Chapter 26

Jesus of Galilee




"Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in Thy Name." This quotation from Psalm 89:12 was considered by many as a prophecy concerning the location of Jesus' transfiguration, as described in the previous chapter. The Bible gives no direct clue as to the identity of this mountain. Mount Hermon is located at some distance to the northeast of the Sea of Galilee, and Mount Tabor is not far from its southwestern shore.


On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain after their profound experience, they came to the other disciples who had remained below and saw a great crowd gathered about them while some scribes stood nearby arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Jesus, were greatly amazed and ran up to greet him. And he asked the Disciples, "What are you discussing with them?"


And one of the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I beg you to look upon my son, for he is my only child, and he is an epileptic, suffering terribly. For behold, he has a dumb spirit; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they were not able.


And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.


And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us."


And Jesus rebuked the man for saying "if": "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" He believed that Jesus could do this, but prayed that his faith might be made greater.


When Jesus saw that a crowd was running toward them, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead."


But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God. When he entered the house, his disciples came to him privately and asked, "Why could we not cast it out?" And he said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move hence to yonder place,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. However, this kind of entity rarely comes out except by prayer and fasting."


And while they were marveling at everything he did, he said to his disciples, "Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men." But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.


Going on from there, they avoided the towns, for Jesus needed some time to teach the disciples privately, preparing them for what was to come. He knew that soon they must depart for Jerusalem, and to endure many things, and they must be strengthened and established in the Truth.


The Children


And the people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them, perhaps out of concern for him for he was so beset by demands. But when Jesus saw this he was indignant, and he said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.


One day they were walking to Capernaum, and when they had entered the house, he asked them, "What were you discussing among yourselves on the way?" But they were embarrassed and remained silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. But Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts and said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all."


And he took a child and put him in the midst of them and taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives not me, but Him Who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great."


At another time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.


"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.


"Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.


"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father Who is in heaven.


"What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he find it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.


One day before they went up to Jerusalem, the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons James and John, and kneeling before Jesus, she asked him to grant the wish of her sons.


Jesus said to her, "What do you want?" And she said, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom."


But Jesus said to the sons, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" And they said to him, "We are able."


Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."


And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at James and John. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great rulers exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever should be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

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