The Audience of Jesus
23 Yeshua went all over the Galil (Galilee) teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing people from every kind of disease and sickness.24 Word of him spread throughout all Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill, suffering from various diseases and pains, and those held in the power of demons, and epileptics and paralytics; and he healed them.25 Huge crowds followed him from the Galil, the Ten Towns (the Decapolis), Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), Y’hudah (Judea), and ‘Ever-HaYarden (beyond the Jordan).
If you stop to look at a map and all the places that people came from to see Jesus, you will notice that the distance is great. Syria... The Ten Towns - of the these ten only two are in the boundaries of present day Israel. Beyond the Jordan can be many places on the other side of the River... These people traveled a long way to be with a man they heard about.
These people came with FAITH. Faith that Jesus would heal them.
The other piece to notice in this small section of verses is the very first line:
"Jesus went all over the Galilee teaching in their synagogues."
There were no churches, only synagogues. Synagogues were in every community. They were within walking distance of the homes. Synagogues were used for teaching, not worship. Worship happened at the Temple in Jerusalem.
At the time Gentiles were not involved in the following of Jesus. I'm sure if they arrived at a teaching, they were not turned away, however, the followers at this point are Jews. Jesus was Jewish and was teaching His people.
One thing to remember as we study any piece of literary work is to understand the audience. In this case, we need to recognize that the people Jesus is speaking to are Jewish/Hebrews. Everything He taught was for their understanding and in their context.
Stop and reflect on what this means as you begin to read the Words of Jesus and look at them through this lens.
Love and blessings,
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