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Site note: The premise is that by judiciously combining the duplicated accounts of the Synoptic Gospels, little if anything significant is lost and something more or greater is gained. If the reader is concerned about any one passage, he can always look in a Bible and confirm that nothing significant has been lost.

Part 1 of 6
Updated: 04/15/2021

Table of Contents

1-LUKE'S PREFACE  Luke 1:1-4
5-SONG OF MARY  Luke 1:46-56
6-JOSEPH'S DREAM  Matthew 1:18-25
7-BIRTH OF JOHN  Luke 1:57-80
8-BIRTH OF YESHUA  Luke 2:1-7
13-VISIT OF THE MAGI  Matthew 2:1-12
14-THE FLIGHT TO EGYPT Matthew 2:13-18
15-RETURN TO NAZARETH  Matthew 2:19-23
17-MINISTRY OF JOHN  Luke 3:1-20  Mt 3:1-12  Mk 1:1-8
18-SPIRITUALLY MATURE YESHUA BAPTIZED   Luke 3:21,22  Mt 3:13-17  Mk 1:9-11
19-WILDERNESS TESTING  Luke 4:1-13  Mt 4:1-11  Mk 1:12,13
20-YESHUA PREACHING THE GOOD NEWS  Matthew 4:12-17  Mk 1:14,15  Lk 4:14,15
21-WHEREFORE THIS WISDOM?  Luke 4:16-30  Matthew 13:53-58  Mk 6:1-6
22-NETS FULL OF FISH  Luke 5:1-11
23-CALLING THE FISHERS OF MEN   Matthew 4:18-25  Mk 1:16-20
24-HEALING AT CAPERNAUM  Mark 1:21-28  Lk 4:31-37
25-PETER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW HEALED   Luke 4:38,39  Mt 8:14-17  Mk 1:29-31
26-THE SICK HEALED  Luke 4:40,41  Mk 1:32-34
27-PREACHING KINGSHIP IN GALILEE   Luke 4:42-44  Mk 1:35-39
28-LEPER CLEANSED  Mark 1:40-45  Mt 8:1-4  Lk 5:12-16
29-PARALYTIC HEALED AND FORGIVEN   Luke 5:17-26  Mt 9:1-8  Mk 2:1-12
30-CALLING MATTHEW  Matthew 9:9-13  Mk 2:13-17  Lk 5:27-32
31-PARABLE OF THE PARADIGMS   Luke 5:33-39  Mt 9:14-17  Mk 2:18-22
32-LORD OF THE SABBATH  Matthew 12:1-8  Mk 2:23-28  Lk 6:1-5
33-ARGUING AND HEALING ON SABBATH   Luke 6:6-11  Mt 12:9-14  Mk 3:1-6

Luke 1:1-4  Since many have taken it upon themselves to write an account of the things which have been accomplished among us, as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were becoming eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it also seemed good to me, following all things from the first closely, in order to write to you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know in certainty about the things of which you have been taught.

Commentary: Luke is essentially telling Theophilus that he is compiling his material from other accounts that he has accumulated.

Luke 1:5-25  There was in the days of Herod, king of Judea, a certain priest named Zechariah, of the daily course of Abia; and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.  And they were both righteous in the sight of God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.  But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in their days.  Then in his serving as priest in his course before God, according to the custom of the priests, it was his lot to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
     A crowd of people were praying outside at the hour of incense, when there appeared to him a messenger of the Lord standing to the right of the altar of incense.  And Zechariah was disturbed upon seeing him, and fear fell upon him.  But the messenger said to him, "Do not fear, Zechariah, for your request was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son to you, and you shall call his name John.  And he will be to you joy and gladness, and many will rejoice over his birth. For he will be great in the eyes of the Lord, and he shall not drink wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
     "And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go ahead before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to prepare for the Lord a people prepared."
     And Zechariah said to the messenger, "How shall I know this?  For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in her days."  And answering him the messenger said, "I am Gabriel, the one standing before God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you good news of these things.  And behold, you will be silent and not able to speak until the day that these things occur, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time."
     And the people were expecting Zechariah, and they wondered about his delay in coming out of the temple.  He could not speak to them, but they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he was signaling to them and remained dumb.  When the days of his service were ended, he went away to his home.  After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and for five months hid herself, saying, "This is what the Lord has done to me in the days when he saw fit to take away my reproach among men."

