular Entryway to Herod the Great’s Palace in Israel (spd.rss.ac)
    Towards the end of last week, archaeologists in Israel announced the discovery of a spectacular entryway to King Herod the Great’s palace not far from the city of Jerusalem.
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    What’s interesting is that, by the looks of it, this entryway was never used by King Herod the Great or his subjects. On the contrary, researchers say that Herod ordered workers to backfill it when he decided to turn the complex into a royal burial monument and memorial mound.
  • Herodium: The Palace and Tomb of King Herod (amusingplanet.com)
    Located 12 km south of Jerusalem, in the Judean desert, Herodium looks like an extinct volcano, but it really is a fort built by King Herod the Great between 23 and 15 BC. King Herod’s palace and fortress was built atop a natural hill, raised to a greater height by heaping earth around the walls, creating a cone-shaped mountain. The complex was surrounded by double walls seven stories high, within which Herod built a palace that included halls, courtyards and opulent bathhouses. At the base of the fortress was an impressive royal compound with magnificent gardens. A special aqueduct brought water to the desert from the area of Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem. Being the highest peak in the Judean desert, Herodium commanded a breath taking view, overlooking the desert with the mountains of Moab to the east, and the Judean Hills to the west.

    herodium-10

  • Archaeologists Find Royal Entryway To King Herod’s Hilltop Palace (io9.com)
    According to the archaeologists who discovered Heordium’s royal entryway, it is “an impressive corridor with a complex system of arches spanning its width on three separate levels.” The entrance led to a vestibule covered with elaborate, painted frescoes, while the arches buttressed the corridor’s massive sidewalls, permitting King Herod and his entourage direct passage into the palace’s courtyard. The 65-foot-long and 20-foot wide corridor has been preserved to a height of 65 feet by the entryway’s supporting arches.
  • CiF Watch prompts correction to Indy claim that Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site (cifwatch.com)
    We noted that the Temple Mount (where the First and Second Jewish Temples stood) is in fact the holiest site, while the Western Wall is merely the holiest site where Jews are currently allowed to pray.
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    revised indy
  • 2,000-year-old Palace Entryway Found in Judea (israelnationalnews.com)
    By unearthing the corridor entryway, the original Palace vestibule was also exposed in all its glory, replete with painted frescoes. Also found was evidence, such as Jewish Revolt coinage and temporary structures, testifying to how Jews fighting the cruel Roman occupation in the Great Revolt (66-71 CE) used the site.

    Evidence of a later rebellion was also found in the corridor, in the form of hidden tunnels dug on the site during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135/6 CE) by Jewish rebels as part of their guerilla warfare against the Romans.

    These tunnels, which were partially supported by wooden beams, exited the fortress through the walls in openings hidden in the corridor.

    Shaul Goldstein, Director of Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, said that in the future the corridor will be used to allow visitors to directly access the Herodium palace-fortress in the same way Herod entered it around 2,000 years ago.

  • Despite the Headlines, It Is Safe to Visit Israel! (theoslotimes.com)
    Built on a rocky base that had previously served the Hasmoneans and Herod the Great, the Ottoman walls remain solid even today. Walking atop the ramparts one overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem, holy to three of the world’s major religions, and on the other side, the busy, modern thoroughfares.

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

LK2:41 Now each year [Jesus’] parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. LK2:42 So when Jesus was twelve years old[1] he went up with them according to the custom of the festival. LK2:43 After fulfilling the days [of the festival][2] [the parents] returned but the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem. His parents were unaware of this, LK2:44 thinking him to be in the traveling group. Then after a day’s journey they went looking for Jesus among their relatives and friends. LK2:45 But they did not find him so they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. LK2:46 Then after [looking] three days[3] they finally found Jesus sitting among the [Jewish] teachers in the temple [courtyard]. Jesus was listening to the teachers and asking them questions.[4] LK2:47 Everyone listening was amazed at his comprehension and the answers he gave. LK2:48 When his parents saw him they were astonished and then his mother said to him: “Son, why did you do this to us?[5] Look, your father and I were in a lot of pain[6] searching for you!” LK2:49 Then Jesus said to his parents: “Did you not realize that I would be in my Father’s House?”[7] LK2:50 But, his parents did not understand[8] this statement he made to them.

