BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Matthew 18:17 – If that person doesn’t want to listen to them, then discuss the facts with the Jewish congregation. And, if he or she won’t listen to the congregation, have nothing to do with them. Treat him like tax collectors or unbelievers are treated.”
- John 19:25 – 25Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary from the town of Magdala stood near the cross
- Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas [variation of Alphaeus], and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross.
- Luke 19:2 – In Jericho there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a very important, rich tax collector.
- Matthew 3:7 – 7When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersions, he said to them, “You are like poisonous snakes! Who warned you to run away from God’s punishment which is coming!?
- Matthew wrote the book named after him giving a life of Christ and how it was reflected in the ancient writings of the Jews, the Old Testament scriptures.
- A drachma was worth about 50c.
- Luke 3:10-13,17 – The crowds were asking John, “So, what should we do!?” 11John was answering them, “If you have two shirts, then share one with the person who doesn’t have one. If you have food, share that, too.” 12Even the tax collectorsd came to John. They wanted to be immersed. They asked John, “Teacher, what should we do!?” 13John answered them, “Don’t take from anyone more taxes than you have been ordered to take.”…17He will come ready to clean the grain, separating the good grain from the straw. He will put the good part into his barn. Then he will burn the part which is not good. He will burn it with a fire which cannot be put out!”e
- Acts 20:28 – Watch out for yourselves and for all the people Godh has given you. The Holy Spirit chose you to guard this little flock. You must shepherd God’s congregation, whom He bought with His own blood.i
- Mark 2:14 – As Jesus was walking along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Then Levi got up and followed him.
- Mark 3:14,18 – 14He appointed twelve and named them “apostles.”b He wanted them to be with him and to send them out to proclaim…18Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James (the son of Halphaeus); Thaddaeus; Simon the Revolutionary;c 19and Judas Iscariot (the one who turned against Jesus).
- Jericho was further developed by Herod the Great when he built his palace there. Ruins of a fort are on the site, one mile northwest of er-Riha village (modern Jericho).
- John 19:25 – Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary from the town of Magdala stood near the cross.
- John 2:12-13 – After this, Jesus, his mother, his brothers, and his followers went down into the town of Capernaum. They stayed there for a few days. 13The time for the Jewish Passover Festivala was near. Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
- Matthew 4:13 – After leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, beside Lake Galilee, in the Zebulun and Naphtali area.
- John 5:19-47 – Jesus answered them, “I am telling you the truth: The Son can do nothing on his own. He can only do what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father may do, the Son will do the same thing. 20The Father loves the Son. The Father shows him everything He is doing. The Father will show him even greater deeds than these, so that you will be amazed. 21Just as the Father raises dead people and makes them live again, in the same way, the Son gives life to whom he wishes. 22The Father does not judge anyone. Instead, He has given to the Son the right to judge everything, 23so that everyone will honor the Son as they honor the Father. The person who does not honor the Son is not honoring the Father who sent the Son. 24I am telling you the truth: The person who listens to my teaching and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life. That person is not under condemnation. Instead, he has passed from death over to life. 25I am telling you the truth: The time is coming—the time has already come—when dead people will hear the voice of the Son of God. And when they hear it, they will live again! 26The Father has life in Himself. In the same way, He gave life to the Son to have in himself. 27The Father gave the Son authority to judge, because he is the Son of Man. 28Don’t be surprised at this, because the time is coming when everyone in the graves will hear the voice of the Son of God. 29They will come out of the graves. Those who lived right will rise to life, but those who did evil things will rise for judgment.” 30“I cannot do anything on my own. I judge on the basis of what I hear. Since I am not seeking my own will, my decision is fair. I am seeking the will of the One who sent me. 31If I were giving proof about myself, my proof would not be valid. 32But there is another man,b John, who is giving proof about me. I know that the proof he gives for me is valid. 33“You sent some men to John and he has told the truth. 34I don’t accept proof from human beings. But I am saying these things, so that you can be saved. 35John was a light that burns and shines. You were willing to enjoy his light for a while. 36But I have more proof than John’s—the tasks that the Father gave me to accomplish. These deeds themselves, which I am performing, prove something about me—that the Father sent me! 37The One who sent me is the Father; He has given proof about me. You have never heard God’s voice. You have never seen His shape. 38And, you don’t have His teaching staying in you. You don’t believe in the one whom God sent. 39You are always searching the Scriptures, because you think you will find eternal life in them. But the Scriptures are giving proof about me! 40But you don’t want to come to me, so that you may have life. 41“I don’t accept praise from man, 42but I know you—you don’t have love for God in your hearts! 43I have come with the authority of my Father but you are not accepting me. If someone else comes with his own authority, you will accept him! 44How can you believe? You accept praise from one another. You are not looking for praise from the only true God. 45Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. Moses is the one you trust. He is accusing you! 46If you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. 47Now, if you won’t believe in what he wrote, how can you believe in my words?”
