Mark 1:29-39; GALILEAN SPRINGTIME (2-8-15)

 

 

(Photo 1—Sea/Hillside)

It was a Galilean Spring time!

Winter was over! New life was coming to the Galilee shores.

As you approach the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, you can see the coming of springtime.

The fields were turning green with life.

(photo 2—Sunny Slope)

The warm spring sunshine warmed the hillsides on this side of the lake.

God’s healing touch was restoring the land from its long winter’s sleep.

This was a Galilean Springtime.

It was a time of celebration and new life!

(photo 3—Green shoreline)

The shoreline sprung forth with new life. Bugs started buzzing.

 Fish started jumping. The fresh springs brought warm waters to the shoreline.

(photo 4—red poppies)

The lilies of the field filled the air with fragrance.

The red anemones popped through the soil.

The purple iris peeked through the hard ground.

(photo 5—rose)

The rose of Sharon blossomed.

The aloe plants bloomed.

Yellow, white, and red wildflowers burst out on the gentle slopes.

(photo 6—trees & sea)

The trees around the Sea came to life.

The Galilee began to look like the Garden of Eden.

(photo 7—close-up of 6)

The trees began to bloom.

(photo 8—cedars & sea background)

The cedars grew tall.

(photo 9—Date Palm window)

The date palms produced its first fruit: ripe and juicy, sweet and tasty.

The fig trees were providing its first harvest.

(photo 10—Sycamore 1)

The sycamore tree began to come alive.

the oleander and oleastra trees filled the hillside with soft greenery.

(photo 11—Sycamore 2)

The olive groves came to life.

The also produced their first harvest.

The olive presses were grinding the fruit into olive oil.

The aroma filled the air, and with the promise of abundant food and celebration.

(photo 12--shoreline)

The fishermen celebrated the coming of Springtime: because fishing was easier.

Near Capernaum, there are 7 springs in a place called Tagbah.

Now that the warm spring rains have come, these springs will feed warm water into the Sea of Galilee.

(photo 13—fishing waters)

The tropical fish called the St. Peter’s fish will seek out the warmer waters near Capernaum, around the springs of Tagbah.

This makes the fishing easy and abundant.

The fishermen know that there will be plenty of fresh meat during Spring-time.

(photo 14--farmland)

The farmers celebrate the turning of the fresh soil. They plant new crops.

Life became simpler. Food was abundant. Hope was renewed.

The hard winter was over; the rationing of food was gone.

They know that the spring weather brings a new growing season.

The Galilee was a rich and fertile land.

It was the proverbial land of milk and honey.

The bees would produce rich honey. But also pollinate their crops.

The shepherds didn’t have to work so hard to feed their sheep.

(photo 15—Tim in Market)

Capernaum, the little fishing village on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, was bustling with activity as it escaped a winter of bondage.

The windows were cast open.

Fresh air filled the stale inner quarters.

Shoes came off, and children played barefoot in the fresh grass.

Everyone knew that Galilean Springtime was a time of celebration.

The fields were thick with grass and water was plentiful.

(photo 16—Ancient market)

The Galilean Springtime was a time of renewal for the entire community.

Even as creation was being renewed; the people of Galilee were being renewed.

It was a time of plenty. Families didn’t have to work all day for food.

(photo17—spices)

The market place was full of fresh food, aromatic spices, first harvest.

It was like a month long Spring break:

Families took picnics by the lake, kids played in the warm springs, parents didn’t have to work so hard finding food, everyone enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine.

2. JESUS’ GALILEAN SPRINGTIME

(photo 18—Jesus mural)

When Jesus began his ministry in Capernaum; it was like a Galilean Springtime.

Jesus brought his healing touch to people in need:

People who were in bondage,

People who stuck in the stale indoors of a winter’s existence,

People who were forced to eat dried; stale food.

People who were cursed with the stale winter air:

People who had long accepted the bitterness of life.

Jesus had come to his new adopted town of Capernaum to bring Spring-time!

He preached in their synagogue.

He healed a man who was possessed with a demon/winter spirit.

He declared that God’s Kingdom had come in their midst like the new Spring.

As soon as he left the Synagogue he was confronted with winter’s deathly disease.

Just a few paces from the synagogue sickness was dominating a life.

Peter’s mother –in-law was sick. She had missed church because of a fever.

The Galilean Spring time came to her as Jesus brought the healing touch of God.

Like a breath of fresh air, Jesus cast open the winter windows and cleansed the stinking bondage of fever.

Jesus demonstrated the healing touch:

“He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up.”

The fever left her and she joined the Galilean Springtime.

She became an instrument of God’s healing touch.

She served them dinner:

fresh fish, figs, dates, freshly pressed oil, and homemade bread.

The Good News spread quickly: God’s springtime had come.

(photo 19—poppies and aloes)

Everyone in Galilee wanted to experience this new Spiritual Springtime.

The crowds of Capernaum and the surrounding communities came to Jesus.

The sick and the weary came right to Peter’s mother-in-laws’ door.

At sundown, a crowd waited outside the door for the coming of Spring.

The whole town came to the door.

A veritable avalanche of winter hurt and pain came to that door.

But Jesus did not close the door.

He opened the door of Spring to many:

“And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons…”

Early the next morning, Jesus climbed the slopes of Eremos, the hill west of Capernaum that overlooks the Sea of Galilee.

He found a cave and spent some time alone.

He prayed and slept. He listened to God and received direction for his ministry.

As the morning sun rose over the waters of the Sea, Jesus would have seen the whole region around the lake.

North: the influx of the Jordan River, brought the pure waters from the snowcapped Mount Hermon, visible in the far north.

East: he saw the pagan shore filled with Greeks and Romans.

South: he saw the crowds arriving to the hot baths where sick people came to find comfort and health in the natural springs; famous for its healing waters.

West: he saw all the Jewish towns around Capernaum.

He realized that this Galilean Springtime could not be limited to just Capernaum!

God’s healing was for everyone!

When the disciples found Jesus, they begged him to come back to town.

They wanted him to continue his healing ministry to Capernaum.

Jesus explained that he must take this Spring-time to all of Galilee:

“Let us go to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”

(photo 20—rose closeup)

Jesus went out to their synagogues with the healing touch of Springtime.

He healed the sick, cast out demons, and brought new life to the people.

He cast out the winter illnesses.

He cast out the stale sickness.

He cast out the boredom, the dreary routines, the boring life.

He filled them with health, wholeness, peace, purpose.

He spent the whole Spring-time filling them with God’s Springtime.

He preached the Beatitudes on the lush slopes of Eremos.

He taught from a fisherman’s boat by the springs of Tagbah..

He told parables of farmers in their fields.

(photo 21-fish & bread mosaic)

He fed 5000 picnickers who forgot to bring their own lunch.

He told stories to the children as they played in the warm springs.

Jesus brought Spring to the Galilee.

(photo 22-Go in peace)

Jesus brings Spring to the world, too!