Luke 2:51-52 – Jesus continued to be in subjection to his parents

LK2:51 Then he descended with them and they all arrived in Nazareth and there Jesus continued to be in subjection[9] to his parents. His mother treasured all of these things in her heart.[10] LK2:52 And Jesus continued to increase in wisdom and physical growth[11] and in favor with God and people.[12]


[1] Twelve years old: It is possible Jesus had turned twelve in the fall around October for it is now spring.

[2] Fulfilling the days [of the festival]: Eight days.

[3] Three days: Missing four days, it is interesting these Jewish parents did not think of the temple first.

[4] Jesus was listening to the teachers and asking them questions: Nothing here tells us Jesus was teaching these rabbis. He was “listening” and asking questions. At the age of twelve the Jewish boy became a “Son of the Covenant.” The next phrase shows Jesus answered their questions well and this impressed those listening.

[5] Son, why did you do this to us: Or, Child; TCN: treated us like this. A mother’s question. We note it is not Joseph who speaks. It is interesting that such an intelligent lad did not make some provision for telling his parents. Perhaps he knew had he asked they would not have given their permission.

[6] In a lot of pain: Or, anxious, distress, anguish. Though it is known Jesus had four brothers and at least two sisters, nothing is mentioned about them here.

[7] In my Father’s House: Or, business. The Greek is only “things” and so does not refer at all to the Jewish temple proper. There were several courtyards in the compound of Herod’s temple. A woman was not permitted in the Court of Israel where only men worshipped God. It is likely they were all in an outer courtyard. The word “house” is used of the tabernacle of Moses and the temples that followed. [Psalm 26:8; 27:4]

[8] Did not understand: This was a common reaction to things Jesus said, including his own later disciples. To Bible readers looking at matters in retrospect the failure to understand is surprising. The use of the word “Father” was very rare in the context of God. The Hebrew Bible uses the word “father” over a thousand times, but in all of these only about a dozen refer to God and most of these are in a Messianic context.

[9] Jesus continued to be in subjection: Or, NEB: under their authority; TCN: submitted himself to their control; MON: always obedient. If Jesus were to observe the Law of Moses perfectly then he would also keep the Commandment to honor his parents. [Ephesians 6:1, 2]

[10] His mother treasured all of these things in her heart: Or, KNX: kept in her heart the memory all that had occurred. Luke has a firsthand source in Jesus’ mother and his brothers and sisters. We can see the good doctor listening intently as these and others related their experiences with Jesus.

[11] Wisdom and physical growth: Or, stature. The “missing” eighteen years of Jesus life will one day be a fascinating read. We learn from this phrase two important things: a] Jesus continued to grow in that “wisdom” found in the Hebrew Bible [Proverbs 1-3]; and, b] Jesus experienced growing up throughout his teenage years through his twenties as a Jewish lad in a small village under the occupation of the Roman world, influenced considerably by Greek heritage. Jerusalem was right in the center of the great trade routes of the ancient world. For an eager and brilliant mind there was much to stimulate a growing youth. At some point Joseph dies and likely Jesus becomes something of the family head as the oldest son. He learns much about motherhood, womanhood, growing children, Jewish rituals, neighbors good and bad, Roman occupation, Greek culture, providing a livelihood for a large family, and the need to find solitude.

[12] In favor with God and people: Jesus not only learned but he increased in God’s favor [approval, blessing, love] indicating he was certainly not God Himself. How does one increase in God’s favor? By ever increasing faith demonstrated by a love for God’s Word and fellowship with His people. We can imagine a young man who the local people could not commend enough. He was not a selfish, egotistical, self-centered carpenter in Nazareth. Jesus learned how to get along with his neighbors, how to keep quiet and not express an opinion when it would accomplish nothing. He was no young upstart who irritated the elders of the community. He was liked by everyone and his reputation was flawless in his community. Everyone knew that the young carpenter did excellent work and asked a fair price. Later Paul will put it: “He learned obedience from the things he suffered.” [Hebrews 5:8]

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Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows

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File:Giovanni di Paolo - Infant Christ Disputing in the Temple.jpg

  • Jesus the Messiah celebrated the festival of Hanukkah (ivarfjeld.com)
    Could the Messiah have been born around the Feast of Tabernacles in October?

    It would be easy for the Roman Occupiers of this land, to arrange for a census in Jerusalem when millions of Jews came home to their own native village. Most of the ancient Biblical villages were located around Mount Zion, the city of Jerusalem, a day walk away or so. Even Jesus the Messiah, was dedicated in the Temple, shortly after His birth.

