2-3-1-Year of Passion

2-3-1-Year of Passion


At the end of this unit of study you will be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the Year of Passion into its two major parts and give the Bible references for each part.

  2. Explain the difference between Thematic, Textual, and Geographical structure and analyze the semester of withdrawal in the Year of passion on the basis of Geographical structure.

  3. Explain the relationship between Herod Antipas, Herodias, the death of John the Baptist, and the reason for Jesus’ first journey outside of Galilee.  You will also be able to explain one way in which we know that Bible History is true.

  4. Give the Bible reference for Jesus’ Teaching on the Stability of Family Life and use at least two Positive and two negative examples of family stability in a Sermon or Bible Message.

Open your Bible to Matthew, chapter 14.

We have now reached the point in our studies where we must cross  the FOURTH BRIDGE. which takes us from the Year of Popularity into the Year of .  The happenings in this last year of ministry are told by Matthew in chapters to of his gospel.

Read Matthew 19:1.

During the first part of the Year of passion, Jesus’ home remained in Capernaum where it had been during the Year of Popularity.  But the circumstances have now changed.  Jesus is seldom at home.  It has become necessary for Him to withdraw to lonely places in order to avoid conflict with His enemies.  This situation continued for six whole months until Jesus finally left his home in the city of to go to the region of .

For this reason, the Year of Passion can be divided into TWO PERIODS of time, with SIX MONTHS IN EACH PERIOD.

THE FIRST PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS is called the Semester of Withdrawal.

During the SEMESTER OF WITHDRAWAL Jesus kept His home in Capernaum but He was seldom to be found there.  It was often necessary for Him to find rest in out-of-the-way places, far from His enemies.  During this period of time Jesus avoided His enemies because it was not yet time for His death.

THE SECOND PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS we shall call the Semester of Surrender.

At the beginning of the SEMESTER OF SURRENDER Jesus left Galilee.  He went toward Jerusalem with the purpose of giving up His life for us upon the cross six months later.

Note that Jesus did not withdraw because of Fear, or to escape danger.  He withdrew in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts with His enemies because the time for His death had not yet come.

The YEAR OF PASSION is made up of two parts.  It includes chapters 14 to 27 in Matthew’s gospel.  Matthew 19:1 tells us that Jesus left Galilee to go to Judea.

Exercise: Using your Red pen, write the two titles that belong to the year of Passion as is shown below:

  1. Semester of Withdrawal over Matthew 14:1

  2. Semester of Surrender over Matthew 19:1

Good work!  In this semester of your study we will analyze the FIRST SEMESTER which is found in Matthew 14 through 18.

Remember that the basis of any analysis is to be able to identify the thread of thought which unites the different parts of a passage just as a thread joins the beads in a necklace.  We call that thread of thought which unites the different parts of a passage, its structure.

The ability to identify structure in any Bible passage is the basis of the technique of Analysis.

The Structure which unites each of the four items is not easy to discover.  Two of the items are the names of cities, the third is the name of an area in Palestine, and the fourth is a body of water.  These are all geographical locations.

Our analysis of the Year of Popularity was made on the basis of SUBJECT MATTER, or we can say, on the basis of Thematic structure.  But, it is also possible to make an analysis on the basis of locations or places.  This is Geographical Structure.  An analysis can be made on the basis of the Biblical text itself, too.  This kind of structure is Textual structure.

There are still other kinds of Structures!  For example, the analysis of the Year of Preparation was made on the basis of a Chronological Structure.  In other words, it was made on the basis of the order in which the three events in Matthew’s gospel took place.

In contrast to this analysis of the Year of Preparation, our analysis of the Year of Popularity in Matthew 4:12 to 13, was made by using still a different structure.  It is very important that we understand this.  Matthew’s gospel does NOT tell the events of the Year of Popularity are arranged according to their SUBJECT MATTER.

For example, all of the material having to do with the Statutes of the Kingdom was placed in chapters 5, 6, and 7.

The miracles were all grouped together in chapters8 and 9.

Eight of Jesus’ parables, the Parables of the kingdom were all put in chapter 13.

You are now going to analyze the semester of withdrawal in Matthew’s gospel.  Your analysis will be based upon geographic structure.  In other words, you will base your analysis upon the Places that Jesus visited during this first six months of the Year of Passion.