Commentary: As a physician in Rome chronicling the stories about Yeshua, it would normally be impossible for Luke to verify all this. It is telling that he characterizes the "righteousness of Zechariah and his wife as ""walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." The question may be asked: If we dismissed all this as fabricated, would that make any real difference to the impactful life and message of Yeshua? It is hard to see why.

Luke 1:26-38  In the sixth month the messenger Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the name of this virgin was Mariam (Mary).  Upon entering the messenger said to her, "Hail, O one receiving grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women!"  But upon seeing she was disturbed by his words, and wondered about what sort of greeting this might be.
     And the messenger said to her, "Do not fear, Mary, for you found favor with God.  For you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Yeshua[1].  This one will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign in the family of Jacob for the ages; and of his kingship there will be no end."
     And Mary said to the messenger, "How shall this be, since I have not been consummated with a man?"  And in answering the messenger said to her, "The God Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will envelop you in brilliance so that the child to be born by you will be called holy, the Son of God.  And behold, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren, because with God nothing will be impossible."  And Mary said, "Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be to me as you say."  Then the messenger went away from her.

Commentary: In contrast to the story above about John the Baptist's parents and miraculous conception, the claim of this account NEEDS to be true, because it is a necessary part of the foundation for the Yeshua incident. Luke is giving the essence of what happened, not necessarily the exact words that were spoken.

[1]   This name is 'Joshua' in Hebrew.

Luke 1:39-45  At that time Mary arose, hurried into the hill country to a city of Judah and entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the God Spirit and she called out with a loud voice, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And how is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped in elation.  And blessed is the one who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

Commentary: Again, it is not necessary to accept this account as literal in order to believe the Gospel.

Luke 1:46-56  And Mary said,

"My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit exulted in God my Savior,
for he has noticed the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the mighty one has done great things for me.
And holy is his name,
and his mercy is on generation to generation of those who respect him.
He has accomplished mightily with his arm,
he has scattered those with proud thoughts in their hearts,
he has pulled down potentates from their thrones,
and exalted the humble ones;
the hungry ones he has filled with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has rescued his servant Israel,
in memory of his mercy,
even as he has said to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his heirs for the ages."

And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.

Commentary: If we were to consider this passage as being truly Mary's song instead of Luke's composition, that would be incredible. The Gospel message of Yeshua does not need this kind of window dressing.

Matthew 1:18-25  Now the birth of Yeshua Christ was in this way.  When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they were united she was found to be pregnant by the God Spirit.  Her husband Joseph, being a gentleman and unwilling to shame her publicly, resolved to separate from her discretely.  But as he was considering this, behold, a messenger of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that one conceived in her by the Spirit is awesome; and she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jeshua, for he will save his people from their sins."  Now all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

"Behold, the womb of a virgin shall conceive
and will bear a son,
and his name shall be called Emmanuel,"
which means, God with us.

Then Joseph being awakened from sleep did as the messenger of the Lord directed him; he took his wife, but did not consummate her until she bore her son.  And he called his name Jeshua.

Commentary: Something like this needs to have happened.

Luke 1:57-80  Now the time came for Elizabeth to deliver, and she gave birth to a son.  And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had increased his mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.  And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they were calling him by his father's name, Zechariah, but his mother said, "Not so; for he shall be called John."  And they said to her, "There is no one of your kindred called by this name."  And they signaled to his father, asking what he desired to have him called.  Asking for a tablet, he wrote, "His name is John."  And they all marveled.  And his mouth was opened instantly, and his tongue, and he spoke, blessing God.
     And awe came on all the ones living around them.  And all these facts were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard remembered them, saying, "What then will this child be?"  And the hand of the Lord was with him.  And his father Zechariah was filled with the God Spirit, and prophesied, saying,

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and undertook redemption for his people,
and has raised a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
even as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets
down through the ages,
that we should have salvation from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to execute the mercy for our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
to give us freedom from fear of the hand of our enemies, that we might serve him in consecration,
and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give a knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins,
through the bowels of mercy of our God,
when the Dawn of Light shall visit us from on high,
to appear to those in darkness
and sitting in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the wilderness until the day of his appearing to Israel.

Commentary: Again, most of this may be Luke's embellishment, and we do not need this to see and understand the reality of Yeshua and his message.

Luke 2:1-7  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be registered, each one to his own city.  So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be registered with his pregnant wife Mary.  While they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.  And she bore her first‑born son and wrapped him and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Commentary: The explanation for why Joseph was in Bethlehem.

