Mustard Seed and Starter Dough Parables

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Jesus used the Mustard Seed and Starter Dough parables to demonstrate that the Kingdom of Heaven is a living and active presence that is increasing within the realm of human experience.

Yeshua’s Words about Yohanan the Immerser

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Did Jesus regard John the Baptist as a prophet? As more than a prophet? What did he mean that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist? Explore these questions in Yeshua’s Words about Yohanan the Immerser.

Fathers Give Good Gifts Simile

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Would you give a hungry child a poisonous arachnid to eat? Probably not, because even sinful human beings are not totally depraved. Would God give you something dangerous and destructive when you ask him for help? Certainly not, because he is the source and foundation of all goodness. In the Fathers Give Good Gifts simile, Jesus concludes his reassuring arguments that God can be trusted to provide for his full-time disciples when they pray the Lord’s Prayer.

Friend In Need Simile

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Is God asleep, oblivious to our prayers? Is he a grouch, unwilling to respond to our pleas? In the Friend in Need simile Jesus instructed his disciples that the grounds for confident prayer is the character of their good and trustworthy God.

Yeshua’s Discourse on Worry

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In Yeshua’s Discourse on Worry Jesus confronted one of the most serious concerns of the disciples: how would their basic needs be met now that they had given up their possessions and livelihoods in order to itinerate full-time with Jesus?

Lost Sheep and Lost Coin Similes

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With the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin similes Jesus explained to his critics that he ate and drank with “sinners” because God rejoices when a person repents. God wants his friends—including Jesus and Jesus’ critics—to join him in the celebration.

Call of Levi

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In the Call of Levi story we learn about Jesus’ attitude toward sinful persons and about his relationship with the Pharisees.

Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven

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Did Jesus offer a rationale for teaching with the aid of story parables in this pericope, or does the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven saying celebrate the dawning of the new age of redemption?

Yeshua’s Thanksgiving Hymn

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In Yeshua’s Thanksgiving Hymn the Holy Spirit inspires Jesus to utter an Essene-style hymn that expresses gratitude for the divine revelation that was being disclosed to his followers.

Return of the Twelve

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When Jesus’ twelve emissaries to Israel returned from their mission, thrilled by their success at exorcising demons, Jesus described to them a vision of the expulsion of Satan from heaven. The vision’s message was double-edged: on the one hand, the downfall of the angelic prince meant that the way was opened for the redemption of Israel; on the other hand, having fallen to earth, Satan was about to unleash his fury against God’s chosen people.

Did Jesus Call God “Abba”?

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In the past, some scholars have relied on the evidence of Jesus’ use of the word “Abba” to draw far-reaching conclusions about Jesus, the language he spoke, and his relationship to Judaism. As part of their ongoing research for the LOY project, David Bivin and Joshua Tilton revisited the evidence for Jesus’ use of “Abba” as an address to God. Tilton summarizes their findings here.

Sending the Twelve: Apostle and Sender

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The Apostle and Sender saying (Matt. 10:40; Luke 10:16) not only gave assurance to Jesus’ emissaries as he sent them out on their first healing and teaching mission, it also offers us an extraordinary glimpse into Jesus’ high self-awareness as the shāliaḥ, or official representative, of Israel’s God. In this segment of the Life of Yeshua commentary, David N. Bivin, JP’s editor-in-chief, and Joshua N. Tilton envision how Jesus’ Apostle and Sender saying may have been worded in Hebrew and explore the Jewish backgrounds of this profound saying.

Sending the Twelve: Conduct in Town

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David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton suggest a Hebrew reconstruction of Jesus’ instructions about how the twelve apostles were to behave when they entered a town. In this pericope we learn about the giving and receiving of hospitality among Jesus’ earliest followers. We also learn what may be wrong about the popular view that shaking the dust from the apostles’ feet was a symbolic action meant to signal to Jews who rejected Jesus that they were henceforth to be considered as Gentiles.