During this first semester of the Year of Passion, Jesus had to leave Galilee THREE TIMES because of the opposition of His enemies.  The PLACES you will find  in your Bible will serve as SIGN POSTS to point out the roads Jesus traveled during these THREE JOURNEYS of outside the province of Galilee.

Now, here is some practical work.

Underline each of the Sign Posts in your Bible, using the colors suggested in the instructions below.

Each color belongs to one of the Three Journeys outside of Galilee.  We will look at these journeys in our next part.

Reference Words to Underline Color
14:13 To a solitary place Red
14:22 To the other side Red
14:34 Gennesaret Blue
15:21 The region of Tyre and Sidon Blue
15:29 Along the Sea of Galilee Blue
15:39 The vicinity of Magadan Green
16:5 Across the lake Green
16:13 The region of Caesarea Philippi Green
17:1 Up a high mountain Green
17:9 Coming down the Mountain Green
17:24 Capernaum Green

Take note of the fact that some of our “SIGN POSTS” do not have the NAME of a place.  Matthew writes that Jesus went to a solitary place and that He traveled by boat, but often he does not tell us the names of the places Jesus visited.

However, we are able to discover some of these places’ names by using the technique of comparison in the other Synoptic Gospels.

Find the name of the “solitary place” Matthew mentions in 14:13 by comparing this episode with the account in Luke’s book.  What is the name of this place?

But, while Matthew 14:13 does not tell us the name of the place where Jesus went, it does say that Jesus “Withdrew by boat”.  The word “withdrew” seems to refer to the place where Jesus had been ministering in chapter 13.

For this reason, we can assume that Jesus “withdrew” from the city of when He heard the sad news of the death of .  He went to a solitary place in the region of the city of .

You have now found the NAMES of the first two places mentioned in the Semester of Withdrawal.  They are the ones Matthew refers to in 14:13.

Quickly read over the episodes in Matthew 14 in order to discover the two important events which took place in these places.  These events belong to the FOURTH BRIDGE in our analysis of the gospel.

Which event took place in:

  1. Capernaum? The news of

  2. Bethsaida?

These events are closely related to Jesus’ withdrawal from His home in Galilee.  They are important for our understanding of His withdrawal.

  1. What did Jesus do when He received the sad news about John the Baptist?

  2. What was the news which brought about Jesus’ withdrawal?

  3. From what city did Jesus withdraw?

  4. To what kind of place did Jesus go?

  5. This place was near what other city?

  6. How did Jesus get there?

  7. What miracle was performed at this place?

it is easy to see why Jesus chose to travel by boat instead of going overland.   Betsaida was located at the mouth of the Jordan River on the opposite shore from Capernaum.  So, the miracle of the Feeding if the tool place on the northeastern shore of the Sea of in the province of Iturea.

This fact gives us some idea of the reason why Jesus must have chosen to withdraw to this particular place.

For instance, we know that John the Baptist had been killed by the Tetrarch.  The wicked king ruled the provinces of and Perea.  It is natural then, for Jesus to withdraw from the province of Galilee because it was under the rule of .  By taking refuge in the nearby province of , which was ruled by Philip, Jesus moved to a place of safety where Herod the Tetrarch could not touch Him.  In order to reach this place of safety Jesus had to cross the River which formed the boundary between the two provinces.  Thus it came to be that the miracle of the took place in this solitary area.

The Semester of Withdrawal

The first Journey out of Galilee

Jesus began the first of these three journeys by boat.  He traveled across the Sea of Galilee to a solitary place somewhere near the town of Bethsaida.  his return to the province of Galilee was also to be made by boat.

Read Matthew 14:22-33.  What episode happened during Jesus’ return across the Sea of Galilee?

Read Matthew 14:34.

Where did Jesus and the disciples land after returning from Bethsaida in Iturea?

Gennesaret is the name of an area on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, within the province of Galilee.  It was a very fertile plain about three miles long and one mile wide, located where the space between the mountains and the north shore of the lake was widened by the Jordan River.

In one of the Lessons to come we will see how Jesus happened to be in the synagogue at Capernaum so soon after he fed the 5,000 in Bethsaida of Iturea.  On just the next day Jesus explained the meaning of this miracle.

