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The New Testament Commentary Vol Iii John by B.W. Johnson

The History of a Year.

If the view that I have adopted concerning the time of the healing of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda is correct, John leaves a whole year of the ministry of Christ, that between the Lord's second passover and the third, which is named in the present chapter, to be supplied from the other Evangelists. That year was one of activity. Following the chronological table of Andrews, given in the Appendix, and referring to the three preceding Gospels, we trace the Savior from the passover in April to Galilee in the latter part of the month, where he enters vigorously upon his ministry, as though the fierce opposition from the religious authorities at the capital of the nation had only incited him to a more determined effort to win Galilee to the gospel. Making Capernaum his home, from thence he made the circuit of the province, teaching and healing. At an early period of the year occurred the miracle of the first draught of fishes in the Sea of Galilee. Immediately after it four fishermen, James and John, Andrew and Peter were called upon to leave their nets and follow him; the next Sabbath he healed a man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue of Capernaum; shortly after Peter's wife's mother was cured of a fever; and then followed many miracles of which the details are not given. Shortly after a leper was healed in a |certain city;| then one palsied who was let down through the roof, whose healing offended the Scribes because Jesus said to the paralytic: |Thy sins be forgiven thee.| Next comes the call of Matthew, also called Levi, the publican, who left the receipt of custom to follow the Master, and then on a Sabbath the Pharisees were greatly offended because on that day he healed a man with a withered hand, and |they took counsel with the Herodians against him how they might destroy him.| On this account he drew himself off into retirement for a season but was still sought by the multitudes. After a night of lonely prayer on a Galilean mountain he called the twelve Apostles, probably in the summer of a.d.28, and soon after preached the wonderful sermon, known as the Sermon on the Mount, which has for fifteen hundred years been the basis of the moral systems of the world. Soon after he returned to Capernaum where he healed the servant of the centurion, and the day after went to Nain where be raised the dead son of a widow as he was on the bier being carried to the tomb. About this time John, who was now in Herod's prison, sent disciples to Jesus to inquire of him concerning his mission, probably not so much to satisfy John himself as to direct his disciples to Christ. Afterwards, in the house of a Pharisee, a sinful woman anointed his head with ointment and washed his feet with tears, giving occasion to an impressive lesson. Then follows a circuit of Galilee, preaching and healing, in which he was attended by the twelve and certain women whom he had healed and who ministered to him of their substance. During this circuit he preached much, uttered many parables, and left many precious words of which we have a record. In the autumn he stilled a tempest as he crossed the Sea of Galilee to Gadara, and there healed the demoniacs. On his return to Capernaum he attended Matthew's feast, healed the woman with the issue of blood, raised the daughter of Jairus, healed two blind men, and sent out the twelve to preach the coming kingdom. This probably occurred in the winter and later in the season occurred the murder of John the Baptist, the return of the twelve from their preaching tour, the news of Herod's desire to see Christ, and then, probably in the latter part of March or early April, the Savior retired from Herod's jurisdiction to a desert district belonging to Bethsaida, where the five thousand were fed.

This summary of the history of the year demonstrates its intense activity, the growing influence of Christ, and the growing intensity of the hatred of his enemies.

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