34 – Proof Requested
Where: Gath-Hepher, Galilee
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As Jesus journeyed back toward Capernaum, the disciples were angry at the slander by the Pharisees in Besara, and so the heated discussion continued. Jesus heard doubt in their voices as the disciples discussed the events in Besara, and the effect of the slander angered him. Those vipers! Spreading their poison and assassinating the reputation of God’s Spirit! Driving people away before they can hear the word that can save them. On Judgment Day such people shall pay for any of the lives that were lost because of their poison!
To the disciples he explained something of what he was doing. ‘As you can see from the results, I am using God’s power to “tie up” Satan here in Galilee, before I move against him in Jerusalem.’ At this point in Jesus’ mission, while he was trying to establish momentum, any one who was not listening impeded the Kingdom [though later, when the movement of the Spirit was established, only those who actively opposed the Kingdom would impede the Kingdom].
Jesus and his followers passed Nazareth and stopped in Gath-Hepher [today]. Jesus told the people about the kind of choices that would be required of those that would enter the kingdom. Some of the people had overheard the disciples discussing what had happened in Besara and they wanted Jesus to give them a sign that he was, in fact, acting on behalf of God. ‘Prove to us that your power and authority is from God,’ they demanded.
But Jesus recalled to them Jonah, their town hero. Jonah was to deliver an ultimatum to the nation of Assyria. ‘Stop your evil and be saved, or be destroyed.’ No proof was to be offered by God to the people of Assyria. They must believe the messenger! And no proof was to be offered to the people of Gath-Hepher.
Even foreigners like the Queen of Sheba had faith in what she heard. ‘You folks need to listen to what I say and need to make a choice,’ Jesus said. ‘And when you make your choice, and the evil spirit is driven out, you must immediately replace it with the spirit of God or else the old one will return and it will be worse for you,’ Jesus told them.
The word had gotten back to Nazareth that Jesus was in Gath-Hepher, and the rumor spread that he was crazy. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and some of the family, came to take Jesus away. But when they arrived and wanted to interrupt what Jesus was doing, he encouraged his disciples to think of other believers as their new family.
In the morning, Jesus continued his journey.
No questions have been asked yet.