Luke 2:8-21  And in that same region there were shepherds living in the field and guarding their flock at night.  And behold, a messenger of the Lord came to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were awed with great fear.  And the messenger said to them,

"Do not fear; for behold, I have good news for you{pl}
and a great joy, which will be for all the people;
for to you{pl} is born this day in the city of David
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you{pl};
you{pl} will find a babe wrapped and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the messenger a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among men of good will!"

     So as the messengers went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go into Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."  And they came hurrying and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.  And seeing him they openly told about the saying spoken to them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered about what the shepherds told them.  But Mary kept all these things, pondering on them in her mind.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God about all they had heard and seen, even as it had been told them.
     And after eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jeshua, the name given by the messenger before he was conceived in the womb.

Commentary: Another anecdotal account at best.

Luke 2:22-24  And when the time of her (Mary) cleansing was finished, according to the law of Moses, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord", and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

Commentary: The anecdotal explanation for why they were in Jerusalem

Luke 2:25-35  Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, righteous and devout, who was looking for the consolation of Israel, and the God Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Spirit of a God that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  He was led by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents were bringing in the child Yeshua, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him into his arms, blessed God, and said,

"Let now your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
because my eyes saw your salvation
which you prepared in front of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the nations,
and for glory to your people Israel."

     Joseph and his mother were marveling at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,

"Behold, this child is set for the fall
and rising of many in Israel,
and for a sign that is spoken against,
and a sword will pierce through your own soul also,
that thoughts out of many minds may be revealed."

Commentary: This enigmatic account may be fabricated; or if factual, it may be that God went to special lengths to prepare Yeshua' parents, who were not really prepared for the role that he would play.

Luke 2:36-39  Also there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was advanced in her days, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow until she was eighty‑four, who did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and petitions night and day.  And coming at the same time she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke about him to all who were eagerly expecting the redemption of Jerusalem.  And when they had finished everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city, Nazareth.

Commentary: This finishes Luke's address of the earliest part of Yeshua's life. These two unverified and anecdotal passages above may have a grain of truth in them, in that both Simeon and Anna may have been stirred when they encountered the family and babe. The problem is that they reinforce a fundamentally wrong conception of prophets and prophecy. The future cannot be set ahead of time to the degree that this kind of theology would have us believe. What CAN happen is that God can work behind the scenes without tampering with our sovereignty to cause certain things to happen.

Matthew 2:1-12  And Yeshua having been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the one born king of the Jews?  For we have seen his star in the East, and came to worship him."  Hearing this, Herod the king was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; gathering all the chief priests and theologians of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet:

'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are not at all least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a leader
who will shepherd my people Israel.'"

     Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them exactly what time the star appeared; and sending them to Bethlehem, he said, "When you{pl} have gone, search specifically for the child, and when you{pl} have found him report to me, so that I too may come and worship him."  Having heard the king out they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, until it came to stop over the place where the child was.  And seeing the star, they rejoiced exceedingly; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh.  And being warned by a dream not to return to Herod, they departed by another way to their own country.

Commentary: An anecdotal account with little theological significance.

Matthew 2:13-18  Now after their departing, behold, a messenger of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Arise, take with you the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him."  And he arose and took the child and his mother by night, departed to Egypt, and remained there until the end of Herod; that might be fulfilled what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, saying,

"Out of Egypt have I called my son."

     Then Herod, when he saw that he was fooled by the Magi, was greatly enraged, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and its districts who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had specifically asked of the Magi.  Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

"A voice was heard in Rama,
wailing and weeping and mourning greatly,
Rachel weeping for her children,
not willing to be consoled,
because they were no more."[2]

Commentary: The number killed, if any, was probably less than ten. Josephus did not see fit to mention this incident in his histories.

[2]    This is an example of an inclusion by the Gospel compiler of an Old Testament text with a very dubious and tenuous relevance, and by its inclusion and use, in this instance, supports a false concept of God's foreknowledge.

Matthew 2:19-23  With Herod having died, behold, a messenger of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Arise, take along the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel; those are dead who sought the child's life (psyche)."  And he arose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.  Upon hearing that Archelaus reigns over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the area of Galilee.  Having come there he dwelt in a city called Nazareth, to thus fulfill what was spoken by the prophets;

"He shall be called a Nazarene."

Commentary: This account is dubious or fallible, because Joseph and Mary already dwelt in Nazareth, and Joseph would have had his business there.

