This teaching, of course, is an extension of last week's account of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood so we will find a lot of parallels. We are going to delve into a very excellent resource in order to learn about ancient Near Eastern mourning rituals that were still relatively unchanged in the first century, as well as look at what the Talmud has to say.
Another death to life story--like the Gerasene demoniac, this woman has experienced a community death and cannot experience normal life among her people. In fact, she is never identified as having anyone at all--no husband, father, mother, siblings, or children. What do her actions teach us not only about faith but about the beliefs of the Hellenistic first-century Jewish world? What do Yeshua's actions teach us about His desire to restore the marginalized?
Lots of extra-biblical material today as we are going to look at the shockingly awful treatments that women were subjected to by Jewish physicians who were trying to treat this sort of bleeding, as well as the debates over when a man could and could not forcibly divorce his wife for being sick.
This amazing account is one of the most famous in all of the Bible--when Yeshua/Jesus and His disciples travel to Gentile territory only to be confronted by a legion of unclean spirits who embark upon an interesting attempt to negotiate their fate. What does the fate of the pigs tell us not only about the difference between humans and animals in God's eyes but also their difference in general? And what did it tell the gathered pagans about the identity of the man responsible for the death of their gods' sacrifices?
What kind of a Father is God, anyway?
This has been a very trying year but there are also miracles and victories all around us. Trials and tribulations never come without deliverances and salvations. Last week our beloved 19-year-old son Andrew's cranial shunt failed unexpectedly, leading to emergency neurosurgery four hours from home, in an entirely different state, during the COVID crisis. How God moved in the midst of the confusion, obstacles and many misdirections is a beautiful picture of His love and compassion. I share the story plus lessons I learned about God's character in the midst of my own worry and fear and share a few reality checks gained after He cornered me into the position of needing to "break" not only the Sabbath but also the first High Sabbath of Sukkot.
For the next four weeks, we will be going back to the theme of the Yahweh Warrior of the prophets. These next four miracles are called "self-manifesting" as they represent Yeshua's true identity--even if everyone is still too blinded to see it now. These four signposts will make His identity obvious only after His resurrection, but that's how acts of predictive prophecy are supposed to function. They aren't obvious until all of a sudden, in retrospect, they are!
So what does the calming of the storm at sea reveal to us about who Yeshua is? Tune in and find out.