BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Bethsaida was a fishing village on the coast of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. About two miles inland from today’s north shore of this sea [receding shore], many of the ruins of Bethsaida have been excavated under the auspices of Haifa University and the University of Nebraska. Many first-century coins were found there bearing the picture of King Herod. Bethsaida was never distinguished in culture; just a humble Jewish town of fishermen.
- Luke 3:1-2 – While John, Zechariah’s son, was in the desert, the Word of God came to him. This occurred during the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were ruling for Caesar: Pontius Pilate ruled Judea; Herod Antipas ruled Galilee; Philip, Herod’s brother,a ruled Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias ruled Abilene. Hannas and Caiaphas were high priestsb at that time.
- Galilee was the northern-most province of Palestine, immediately south of Syria, which in turn was just south of Turkey. In contrast, the southern-most province of Palestine was Judea where the capital city of Jerusalem was.
- Matthew 10:2-4 – 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: First there was Simon (called Peter); Andrew (Peter’s brother); James (the son of Zebedee); John (James’ brother); 3Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew (the tax collector); James (the son of Alphaeus); Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Revolutionary;a and Judas Iscariot (He turned against Jesus.).
- Secret tattooing marks were used by the Greeks for their spies. The Romans tattooed slaves. These Jewish zealots viewed the Roman occupation of their country as an enslavement.
- Matthew 15:22 –Look, a Canaanite woman from that area came out to Jesus. She shouted, “Lord! Son of David! Please help me! My daughter has a demon inside her; she is suffering terribly!”
- In Jesus’ day, Phoenicia on the Mediterranean coast of Galilee was the same territory that was called Canaan in Moses’ day. This area was occupied by traders and shipping. They were still polytheists. Today it is called Lebanon.
- Matthew 26:52-53 – 52Then Jesus said, “Put your sword back in its place! Everyone who uses violence will die by violence. 53Don’t you think I could call on my heavenly Father for help!? He would bring more than twelve legionsg of angels here!
- Caesarea was a magnificent Mediterranean port city near today’s Lebanon built by Herod the Great in honor of Augustus Caesar. This showcase city abounded with statues, marble palaces and amphitheaters.
- Ephesians 6:17 – Take the helmet of salvation. And, use the sword of the Spirit. (This is the message of God.)
- A forum in Greek meant market place. It included an elevated pavement in the center of the market place where judges sat to hold court or orators presented their views, etc. In some places such as Rome it was elegant with marble pillars and statues.
- Matthew 3:12 – He will come ready to clean the grain. He will separate the good grain from the straw. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn. Then he will burn the straw with a fire which cannot be put out.”
- Luke 3:1 – While John, Zechariah’s son, was in the desert, the Word of God came to him. This occurred during the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar.
- Luke 3:12-14 – Even 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.” 14The soldiers were asking John, “What about us!? What should we do!?” John said to them, “Don’t force people to give you their money. Don’t tell lies about anyone. And, be happy with the pay you receive.”
- Acts 5:37 – Later, a man named Judas came from Galilee. It was at the time of the registration.e He also led a group of followers away but he was destroyed and all his followers were scattered.
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Joshua 5:15 – The Commander of Yahweh’s army answered him, “Yes. Take off your sandals from your feet,k because the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
OTHER JESUS QUOTES IN THIS EPISODE
- Turn other cheek ~ NT Matthew 5:38-40
- Judge the way you want judged ~ NT Matthew 7:1-3
- Laughter does good like medicine ~ OT Proverbs 17:22
- If you have ears, use them ~ NT Matthew 11:15
- Can worrying add another hair to your head? ~ NT Matthew 6:27
- God is my light and savior. Who shall I fear? ~ OT Psalm 27:1
- Lift up the downtrodden ~ NT Luke 4:18
- God keeps his promises ~ NT 2 Peter 3:9
- I stand at the door and knock ~ NT Revelation 3:20
- The secret things belong to God ~ OT Deuteronomy 29:29
- We shall see him as he is ~ NT 1 John 3:2
- The evil one prowls around looking for someone to devour ~ NT 1 Peter 5:8
- John’s mother, Elizabeth, went into seclusion ~ NT Luke 1:24
- John’s father, Zechariah, was a priest ~ NT Luke 1:5
- Zechariah was made mute for questioning ~ NT Luke 1:20
- Zechariah spoke the words of God’s Spirit ~ NT Luke 1:67-71
- John spoke the words of God ~ NT Mark 1:1-4
- Weak people strongest through God ~ NT 2 Corinthians 12:9-13
- John a great man ~ NT Matthew 11:11
- Nothing is impossible for God ~ NT Luke 1:37
- Crowds everywhere went to hear John, the hermit priest ~ NT Mark 1:5
- WARS OF THE JEWS, BOOK 2, 8:1: Archelaus’s [Herod the Great’s son who was banished when Jesus was eleven] part of Judea was reduced into a province, and Coponius…among the Romans was sent as a procurator….Under his administration it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 18, 1:1 – The nation was infected with this doctrine to an incredible degree. One violent war came upon us after another….There were also very great robberies and murders….done in pretence indeed for the public welfare.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BK. 18, 2:2 – l Coponius…office of procurator and governing Judea….Marcus Ambivius….his successor….Annius Rufus under whom died Caesar….sent Valerius Gratus…to succeed Annius Rufus….after he had tarried in Judea eleven years, when Pontius Pilate came as his successor.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 18, 1:1 – Judas…laid the foundation of our future miseries….because the infection which spread thence among the younger sort who were zealous for it.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 18, 1:1 – But the Jews…took the report of a taxation heinously….There was one Judas, a Galilean…became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 18, 3:1 – But now Pilate, the procurator of Judea, removed the army from Caesarea to Jerusalem….he introduced Caesar’s effigies which were upon the ensigns….our law forbids us the very making of images….done without the knowledge of the people because it was done in the night.
- WARS OF THE JEWS, BK. 2, 4:1 – In Sepphoris also, a city of Galilee, there was one Judas (the son of the arch-robber Hezekias, who formerly over-ran the country…) this man got no small multitude together and broke open the place where the royal armour was laid up, and armed those about him, and attacked those that were so earnest to gain the dominion.
- WARS OF THE JEWS, BOOK 2, 9:2 – A vast number of people came running out of the country. These came zealously to Pilate to Caesarea and besought him to carry those ensigns out of Jerusalem.
- WARS OF THE JEWS, BOOK 2, 9:2,3 – But upon Pilate’s denial of their request, they fell down prostrate upon the ground, and continued immovable in that posture for five days and as many nights….and cried out that they were sooner ready to be slain than that their law should be transgressed.
- WARS OF THE JEWS, BOOK 2, 9:3 – Hereupon Pilate was greatly surprised at their prodigious superstition, and gave order that the ensigns should be presently carried out of Jerusalem.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 18, 3:2 – And many ten thousands of the people…made a clamor against him….Some of them also used reproaches and abused the man as crowds of such people usually do.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 18, 3:2 – But Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK 18, 3:2 – A great number of his soldiers carried daggers under their garments….laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had commanded them….And since the people were unarmed, and were caught…there were a great number of them slain by this means, and others of them ran away wounded. And thus an end was put to this sedition.
- ANNULS, 15:44 – Pilate was sixth Roman prefect, appointed in the 12th year of Tiberius. (Pilate was the only prefect to offend the Jews by placing pagan symbols on his coins.)
SPECIAL CHARACTERS APPEARING IN OTHER EPISODES
Season 2, Hearts Afire, “Cloud Burst”
Season 6, Shadow of Death, “Soaring to Nothingness”