    It would be wise to arrange for a census when Jews celebrated a feast. It would be difficult to force Jews to travel around 25th of December, when there is no Jewish feast. And cold winds, and even snow are the normal climate, on the 700 meters high Mountains of Zion.

    Catholicism is fraud. It was fraud in 325 A.D, and it is fraud today.

    Celebrate the birth of Jesus the Messiah every day, and reject all kinds of paganism arranged for in his name. If you want to celebrate the birth of Messiah on 25th of December, at least be aware of who started this celebration. It was not the Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but rather the pagan papacy.

  • 2014 Scripture Reading Plan – Week of January 12, 2014 (bishopbillmcalilly.com)
    Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?”
  • Was Jesus a prophet like Moses? (dailyminyan.com)
    Moses was born to normal human parents, while Jesus was born to a virgin who was made pregnant by G-d while betrothed to a man. That’s very unlike Moses, a mortal human being who had to overcome his weaknesses to submit himself to G-d, and was not a “100% G-d and 100% man” sinless superman capable of amazing feats. While Jesus also called himself a prophet (Luke 4:24), in the Hebrew Bible G-d always used normal, often flawed human beings to be prophets to His people. G-d never acted as His own prophet and servant to Himself.
  • The Reason Jesus Could Overcome All Trials and Death (asicansee.wordpress.com)
    Jesus is a man who lived having given up all the earthly hopes people normally cherish from the time of his youth. We must know that Jesus lived from early on with a hope for which he could forsake his family, his environment, his religious denomination, and even his nation. He had a firm belief and hope in Heaven that no one could change. The hope that he cherished in his young mind was an immutable, thorough-going one with which he could withstand whatever difficulties he might encounter. Therefore, we must remember once again that Jesus ran the path he had to take with unflagging perseverance.

    Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem with his parents when he was twelve. His parents came back first, and Jesus remained there. When his parents came looking for him later, Jesus scolded them, saying, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) We must know that Jesus cherished hope only for the Father.
    +
    Even though he raised twelve disciples, Jesus was pursued here and there. However, the more he was pursued and the more people were unable to understand his heart, the more ardently he thought about the Father’s nation and the Father’s heart. Although many battles and difficulties knocked against him, they could not crush Jesus’ perennial hope.

  • O’Neill-Fitzgerald “Christ Myth” Debate, #8: Why should anyone have noticed Jesus? (vridar.org)
    Tim O’Neill (TO) repeats, and repeats again and again in both 2011 and 2013, another common apologist mantra in his review of David Fitzgerald’s Nailed: Why would any Greek or Roman or even Jewish author have even noticed Jesus, let alone have bothered to write about him? After all, Jesus was just another nobody Jewish peasant and miracle worker — they were a dime a dozen — and this one was, even worse, in the “backblocks of Galilee”. Why, no-one apart from Josephus even mentions much more politically significant Jewish figures (various Jewish rebels) — (not true, as we saw in an earlier post) — so why would a Jewish peasant who didn’t even lead an armed rebellion against Rome have attracted any notice?
  • Carissimi: Sunday’s Mass; [Day VII] in the Octave of the Epiphany (frjeromeosjv.wordpress.com)
    “Sitting in the midst of the doctors who” were astonished at His wisdom and answers. Moreover since, “as God hath delivered to everyone the measure of Faith”, (Epistle) Christian souls form but “one body in Christ” (Epistle), they ought to be penetrated with the wisdom of Him who far from “conforming himself to the maxims of this world,” reforms “and rules human life according to the will of God” (Epistle).
    +
    “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” said the young boy Jesus. This wholly supernatural wisdom whose guiding principles exceed, without destroying those of the natural order, is beyond our unaided powers.
  • Article Of Faith: Women In The Ministry Of Jesus, by Femi Aribisala (naijaobserver.wordpress.com)
    The religious elite forbade the teaching of the scriptures to women. However, Jesus did not abide by this sexual discrimination. He taught Mary of Bethany and commended her scholarship to her sister, Martha; who was more inclined to perform the conventional female tasks of cooking and serving. He said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42).
  • Breaking Down Barriers (plowsharesfromwords.wordpress.com)
    If today you were to visit Jerusalem you would find a massive Islamic building called the Dome of the Rock. This golden roofed structure sits atop of what used to be the center of the covenant between God and God’s chosen people, Israel. Starting with Solomon, the 3rd king of Israel, the Temple in Jerusalem became the place where God descended and dwelt. Solomon’s Temple was a particularly massive project. The Holy of Holies (the place where the LORD’s presence would dwell) was made of 600 talents of gold. A talent equals roughly 75 pounds. That means that there was over 45,000 pounds of gold (almost 23 tons) in the Holy of Holies. The Temple was 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The height of the ceiling would make a claustrophobic happy…it was 45 feet high. Truly, Solomon constructed one of the great buildings of his time. However, Solomon’s Temple would be destroyed and rebuilt. It lost its grandeur in the rebuilding.
  • We can not see where Friday: Dec. 27 (prayerscapes.wordpress.com) gets the connection in this part of Scripture that “Jesus establishes that Christmas is about family”? The festival spoken of in this chapter is not at all about the 25th of December, the birthday of the goddess of light, but is about the people getting saved from the slavery of Egypt.
  • Following The Way: 3 ~ Jesus Did It And So Can You (butterfliesdragonspeace.blogspot.com)
    Jesus learned how to focus his mind completely on the task at hand. Perhaps he began to develop this skill in his fathers carpentry shop. A slip with an adze, chisel, saw, or other sharp wood working tool can be fatal. However he started to develop single mindedness he perfected it in the act of prayer. Prayer so deep and powerful it should properly be called meditation. His fourty days in the desert, the multiple times he is recorded as going to mountains to be alone and pray, his abilities to focus his energy for healing all shout out ‘single minded’ concentration.

