EPISODE SUMMARY

Mission: Jesus ministry & miracles, Pharasee, the Disciples

Brutal Roman occupation has divided the Jews, but Jesus is drawing in crowds in rural Galilee with his miraculous powers, and his inspirational words. But some do not want it - Pharisees like Simon believe the Jews will survive only by staying close to God through the traditions of Moses. When Jesus continues to break the rules of Judaism, Simon takes his ire to the top – to the High Priest Caiaphas in Jerusalem. Caiaphas, however, has bigger concerns – brutal governor Pilate is killing the Jewish people. Crowds continue to flock to Jesus and, when he miraculously feeds them all, they call for him to be their King. Jesus retreats from their aggressive demand and the disciples are thrown in to confusion about their master and their mission. What kind of messiah is he? Whilst Peter is sure of Jesus’ divinity, he is less certain about his own faith – he plunges into stormy water when he tries to walk out to Jesus, as he walks on water. The faith of all the disciples is fully confirmed when Jesus shows that he has power even over life itself by bringing a dead man, Lazarus, back to life. They will all need the greatest reserves of strength and faith as they move ever closer toward the point of their mission, to Jerusalem, and into direct conflict with the religious and political authorities there. The most almighty storm is brewing.

NOVEL

It's dusk as Jesus and the disciples walk up a long hill that leads to the next town. Children run to greet them, but otherwise it appears that they are in for an ordinary evening. They'll find a a place to sleep and get a meal. Perhaps Jesus will teach, or maybe he won't. All in all, they're just glad to be sleeping with a roof over their heads after many night sleeping outdoors.

But as Jesus leads the way up and over the top of the hill, the apostles gasp in shock. Thousands upon thousands of people fill the valley below. They stand on the shores of a silvery sea, waiting anxiously to hear the words of Jesus.

The instant the crowds catch sight of him, they rush up the hillside, all trying to get a spot in front when Jesus begins teaching.

"Would you look at all those people?" gasps Peter.

"Yes," Jesus answers. "How are we going to feed them all?"

"Do what?"

"Feed them. It's late. I don't see any cooking fires. They must be famished," Jesus replies.

Judas, trying to show his practical nature, shakes the money gab, and a small handful of coin clank inside. "You'll need a bit more than this," he tells Jesus.

Peter shoots Judas a look.

"Go out into the crowd," Jesus tells his disciples. "And bring back as much food as you can."

They come back with almost nothing: five loaves of bread and two fish. There's not enough to feed the disciples themselves, let alone toughly five thousand. The crowd consumed the contents of their food baskets hours ago, as they waited patiently for Jesus. Now those baskets are quite empty.

Jesus seems unbothered. "Thank You, Father," he prays over the little food they have gathered. "Thank you for what You bring us."

The disciples begin to distribute the food, and the empty baskets overflow with bread and fish - so much that the crowd has seconds, and then thirds.

Peter, that practical man, is once again humbled by Jesus' greatness. As he watches the people eat, he remembers his own miraculous first meeting with Jesus, and how his boat soon groaned from the weight of all that fish.

Jesus comes to Peter and looks him in the eye. There is a longing warmth in Jesus' gaze, once again reminding Peter to let go of his practical nature to put all his trust in God.

A Story of God and All of us

This novel is a companion to The Bible miniseries. Readers will revel in this epic saga of warriors, rebels, poets and kings, all called upon by God to reveal His enduring love for mankind. Ultimately, God’s plan is fulfilled in the story of Jesus the Messiah, whose life, death and resurrection bring salvation to one and all. Hardcover 337 pages.

CASTS

  • Mary Magdalene - Amber Rose Revah

  • Mother Mary - Roma Downey

  • John - Sebastian Knapp

  • Thomas - Matthew Gravelle

BIBLE LOOKUP

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man (Mark 2:1-12)

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

© New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Forgives a Woman Taken in Adultery (John 8:1-11)

8 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

© New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (Matthew 14:13-21)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

© New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Walks on the Water (Matthew 14:22-36)

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

© New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead (John 11:38-44)

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

© New International Version (NIV)

REVIEW

The assumption was that the Messiah would conform to the religious conventions of first-century Judaism.

In other words, everyone expected that the Messiah would be Jewish, of course. He would be religious. He would keep all the laws of Moses. He would fastidiously observe the Sabbath. He would worship at the Temple. He would keep the feasts. He would reward the right people and punish the wrong people. He would lead Israel to victory and defeat - humiliate, even - the Romans.

Then came Jesus, the rabbi from Nazareth, who seemed to fulfill prophecies - just the wrong ones. He claimed to be the "fulfillment" of the Law. He seemed to talk about destroying the Temple. He associated with all the wrong people, and repeatedly antagonized the most upstanding religious people of his day. To top it all off, rather than standing up to the Romans and establishing a new, politically triumphant, Israel… he ended up dying on a Roman cross.

But from Jesus' perspective, it was all according to plan. He turned the religious conventions on their heads because he had not come to spread religion. He had not come to exalt or abolish the Law of Moses - he was its fulfillment. The tears he shed were not for the Temple, but for the lost sheep of Israel who could not recognize that one greater than the Temple had come to them. His mission was not to conquer a country but to conquer the human heart. His purpose was not to establish a religion but to initiate and propagate a relationship, through which all humanity could enjoy forgiveness (because Jesus is our high priest, and when He enters a life, He brings full atonement), righteousness (because Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, and when He enters a life, He brings His righteousness), and power (because Jesus is king, and when He enters a life, He brings the power of His presence and rule).

Take time to focus your attention and action on your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Like any relationship, it will grow and you will appreciate it more as you invest more time and attention to it. In this relationship, the depth and power of His love for you is infinitely more important than the perfection of your performance. As you prepare for worship, remember to "draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings" (Hebrews 10:22).

The Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook © 2013 by Outreach, Inc.

Review is From The Bible 30-Day Experience DVD Study + Guidebook

This five-week study for individuals and small groups based on some of the epic stories of the Bible, with an emphasis on God’s plan of redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ. This study features inspirational video clips from the epic Bible miniseries.

DISCUSSION

Walking on Water

Jesus’ miracle over the laws of nature reaffirms his claim as the Son of God and his claim to divinity. Jesus confirms that he is Lord over all of creation.

The fourth watch of the night was between 3:00 and 6:00 A.M. The disciples have been battling the waves for nearly nine hours. They are exhausted.

Jesus responds to Peter with the statement “It is I,” or literally, “I am” (the Greek words are ego eimi). This recall’s the name God told to Moses in the burning bush. This is also another claim to divinity.

Peter was challenged to keep his eyes on God and not on the circumstances.

He was only in danger when he took his eyes off of God and looked at the waves.

Despite his lack of faith, God still rescued him.

Christ’s demonstration of power reaffirms his encouragement to “not be afraid.” He rules over all.

Questions to reflect upon

In your personal life, what circumstances cause you to take your eyes off of Christ?
Jesus says to Peter, “Why did you doubt?” Peter doesn’t provide an answer. Why do you think Peter doubted?

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