In what city on the Plain of Genesaret must Jesus have landed?

The Second Journey out of Galilee

Read Matthew 15:1 and 2.  These verses give us the reason for the second journey Jesus made out of Galilee.

  1. What enemies threatened Jesus? and .

  2. Where did they come from?

  3. What was the subject of discussion?

  4. Where did this take place? (See Matthew 14:34)

This conflict with the Pharisees was so sharp that Jesus decided to leave Galilee for the second time.  This time he was to go to a foreign country.

According to Matthew 15:21, Jesus went into the region of what two cities?  and .

The only time Jesus visited a foreign country, apart from the flight into as a baby, was this one journey into the land of Phoenicia.

We have now seen two different kinds of opposition which forced Jesus to withdraw from Galilee.  The first was the political opposition of Herod and the second, the Religious opposition of the Pharisees and teachers of the law.

Which of these two kinds of opposition was the cause of:

  1. His first trip to Iturea? (Colored in Red.) The oppodition.

  2. His second trip to the region of Tyre and Sidon? (Colored in Blue.)  The opposition.

Jesus did not return to his home province right away when he left Tyre and Sidon.  He turned north, toward Sidon and took a long detour.

  1. The detour that Jesus made took him to the other side of the Sea of (See Matthew 15:29).

  2. Mark 7:31 tells us that Jesus left the region of Tyre and went through Sidon… and into the region of the .

  3. Here Jesus healed many sick people and performed the second miracle of feeding the multitudes.  On this occasion Jesus fed

When Jesus left Phoenicia he went first to Decapolis.  From here he crossed the Sea of Galilee once again to return to Galilee.  Matthew 15:39 says that Jesus crossed the water in a , this time landing in a place called and NOT in Capernaum.

The Third Journey out of Galilee

Even though Jesus took care to land at Magadan rather than Capernaum where he returned to Galilee, his enemies were there waiting for him to come back.  For this reason, he found it necessary to leave Galilee for the Third time.

Read about Jesus’ arrival at Magadan in Matthew 15:39 and 16:1.

  1. Who threatened Jesus as soon as he had landed at Magadan?

  2. What was the subject of their discussion this time?  They demanded that Jesus show them a

  3. As they left Magadan, on the way to Caesarea Philippi.  Jesus and his disciples went across the . (See Matthew 16:5)

  4. Here Jesus talked with his disciples, telling them, “Be careful.  Be on your guard against the yeast of the and .”

  5. Mark 8:22 gives us the name of this place “across the lake”.  What was the name of this place?

On Jesus third trip outside of Galilee he went through the following cities: Magadan, Bethsaida, and Caesarea Philippi.

  1. Which of these three cities is located in the northern part of Iturea about 14 miles from Mt. Hermon?

  2. Read Matthew 17:1.  About how many days did Jesus spend in the region of Caesarea Philippi?

As we shall see later on in our study, the WEEK Jesus spent in the region of Caesarea Philippi and Mt Hermon can be considered on of the most important periods in His life.  At the present time however it is important for us to take special notice of three great events which are told by Matthew.

What are these events?  Complete the following sentences to find out.

  1. When they came to Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:16), the apostle made a great confession of faith.

  2. According to Matthew 17:1-2, Jesus was on

  3. It was at the foot of this same mountain that Jesus healed a boy who had . (Matthew 17:14-15)

Although the text of Matthew does not mention Mt. Hermon by name, we will see that the evidence in favor if this location is so great that we will take it for granted in our studies.

The Semester of Withdrawal comes to an end with these events.  Jesus returns to the city of (Matthew 17:24) for the purpose of saying good-bye to the province of (Matthew 19:1).

From this point onward, Jesus constantly traveled to Jerusalem.  The last six months that he spent in Perea and Judea can be considered a part of the slow journey to Jerusalem where he was to die on the cross.

There are a lot of facts to remember in today’s lesson.  It may help if we compare some of the events which are alike and then group together the places Jesus visited when these things happened.

  1. Jesus fed the multitudes on two occasions.  The feeding of the 5,000 in in the province of during the journey.  The feeding of the 4,000 in the province of during the journey.

  2. Jesus healed two demon-possessed people.  One was a daughter who was healed at the request of her in the region of and in the country of .  This was during the journey.  The other was a son who was healed at the request of his at the foot of Mt. in the province of , during the journey.