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows

Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows

 

LK2:39 Now when everything had been fulfilled according to YHWH’s law they returned to the village of Nazareth in Galilee. LK2:40 And so the child continued to grow stronger and stronger being filled with wisdom, and God’s unmerited favor was upon him.[1]

 


[1] God’s unmerited favor was upon him: It is clear the young boy Jesus was not God. Luke does not deal with the flight to Egypt as other Gospels cover this history.

+

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

+++

St Luke's Infancy Narratives

St Luke’s Infancy Narratives (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

 

  • Cheap grace…what??? (melwild.wordpress.com)
    What muddies the proverbial waters is that when we define grace as “unmerited favor,”  it can be construed by the less faithful as God excusing our behavior.
    +
    Jesus came in the power of God and truth. Peter tells us to grow in the power of God to live in the divine life (2 Pet.1:2-3; 3:18).
    +
    In fact, grace is not about our behavior–about sinning or not sinning–it’s about the power of a New Creation (2 Cor.5:17-21; Gal.6:15).
  • Incredible – God introduced the Law (commandments) that sin might increase (chixyfied.wordpress.com)
    God fore knew that man could never keep the law based on man’s own efforts, so at the fullness of the law era, he brought in Grace where righteousness shall not be placed on man but on God himself
  • Nativity fiction (chechar.wordpress.com)
    we have a fascinating picture of four separate Christian communities in the first century. Two of them, Jewish-Christian, were determined to have a messiah with Davidic ancestry and constructed genealogies to prove it, never dreaming that Jesus could be thought of as having no human father.But gentile Christians in the first century, who came into the new religion directly from paganism and were already infected with myths about licentious deities, had a much different understanding of what divine paternity meant. Plutarch speaks for the entire pagan world when he writes, in Convivial Disputations, “The fact of the intercourse of a male with mortal women is conceded by all,” though he admits that such relations might be spiritual, not carnal. Such mythology came with pagans converted to Christianity, and by the middle of the first century, Joseph’s paternity of Jesus was being replaced by God’s all over the gentile world.
    +
    Whereas Matthew has the Holy Family living in Bethlehem at the time of the birth and traveling to Nazareth, Luke has them living in Nazareth and traveling to Bethlehem in the very last stages of Mary’s pregnancy. Though Luke 1:5 dates the birth of Jesus in the “days of Herod, king of Judaea,” who died in 4 B.C., he wants the journey from Galilee to Bethlehem to have occurred in response to a census called when “Quirinius was governor of Syria.”

