(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
The Death of John the Baptist
- At that time, Herod the Tetrarch1“Tetrarch” is composed of two Greek words; the first means “four”, the second means “ruler”. Properly, it means someone who rules over a fourth part of a region. Essentially, this means a minor governor. heard the news of Jesus.
- And he told his servants; “This is John the Baptist. He was raised from the dead and these miraculous powers are working in him because of this.”
- For having seized John, Herod bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.
- For John was saying to him; “It’s not lawful for you to have her.”
- Although wishing to kill him, Herod was frightened of the crowd because they were regarding him as a prophet.
- And having celebrated Herod’s birthday feast, the daughter of Herodias2“daughter of Herodias” History tells us that her name was Salome, who had become Herod’s stepdaughter at this point. A common estimate for her birth year is 14 AD, meaning she was in her mid-teens when she danced before Herod. One common theory is that Salome danced sensually to entice, but that seems unlikely given these two facts. danced in their midst and pleased Herod.
- For this reason, he promised with a vow to give her whatever she asked.
- But having been urged by her mother, she says; “Give me John the Baptist’s head, here on a platter.”
- And the king – having been deeply grieved because of his vows and the men reclining3“recline” in the first century, you didn’t “sit” at a table in chairs. Rather, you laid down with your feet sticking out in a reclining position. at the table with him – commanded John’s head to be given.
- And having sent orders, he had John beheaded in the prison.
- And his head was brought on a platter, and it was given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
- And having come forward, his disciples took the body and buried it. And having gone to Jesus, they told Him.
Feeding the Five Thousand
- And having heard this, Jesus withdrew from there on His own by boat to a desolate place. And having heard this, the crowds followed Him on foot from the cities.
- And having gone out, He saw a great crowd and was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
- Now, it became evening and the disciples approached Him saying; “This place is desolate, and the dinner hour has already passed. Therefore, dismiss the crowds so that after going into the towns, they might buy food for themselves.”
- But Jesus told them; “They have no need to leave. You give them something to eat.”
- And they tell Him; “We don’t have anything here, except five loaves of bread and two fish.”
- And He said; “Bring them here to Me.”
- And having commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish. And having looked up to heaven, He spoke a blessing. And having broken the loaves, He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
- And all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up the broken pieces which are left over; twelve baskets full.
- Now, the men who eat were about five thousand men, without counting women and children.
Jesus Walks On Water
- And He immediately compelled the disciples to step into the boat and to go before Him to the other side of the sea, until He sent away the crowds.
- And having sent away the crowds, He went up to the mountain on His own to pray. And it having become evening, He was there alone.
- Now, the boat was already many stadia4a “stadia” is ~606 English feet, or ~185 meters. from the land, and it was being buffeted by the waves for the wind was hostile.
- And in the fourth watch of the night,5“fourth watch of the night” Both the Jews and Romans divided the night into four “watches”, each approximately three hours long. The fourth watch was between 3am and 6am. Depending on the specific time that this took place and the time of year, it could’ve pitch black or during the fairly light dawn hours. He went to them walking on the sea.6quotation/allusion to Job 9:8 and Job 38:16
- And having seen Him walking on the sea, the disciples were deeply shaken, saying; “It’s a ghost!” and they cried out from fear.
- And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying; “Have courage: I Am.7“I Am” the Greek construction here is identical to John 8:58, where Jesus proclaims His Deity, thus the translation “I Am” here. This is a reference several Old Testament passages, primarily Exodus 3:14 where God appears to Moses and reveals Hisself as “I Am”. Don’t fear.”
- And answering Him, Peter said; “Lord, if it’s you, command me to come to you on the waters.”
- And He said; “Come.” And having come down out of the boat, Peter walked on the waters and came to Jesus.
- But seeing the violent wind, he was frightened. And having begun to sink into the sea, he cried out saying; “Lord save me!”
- And having reached out His hand, Jesus immediately caught him and says to him; “O you of little faith; why did you doubt?”
- And as they entered into the boat, the wind ceased.
- And the men in the boat bowed down at His feet,8“bowed down at… …feet” is one word in Greek, often translated “worship”, which isn’t inaccurate (Jesus is God, and thus is worthy of our worship). It comes from the Greek words: “pros” meaning “towards”, and “kyneo” meaning “to kiss”. It literally refers to bowing down on your hands and knees and kissing the ground in front of a superior or authority figure. Some Egyptian pictographs have the hand outstretched, as if to send the “kiss” toward the one being revered. saying; “Truly, you are God’s Son.”
Healing at Gennesaret
- And having crossed over the sea, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
- And having recognized Him, the men of that place sent messengers into that whole neighboring region, and they brought all the men being sickly to Him.
- And they were begging Him, so they might merely touch the fringe of His robe, and as many as touched it were completely cured.9Malachi 4:2 speaks of the “sun of righteousness” which has “healing in it’s wings”. The Jews believed this prophecy referred to the Messiah. The Hebrew word translated “wings” literally means any extremity (wing, arm, leg, etc.), including the “extremity” – or fringe – of a garment. Thus they believed touching the fringe of the Messiah’s robe would bring healing. This is almost certainly an indication that they believed Jesus was the Messiah, because they applied a Messianic prophecy to Him.
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