We see that Jesus also had two encounters with the Pharisees.  It was this conflict which brought about his last two journeys out of Galilee.

  1. The first encounter was at Gennesaret, on the subject of

  2. The second was at Magadan, on the subject of

Gifts and Calling

We will explore the topic of our “gifts and calling” and the value of caring for each other.

Our gifts and calling are central elements of our uniqueness as people.  Our gifts are the specific, Spirit given abilities which enable us to contribute to the wider good of the community and the world.  Our calling is thee task or area of service where God directs us to use those gifts.  Our calling is some times called our vocation.”  At times, that word is too closely identified with a paid job.  Some times a calling is something we need to do as a volunteer.

It can be difficult for many of us to determine our calling.  How do we know what God is calling us to do?  Some people have a strong sense of this in high school; others do not discover it until well into adulthood.  Former tennis great Arthur Ashe (who died in 1993 from AIDS) was looking for his vocation after his tennis career was over, and even after he contracted AIDS (from a blood transfusion).  He wrote in his book Days of Grace.  “If God hadn’t put me on this earth mainly to stroke tennis balls, he certainly hadn’t put me here to be greedy.  I want to make a difference, however small, in the world, and I wanted to do so in a useful and honorable way.”

According to a survey done by James Patterson and Peter Kim for their book The Day America told the Truth, many people do not see their present work as a true vocation.  Consider these statistics from that survey:

  • Only 1 in 4 people work to achieve their potential rather than to merely keep the wolf from the door.

  • Only 1 in 4 people give work their best effort.

  • Only 1 in 10 say they are satisfied with their jobs.

  • Almost half of American workers admit to chronic malingering (calling in sick when they are not sick, and doing it regularly).

The central focus of this series is to help you search for your calling and be sure you are in the right one.  In this series, we want to see how the Bible will shed light on who we are.

Read Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9

What is your first reaction to Jesus’ style of calling these disciples?

Why do you think Jesus chose these particular people?

Why did the disciples respond so quickly to Jesus’ call?

When was the first time you remember feeling God’s call on your life?

Imagine that you are embarking on a multi-year project to change people’s attitudes and make a difference in the world.  What qualities would you look for in the person you chose to work with you?

If you asked Jesus to consider you for such a team of disciples which three strengths would you list first on your resume?

When you were in the seventh grade, what was your vision of what you wanted to be when you grew up.  If that vision changed, what changed it?

If Jesus came to your place of work tomorrow and said “follow me” (like he did with these first disciples), what would your response be?

When it comes to Jesus’ invitation to “come and follow me,” are you?

What best describes your present attitude toward what you are doing in life?

How would you characterize your follow-through on your call to be a disciple?


BIO:Bascom Ray Lakin 1901-1984

B.R. Lakin was born on a farm near Fort Gay, West Virginia. Although
his parents were devout Christians, it was not until he was 16 that he
was converted to Christ during a revival. The minister who baptized him
was the nephew of Devil Anse Hatfield, of the Hatfield-McCoy feud
families. One week later, he preached his first sermon, and soon after
became a circuit preacher, riding a mule to country churches near the
forks of the Big Sandy River.

After attending Moody Bible Institute and pastoring several
churches, he was called to assist E. Howard Cadle at the Cadle
Tabernacle in Indianapolis, Indiana. Upon Mr. Cadle’s death, he became
pastor and, during the next 14 years, the ministry grew until he was
preaching to 10,000 people each Sunday in addition to broadcasting the
services nationwide. He was given honorary doctorates by Bob Jones
University and Kletzing College.

In the early 1950s Dr. Lakin began a 30-year itiner- ant ministry
that included the largest churches in America, averaging 50,000 miles
annually and 4,000 people weekly. He witnessed more than 100,000
conversions to Christ. His ser- mons were a combination of sanctified
wit, Bible teaching, and a strong appeal for people to come to Christ.

After more than 65 years of preaching, Dr. Lakin “hung his sword on
the shimmering walls of the city of God,” and went to be with the Lord
on March 15, 1984. His funeral was conducted at the Thomas Road Baptist
Church, Lynchburg, Virginia, and attended by more than 5,000 people.


About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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