 

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Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

LK1:26 Now in Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the village of Galilee called Nazareth, LK1:27 to a virgin[1] [Isaiah 7:14] promised in marriage to a man named Joseph of David’s House. And the name of the virgin was Mary.[2] LK1:28 Approaching Mary, Gabriel said to her: “Greetings, favored one! The LORD is with you!” LK1:29 At this statement Mary was very puzzled and kept wondering what this greeting meant. LK1:30 Then the angel Gabriel said to Mary: “Do not be frightened, Mary, for you have found favor with God. LK1:31 And, behold, you will conceive in your womb and will give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus.[3] LK1:32 He will become a renowned person[4] and will be called a son of the Most High.[5] [Psalm 82:6] YHWH The God[6] will give to him David’s throne,[7] [Isaiah 9:7] LK1:33 and he will reign over Jacob’s House throughout the Ages. There will never be an end to his kingdom.” [Daniel 2:44] LK1:34 But in response Mary said to the angel Gabriel: “How can this be[8] since I have never known a man?” LK1:35 So the angel answered her: “Holy Pneuma[9] will come over you and the Most High’s power will overshadow you. As a result the One to be born will be also called Holy, God’s Son.[10] [Psalm 89:26] LK1:36 Now, look, your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age and this is now the sixth month of her so-called barrenness. LK1:37 For no message from God is impossible.”[11] [Genesis 18:14] LK1:38 Then Mary said: “Look, YHWH’s slave![12] May it all take place with me just as you say!” And the angel Gabriel left her.


[1] Virgin: Possibly borrowed from Isaiah 7:14 where a PARTHENON is foretold. For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew 1:23.

[2] Mary: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[3] Jesus: The traditional form of the Greek IESOUS here. The Hebrew form is Yeshua {BS note: contemporary writing in many languages: Jeshua} and means “Yehowah is Salvation.” It is the same as the name Joshua. Some argue over the exact form. Accents in pronunciation of foreign languages persist no matter the tongue. It seems unreasonable to many that God would insist every word translated from the Hebrew Bible must be spoken in a Hebrew accent. Even the accents of Jews differed in the 1st Century just as they do in English and Spanish in different places.

[4] Renowned person: Or, great.

[5] A son of the Most High: Or, [the] Most High’s Son, Son of the Highest, Son of the Most High. The Greek is HUIOS YPSISTOU with the article. Compare a similar phrase at Psalm 82:6.

[6] YHWH The God: The Greek is KYRIOS HO THEOS without the article and may indicate the Tetragram originally occurred here.

[7] David’s throne: An echo of Isaiah 9:7. Compare also 2 Samuel 7:12; Psalm 132:11; Jeremiah 23:5.

[8] How can this be: Note Mary is not rebuked for her question while Zechariah was.

[9] Holy Pneuma: Or, holy spirit. Note the Pneuma is paralleled with God’s “power.” For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Holy Pneuma; compare 1 Corinthians 2:16.

[10] God’s Son: Or, the Son of God. The Greek is HUIOS THEOU with the article. Compare Psalm 2:7; 89:26.

[11] For no message from God is impossible: Or, word, declaration. It echoes Genesis 18:14. [Psalm 115:3]

[12] YHWH’s slave: Or, handmaid. The Greek is DOULE KYRIOU.

+

Preceding articles:

Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:39-45 – Mary Visits Elizabeth

+++

File:Piero della Francesca 002.jpg

Fresco cycle of the “Legend of the Holy Cross” in the choir of San Francesco in Arezzo. Detail: Annunciation – Piero della Francesca (1420–1492) – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002.

