46 – Feeds the Gentiles
Where: Syrian Desert, Decapolis
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From Zarephath Jesus traveled north to the great city of Sidon and then east over the mountains to the Hula Valley. He then turned south to the Hula swamp, then east past Dan and Panias (in the region of Caesarea Philippi), and south along the King’s highway to Bethsaida-Julias. There he found a messenger from Gergesa (sent by the man who had been freed of legion) inviting him to come and teach the people [after his encounter with the woman of faith in Zarephath, Jesus readily agreed]. So Jesus took a boat across the lake into the territory of the Decapolis [“Ten Cities”].
They left the boat in the harbor at Gergesa and walked up the road to the top of the bluffs to the east of the sea. From the top of the bluff Jesus could look back, to the west, and see the entire Sea of Galilee from the delta of the Jordan River in the north, past Tiberias, to the southern end of the lake.
This is the edge of the Syrian Desert. Here the people of Gergesa and Hippus, mostly Gentiles (who had heard of how Jesus had cast out of the demon Legion), could come “into the wilderness” to seek healing and to listen to Jesus.
From the surrounding area they brought people to Jesus to be healed. One particular man had a hearing impediment that had affected his speech. Once he could hear properly his speech pattern quickly corrected itself.
But Jesus’ primary concern was opening the spiritual ears, of the spiritually deaf Gentiles, to the coming of the Kingdom of God. And on the third day [afternoon, night, day, and evening = maybe 30 hours] many were giving glory to the God of Israel.
But the food supply was nearly depleted and Jesus wanted to see that they had been fed before they left for home. And thus, from seven loaves of bread, he fed 4000 men (plus women and children). Those who believed, and ate, were fed, and yet there were seven baskets full of leftovers. Now the Gentiles had “eaten” just as the Jews had “eaten” west of Magdala.
When his time was through Jesus led the disciples back to the boat and sailed west, across the sea, to the village of Magdala in the district of Dalmanutha.
No questions have been asked yet.