Note: At this point in His ministry Jesus's death is about one year away. (That is, 2 1/2 years of the 3 1/2 years of His ministry have been accomplished.) It is here that Jesus's purpose - and consequently His tactics - change dramatically. Jesus has discerned that the hardness of this generation is full, that they have determined to disbelieve no matter the evidence set before them that Jesus is who He claims to be. Thus, Jesus sets out to find the solitude necessary to share with His apostles instruction which is unspeakably important and just as difficult - a task which will prove logistically difficult because Jesus the miracle Worker is still so wildly popular with the common man, even beyond the borders of Judea. The specific instruction He is seeking opportunity to give is that He is going to die at the hands of His enemies. In that connection, remember that to this point Jesus has never openly spoken of dying. Notice in the passages to follow the sudden and radical change in tactics employed by the Lord Jesus.
Matthew 15:21-28Notes: Here, Jesus takes the 12 to Phoenecia, a difficult journey to a place where there were few Jews among the populace. Notice that Jesus is reluctant to do a miracle of healing in this place.
Notes: Jesus leads the 12 on a long journey around the Sea of Galilee into the very Gentile region of Decapolis.
Notes: This seems to be an attempt by Jesus to return to Galilee - His home and that of 11 of His apostles - unobtrusively. But the attempt is aborted when a Pharisee confronts Jesus as soon as He alights from the boat.
Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).
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