  • Mary and the Angel Gabriel (ts4jc.wordpress.com)
    while the responsibility that Mary was facing was indeed daunting, while the questions about her reputation and the reaction of Joseph indeed induced anxiety, she also felt the joy and humble gratitude that God had chosen her to be the one to have the honor of giving birth to the long-awaited Messiah. This, along with the encouragement of Gabriel and later Elizabeth, were gifts from God that helped her bear the burden. The revelation by dream to Joseph about how the child was conceived added the final and perhaps most necessary support, for Joseph would now provide for their everyday needs and social covering.
    +
    Mary is betrothed to Joseph and has pledged herself to him. To break any vow under Mosaic Law is serious sin. Since betrothal was more than our engagement, it was the preliminary part of the marriage process, to break that vow was doubly serious. Legally, only the husband could break it by a bill of divorce, and the wife’s parents could insist on him paying a fine for doing so.
    +
    While the KJV translates that as “virgin” in four of the seven times it appears in the Old Testament, the other three times it is translated as “maid” or “damsel”: in other words any young woman who has reached marriageable age, or even one who is newly married. Apparently, it is the latter meaning that most Jews give to this verse.Therefore Mary would not have expected the angel’s answer, that the child would be born of the Holy Spirit. To her the only answers appear to violate the Law or at least do something unconventional. At best, perhaps the answer she was hoping for, Joseph would have to agree to shorten the betrothal period and move up the marriage. However, to many people, that would still be scandalous, for what other reason to do so besides Mary’s obvious pregnancy in a few months?
  • An Angel named Gabriel. (amylwestdavidson.wordpress.com)
    Mary must have been a young woman of incredible faith. I once heard that we don’t know for sure that Mary was the first young girl that God had picked as the mother of Jesus, she may have just been the first one that accepted what God had asked. Just a teenager, engaged to be married, and given a message directly from God. From an angel.Far too often, we don’t hear when God is speaking to us. We are all sent messages from him, we need to learn to listen. The message might not be as world-changing- or even life-changing – as the message Mary got that day, but if God is trying to talk to us, we should listen.
  • Angels Spoke to Mary and Joseph (ccwckidology.wordpress.com)
    Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy and decided to divorce her quietly, but an angel visited Joseph and encouraged him to follow God’s plan and let the marriage take place as planned. God’s plan was far greater than Joseph’s plan.What were Mary and Joseph’s roles in God’s plan? God had chosen Mary and Joseph to be the earthly parents of Jesus. The baby Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah in Isaiah 7:14. This was one of many Old Testament prophecies which Jesus fulfilled.
  • A Christmas Story – Day #1 – Isaiah 40:1-11 And Luke 1:26-38 (tomhuff.wordpress.com)
    3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
    4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
    5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
  • Messianic Prophecies (frommyheart2u.wordpress.com)

    Following her initial fear and reasoning she made that profound statement of surrender, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” She was not only fully surrendered to the will of God, but she was ready also! Was not her’s the attitude every true child of God should have at all times?  Approximately 33 years later, her Son would utter a similar prayer “Father not my will but Thy will be done.”  Let’s unify the two and pray today, ” Be it unto me according to Thy word, not  my will, but Thy will be done.”

  • Mary Did You Know? (devotionsinmotion.wordpress.com)
    remember Zechariah was rendered speechless for questioning Gabriel’s message from God.  I find it interesting; Mary asked the same question as Zechariah.  How can this be?  Zechariah and Elizabeth were old.  Mary was a virgin.  Both life altering decrees were impossible apart from a miracle.  The priest was dumb struck and the girl was given an explanation.  Doesn’t it make you wonder why Zechariah was dealt with so severely and Mary was given such grace?  Did it have to do with the fact that Zechariah had walked and talked with God for so long, and Mary was so young? God knows how He must deal with each of His children.  He allows whatever will bring the most glory to Him.
  • An Angel’s Conversation (heartstreamssinglesandmarried.wordpress.com)
    before she was formed in the womb Yahweh knew her and she has been carved and purposed for this end, she is just beginning to know It, but it wasn’t a secret to all of us who serves the father directly on the throne
    +”we often guide men to whom they will marry , since heaven has a plan for every of their marriages but you know them, the fall has complicate things, they all choose whomsoever and how so ever, that is why so much chaos exist in their marriages “whaoh! But why can’t someone tell them about it” Lamented Felixa
  • Foretold & Fulfilled: A Youth Christmas Program (seelsorge40.com)
    The story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament. In fact, it goes back all the way before creation (Ephesians 1:4). Today’s youth program begins in the Garden of Eden, where right after the fall into sin, God reveals the first promise of the coming Savior to Adam (Genesis 3:15). We continue by hearing the promise of the Savior’s birth to Abraham (Genesis 12, 17, & 22), Moses (Deuteronomy 18), David (2 Samuel 7, Psalm 132), the Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, and Malachi), and Mary (Luke 1:26—38). We then behold the fulfillment of the promise with the birth of our Lord in Bethlehem (Luke 2). The program concludes with words from St. Paul from Acts 13, who declares the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises in Jesus.
  • The Events Surrounding the Birth of Christ (eternallysecure.wordpress.com)
    Before Jesus was to be born John the Baptist had to be born first. He would be the forerunner for Christ, the coming Messiah preaching a message of repentance. This is often overlooked during the Christmas season.

