initially, Jesus instructed his Apostles to avoid the Gentiles and reach out only to the Jews — the “ lost sheep of Israel. ” Later in the Gospels this will start to make more common sense, but for now, we need to at least understand the difference between the two groups. It is reasonably simple actually — a “ Jew ” was anyone who belonged to one of the twelve tribe of Israel, and a “ Gentile ” was everyone else. The news “ Gentile ” is of Latin beginning and means “ belonging to a people. ” however, as typically used in the Gospels, “ Gentile ” merely means “ non-Jewish. ” Gentile actually isn ’ t the most precise word to describe the non-Jewish hellenic culture of the day, but since the Gospels use the term, we ’ ll joint with it for our purposes .
The differences between the two groups are huge and can be seen in what they ate, how they dressed, how they washed, how they worshipped, and what their art, academics, language, and social customs looked like. even their architecture was unlike. At the center of the jewish polish were the Hebrew Bible and the writings of their rabbi. Jews believed in one transcendent God who created the universe and everything in it. They besides believed that they were God ’ s chosen people. The hellenic polish in the area was more of a brawl of Greek and Roman mythology, ethical motive, philosophy, and politics .
Jews and Gentiles in the Gospels – The “Other Side”
One even, after Jesus had taught all day on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus instructed his Apostles to get in a gravy boat with him, and travel to the “ early side. ” As we ’ ve learned, observant Jews stuck reasonably much to the northwestern region of the Sea of Galilee, because the “ other side ” represented all that was impure, decadent, sinful – and surely not jewish .
The Greeks, and then the Romans, had built up ten cities known as the Decapolis to the south and to the east of the Sea of Galilee. These cities were exemplars of hellenic culture and world power – temples to worship idols, bathhouses, stadiums, and theaters. These were unclean places to go and represented a iniquitous presence in the land. It was “ all bad ” in the eyes of a practice Jew .
nowadays remember earlier, when Jesus sent his Apostles out, he instructed them not to go to the Gentiles, but to the Jews. And besides remember that Jews saw non-Jews as accessory to God ’ s overall design. thus Jesus was making a reasonably surprise statement to his disciples here… the Kingdom of God would now be shared with the Gentiles who lived on “ the other side. ”
While on their way, the Gospels record that a sudden storm kicked up and the disciples were very scared. They probably besides considered that the storm was a confirmation that they should not be going to the other side. It ’ s not uncommon on the Sea of Galilee during former fall and Winter for storms to form very quickly and by chance from the higher elevations on the east side of the lake. Within minutes, the lake can produce 6-foot waves that could easily swamp a first hundred Galilean boat .
therefore, a trip to the “ other side ” soon became a docile here and now for Jesus who, by the way, seemed pretty relax considering the situation :
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “ Teacher, don ’ metric ton you care if we drown ? ”
He got up, rebuked the wind instrument and said to the waves, “ repose ! Be hush ! ” then the wreathe died depressed and it was completely steady.
He said to his disciples, “ Why are you so afraid ? Do you still have no religion ? ”
They were terrified and asked each early, “ Who is this ? even the wind and the waves obey him ! ”
( Mark 4:38-41 )
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Randall acts as the run writer for ColdWater ’ s Drive Thru History® TV series and Drive Thru History® “ Adventures ” course of study.