Jesus leaves the Feast of Dedication and travels to the other side of the Jordan River, where John had baptized him three years earlier (John 10:40). Jesus will use this as a base for the next few months, awaiting His final entrance into Jerusalem and His pending death on the cross. What will He do in these last several months to ensure that the movement continues after He is taken up to His Father? What will His final steps be? Let’s look in on what this passage says.
Knowing Him Study: pages 153-155
Jesus returns to the Galilee and continues to train His apostles and prepare the next group of disciples who He will soon send out on their first mission trip. But there is another feast, the Feast of Dedication, or Lights. This is not an Old Testament feast, but a new one added several years before Jesus comes on the scene. This was in honor of the miracle that took place when God supernaturally provided light in the lamps when there was not enough oil to keep them burning, when the temple was taken back during the Jewish Maccabees’ revolt under the leadership of Judas Maccabees. What will happen on this next trip to Jerusalem? Who will Jesus meet and what trap will the religious leaders set for Him? Read on!
Knowing Him Study: pages 150-152
After meeting with Moses and Elijah, they went back down the mountain and “[w]hen they came back to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him” (Mark 9:14-15). Jesus comes down off the mountain and is immediately confronted with the needs of the people. He ministers to the people as the movement continues to expand. I wonder what will happen this year at the feast? Check it out!
Knowing Him Study: pages 146-149
Six days after this incredible leadership team evaluation, Jesus reveals that He has begun a movement that is so powerful that the gates of Hell will not be able to slow its advance. Jesus, as the leader of this movement, is Himself the Lion of Judah and will lead the charge through the centuries. As they walk, He reveals to them that this advancement of the movement would not be without great personal suffering and loss of life (Matt. 16:21). Jesus then makes a bold move. Take a look!
Knowing Him Study: pages 143-145
After walking on water, Jesus continues to
train His leadership team for the mission. He is teaching them about love, humility, faith and their understanding of authority. He will cast out various demons, heal a little girl, confront the religious leaders once again and feed 4,000 people, a similar miracle because “they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened” (Mark 6:52). It is time now for another retreat with His leadership team, so He takes them north to the district of Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13). Check out what happens next!
Knowing Him Study: pages 139-142
After a full day of ministry and picking up twelve baskets of leftovers, Jesus sees that the disciples are exhausted. So He sends them off in a boat, onto the Sea of Galilee to get them away from the crowd and allow them to rest, while he dismisses everyone else (Mark 6:45). After bidding the crowd farewell, Jesus makes His way back up a nearby mountain to spend some time debriefing with His Father (Mark 6:46). It has been a long day, filled with a whirlwind of emotions for Jesus. He begins to relax and is just enjoying the communion with His Father, when…
Knowing Him Study: pages 136-138
The news of John’s death and the way in which he died stung like a sharp knife, piercing Jesus’ soul. Grieving, Jesus retreats to the comfort of the Father and the silence of the Sea of Galilee. He tells His disciples to come with Him and He escapes to a secluded place. People were coming from everywhere after hearing the news about John’s death (Mark 6:31). Some feel that this crowd is angry and ready for a revolution and a new king (John 6:15)! What is going to happen?
Knowing Him Study: pages 133-135
Meanwhile, as the disciples are wandering the countryside having the adventure of a lifetime, something else very exciting was happening in Israel. It was the birthday of King Herod and he was throwing a party for himself that would last for days, if not weeks. At this party something would happen that would launch the movement to a new level at a deep personal cost to Jesus Himself. Read this sad story very carefully.
Knowing Him Study: pages 130-132
After months of intensive leadership training, it is finally time for the twelve apprentices to be sent out on their own mission trip. Remember, Jesus called these twelve guys for two reasons: first, so that they might be with Him and grow closer to him and second, so that He might send them out (Mark 3:14). It is no surprise to them that Jesus is sending them out. It is an exciting time, and yet the twelve are scared to death. How will they respond to the challenge? Where will Jesus send them? What will He say to them and what will happen? Check it out!
Knowing Him Study: pages 127-129
Have you ever been so tired that you slept right through a storm? That is where we find Jesus today. As the movement continues to expand, Jesus finds it harder and harder to find a place to rest or even get a bite to eat. In Mark 3:20, Peter notes “Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.” Luke records, probably from Mary’s memories, “Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd” (Luke 8:19). Can you imagine how hard it must have been to constantly come back to a full house and growing crowds? Where could Jesus escape
or get away from the crowds? Come and see!
Knowing Him Study: pages 124-126