The rise of Sabbath controversies

The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5)

Palestine is a relatively small parcel of land on the eastern Mediterranean coast. The whole of the region is roughly the size of Rhode Island. The land of Palestine is also in a geo-political vice. Before the jet age, whoever ruled Palestine controlled the trade routes in and out the African continent. Therefore, every major empire of the world has had interest in Palestine – the very land to which God called Abraham, and planted his unique people.

In the 2nd century B.C. the region became particularly unstable and volatile for Hebrew residents, as Syrian rulers to the north and Egyptian rulers to the south (known as Seleucids and Ptolemies, respectively) struggled for control of the region [note: the map above reflects modern day, but the regions have basically remained unchanged]. Continue reading “The rise of Sabbath controversies”

Jesus, the Son of God

“Now because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began persecuting him. So he told them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I too am working.’ For this reason the Jewish leaders were trying even harder to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was also calling God his own Father, thus making himself equal with God” (John 5:16-18 NET).

Jesus was in Jerusalem because of a “feast of the Jews” (John 5:1). Although which feast is not specified in the text, most scholars take this to be Passover. If this is true, one year had now passed since the first Passover recorded in John 2, when Jesus cleared the temple. He would have two more Passovers, two more years, before his crucifixion. While in Jerusalem, Jesus did two things which angered the Jewish leaders. Continue reading “Jesus, the Son of God”