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen. #4 Volgelingen van Jezus

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen.

Volgelingen van Jezus.

Abraham is de rechtstreekse voorvader van het Judaisme. Vanuit dat jodendom kwamen de navolgers van Jezus, de zoon van Maria en Jozef, uit Nazareth, uit de stam van David.
Jezus zond Zijn discipelen uit en gaf hen de opdracht als broeders en zusters voor elkaar te zijn en elkaar aldus lief te hebben.

Tijdens Jezus zijn leven beginnen meerdere mensen zich reeds rond hun rabbijn te scharen en zich verenigd te voelen in een broederschap rond de Messias, de Beloofde Gezalfde.

Na Jezus dood verandert de wanhoop van Zijn volgelingen in geestesvervoering wanneer de Heilige Geest op hen neerdaalt. Nog meer dan voorheen durven zij zich verenigd voelen in een liefderijke christelijke gemeenschap. Overal ontstonden kleine groeperingen. Eerst werden zij aanschouwd als een sekte, die men de naam gaf De Weg. Vervolgens begon men de volgelingen van Christus Jezus gewoon Christenen noemen.

Icon of the Apostle Saint Peter, painted by Ni...

Ikoon van de Apostel Petrus, geschilderd door Nikolla, zoon van Onufri, 2° helft 16° Eeuw

“De apostelen en de broeders in Judea hoorden dat ook de heidenen het woord van God hadden aangenomen.” (Hnd 11:1 WV78) en de navolgers van hen die geloofden dat Jezus de Zoon van God was begonnen zich algemeen Broeders en Zusters van elkaar te noemen. De leden van de christelijke gemeente verheugen zich in een gemeenschappelijke geestelijke verhouding welke te vergelijken is met die van broers. Jezus noemde zijn discipelen broeders (Mt 25:40; 28:10; Jo 20:17). Hij legde krachtig de nadruk op deze verhouding, door te zeggen: „Al wie de wil doet van mijn Vader . . ., die is mijn broer en zuster en moeder” (Mt 12:48-50). Daarom moet men bloedverwanten minder liefhebben dan Christus en dient men hen zo nodig ter wille van hem te verlaten (Mt 10:37; 19:29; Lu 14:26). De ene broer kan de andere broer zelfs ter dood overleveren (Mr 13:12). Het begrip „broeder” strekt zich tot verder dan de directe metgezellen van Jezus uit, want ze omvat de hele gemeente van gelovigen (Mt 23:8; Heb 2:17), „de gehele gemeenschap van broeders”, „die het werk hebben dat bestaat in het getuigenis afleggen omtrent Jezus” (1Pe 2:17; 5:9; Opb 19:10). Zo’n gemeenschap van geestelijke broeders spreidt „broederlijke liefde” in de volledigste mate tentoon. (Ro 12:10; Heb 13:1).

Met Pinksteren sprak Petrus zijn toehoorders uit verre landen, onder wie zich ook proselieten bevonden, allen met „broeders” aan (Han 2:8-10, 29, 37). Soms werden in het bijzonder de mannelijke christelijke gelovigen als „broeders” aangeduid, terwijl de vrouwen „zusters” werden genoemd (1Kor 7:14, 15), maar in het algemeen werden gemengde groepen met de term „broeders” aangesproken en was deze uitdrukking niet alleen op mannen van toepassing (Han 1:15; Ro 1:13; 1Th 1:4). De term wordt in deze betekenis in alle geïnspireerde christelijke brieven gebruikt, op drie na (Titus, 2 Johannes, Judas), alsook in de werken van de schrijvers van de vroege kerk. De apostelen waarschuwden voor „valse broeders” die de gemeenten binnendrongen. (2Kor 11:26; Ga 2:4).

Al vroeg in de kerkgeschiedenis ontstonden er twistpunten en meningsverschillen die gingen resulteren in scheuringen en verschillende groeperingen in dat christelijk geloof.

Na drie eeuwen van vervolging hadden velen toe gegeven aan wereldse waarden en structuren. Door de eeuwen heen waren mythologiën en fylosofiën ook bij veel groeperingen binnen hun religie gedrongen. Tussen de Christenen begon er een machtsontplooiïng in de meer en meer georganiseerde Kerk van het Romeinse rijk.

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