- Luke 5:27-30 – After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector sitting at the tax office. His name was Levi. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” 28Levi got up, left everything, and started to follow Jesus. 29Then Levi, in his own home, gave a big banquet in honor of Jesus. At the table, there were many tax collectors and some other people. 30The Pharisees and those men who taught the law for the Pharisees began to complain to the followers of Jesus, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners!?”
- Matthew 10:1,3 – Jesus called his twelve followers. He gave them the authority to throw out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness… 3Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew (the tax collector); James (the son of Alphaeus); Thaddaeus.
- Matthew 28:18-19 – . 18Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore, after you’ve gone out, make followers for me from every ethnic group.b Immerse them by the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 8:27-28, 36-38 – So Philip got ready and went. On the road he saw a man from the country of Ethiopia. This man was an important officerd in the service of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. He was responsible for taking care of all her money. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship. 28Now he was on his way home. He was sitting in his chariot and reading from the book of Isaiah, the prophet…While they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The officer said, “Look! Here is water! What is stopping me from being immersed?” 37 e 38Then the officer gave a command for the chariot to stop. Both Philip and the officer went down into the water, and Philip immersed him.
- Matthew 10:1-2 – Heal sick people. Raise people from death. Make lepers well. Throw out demons. You received freely; give freely. 9Don’t take along any gold, silver, or copper in your money-belts. 10Don’t take a bag for the trip, an extra suit of clothes, shoes, or a walking cane. A worker should be given his pay.
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Deuteronomy 5:19-22 – And, you must not steal.o20“ ‘And, you must not tell lies against your neighbor.p 21“ ‘And, you must not want your neighbor’s wife. And, you must not desire your neighbor’s house, or his land, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his bull, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’q 22“Yahweh gave these commands to your whole congregation on the mountain.r He spoke to them with a loud voice from within the fire. He spoke from the cloud and the very deep darkness. He did not say anything else. Then He wrote the words on two stone tablets. And, He gave them to me.
- II Samuel 18:9 – Then Absalom happened to encounter some of David’s troops. Absalom was riding his mule. It went under a large oak tree. Its branches were thick, and Absalom’s head got caught in the oak tree. (His mule ran out from under him.) So, Absalom was suspended in mid-air above the ground.
- I Kings 1:33, 38, 44 – 33Then the king said to them, “Take my officers with you and put my son Solomon on my own mule.s Take Solomon down to the Gihon Spring….38So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah (the son of Jehoiada) went down. The Cherethites and the Pelethites went down with them. And, they put Solomon on King David’s mule and led him to Gihon Spring…King David sent Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah (the son of Jehoiada), and all the king’s bodyguards with Solomon. And, they have put Solomon on the king’s own mule!
- Kings and the wealthy rode mules. So did commoners. Horses were considered work animals since they did not do well in harsh climates.
OTHER JESUS QUOTES IN THIS EPISODE
RABBI SOLOMON GANZERIE:
- Code of Jewish Law, Vol. 1, Pg. 37…immersion houses containing pools for ritual purification require no mezuzah.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BK. 12, 4:4 – And when the day came on which the king was to let the taxes of the cities to farm [bidding], and those that were the principal men of dignity in their several countries were to bid for them, the sum of the taxes together….the king was pleased to hear that offer and because it augmented his revenues, he said he would confirm the sale of the taxes to him.
THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA:
- TAX UNDER THE ROMANS: These tolls were collected in Palestine at Caesarea, Capernaum and Jericho (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, II, xiv,4). those collected at Capernaum went into the treasury of Herod Antipas…The customs or tolls levied upon exports and imports, and upon goods in the hands of merchants passing through the country, were sold to the highest bidders, who were called “publicans”…He paid a fixed sum for the taxes, and received for himself what he could over and above that amount….The collector was thus always under the suspicion of being an extortioner and probably was in most instances…The usual combination in a publican of petty tyrant, renegade and extortioner, made by circumstances almost inevitable, was not conducive to popularity.
WILLIAM STEUART MC BIRNIE
- THE SEARCH FOR THE TWELVE APOSTLES – MATTHEW. Irenaeus reported that Matthew preached to the Hebrews. Clement of Alexandra said he did this the first fifteen years after Jesus’ ascension, and then went to the Greeks in Macedonia, the Syrians and Persians. In Ethiopia tradition has it that he stayed with the eunuch that Philip had baptized, performed several miracles including healing the King of Egypt’s daughter of leprosy. and raised his son from the dead. Legend says he either was burned at the stake by idolatrous priests. He died about AD 90.
SPECIAL CHARACTERS APPEARING IN OTHER EPISODES
Season 5, Promise Keeper, “Outcast Meets Outcast”
Season 1, Dream Maker, “Hesitant Herald”
Season1, Dream Maker, “Odyssey of Truth”
Season 1, Dream Maker, “God Eyes”
Season 1, Dream Maker, “Empty Net Syndrome”
Season 1, Dream Maker, “Hand of God”