Duration: 365 days
JESUS THE GALILEAN, DAY 6
Today’s reading is drawn from Mark 1:14, Luke 4:14-19, and John 7:52.
In New Testament times, there were two Galilees, upper and lower. Jesus grew up in the densely populated lower Galilee and carried out most of His ministry in its communities. As many as eleven of His twelve disciples also came from this region. (Judas Iscariot was the one obvious exception.)
Home to a culture that bridged the Hebraic and Graeco-Roman worlds, Galilee existed on the fringes of traditional Jewish life. As a result, Galileans were scorned by their Judean neighbors, who used the term Galilean as a synonym for fool, heathen, sinner, or worse.
Most significantly for Jesus, these neighbors were convinced that no prophet could come from Galilee (John 7:52). Yet from there a Prophet did arise. It was in Galilee that Jesus first outlined His message (Luke 4:14–19) and demonstrated its power. He performed at least thirty-three miracles in the region, and it was there that He told nineteen of His thirty-two recorded parables.
As Jesus traveled around the district, He demonstrated that His message was for everyone, including people excluded from acceptable society. His message did not start at the top and move down. It spread from the bottom up. However, there is little evidence that Jesus’ message took hold in Galilee after He left. The people largely rejected their Prophet and King, and His dire predictions about Capernaum, Chorazin, and other Galilean cities came true (Matt. 11:20–24).