Luke 2:40-52  The child grew and became strong, being filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.  His parents used to go to Jerusalem year after year to the feast of the Passover.  And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the feast.  When the time was over, as they were returning, the boy Yeshua stayed in Jerusalem.  Joseph and his mother did not know this, but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey, and then looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances; and not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.
     After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and questioning them; and all those hearing him were amazed at his intelligence and his answers.  Upon seeing him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why did you do this to us?  Behold, your father and I have been anxiously looking for you."  And he said to them, "Why is it that you{pl} sought me?  Did you{pl} not know that I must be involved in my Father's affairs?"
     And they did not understand the meaning of which he spoke to them.  And so he went with them and came to Nazareth being subject to them; and his mother carefully kept all these things in her mind.  And Yeshua increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Commentary: By the time that Luke compiled his Gospel account, the aspects of Yeshua's life took on legendary dimensions, and so much of this kind of material is hearsay. Why does Luke keep trying to authenticate Yeshua with these unsupported and embellished anecdotes, instead of with the appeal and elegance of what Yeshua was offering to us?


Luke 3:1-20  Mt 3:1-12  Mk 1:1-8  In the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius Caesar, with Pontius Pilate as governor of Judea, Herod as tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high‑priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, a mandate of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.  Now John had clothing of camel's hair, and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey; and he went into all the region about the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance, "Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand", for the forgiveness of sins.  As it has been written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,[3]

'The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled up,
and every mountain and hill shall be laid low,
and the crooked shall be straight,
and the rough places made into smooth ways;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"

Commentary: This passage gives us some historical markers. Outside of that it is another example of Luke taking poetic license.

[3]    This "quotation" is not in the regular Old Testament but is actually a composite of texts from Second Isaiah, the Book of Malachi and the Book of Exodus.

He said therefore to the Pharisees and Sadducees that came out to be baptized by him, "Offspring of vipers!  Who warned you{pl} to flee from the coming wrath?  Produce fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father'; for I say to you{pl}, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.  Already the axe is laid to the root of the trees; therefore every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
     And the crowd asked him, "What then shall we do?"  And he answered them, "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."  Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?"  And he said to them, "Keep no more than what is directed."  Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?"  And he said to them, "Oppress no one nor falsely accuse, and be satisfied with your wages."
     With the people in expectation, and all men reasoning in their minds concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, saying, "Indeed, I baptize you{pl} with water; but one who is mightier than I is coming, of whom I am not worthy to untie the clasp of his sandals; he will baptize you{pl} in the God Spirit and fire.  His winnowing shovel is in his hand, to clean his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
     Then with many things and other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.  But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him about Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, also added this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

Commentary: Luke's synopsis of John the Baptist's message and style.

Luke 3:21,22  Mt 3:13-17  Mk 1:9-11  Then Yeshua came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.  John restrained him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?"  But Yeshua answered him, "Let it be for now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill the requirements."  Then he allowed it.
     When all the people were baptized, and when Yeshua also had been baptized and was praying, the sky was opened, and the God Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am delighted, today I have begotten you."[4]

Commentary: This is the first passage that encounters an overlap between the three Synoptic Gospels, and basically the first where the spiritual content and issues need to be taken seriously and believed. The hosts of Heaven are giving their stamp of approval upon the mature Yeshua now ready to begin representing them.

[4]    In view of there being some manuscripts which omit this last phrase, most Bible translators elect to leave it out, probably because they have no paradigm in which to understand it in a meaningful way. However, it is the middle phrase that is important because it bespeaks that Yeshua was now prepared and qualified to begin his public ministry.

Luke 4:1-13  Mt 4:1-11  Mk 1:12,13   And Yeshua, full of the God Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, tested for forty days by the diabolical one[5].  And he ate nothing in those days; and after they were ended, he hungered.  The diabolical one said to him, "If you are the Son of God, say to this stone to become a loaf."  And Yeshua answered him, "It has even been described in writing,

'Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every instruction coming through the mouth of God.'"

     And he took him to Jerusalem, and stood him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it has been written,

'He will command his messengers concerning you, to preserve you,
and in their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"

And Yeshua answered him, "Again it has been described in writing,

'You shall not test the Lord your God.'"

     And again the diabolical one takes him up to an extremely high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory in a moment of time, and said to him, "To you I will give authority for all this and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  If you, then, falling down will worship me, it will be all yours."  But Yeshua answered him, "Get behind me, Obstructor![6]  It has been written,

'You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.'"

Having finished every test, the diabolical one departed from him for a time.  And behold, messengers came and ministered to him.

Commentary: An account that is not corroborated by an eyewitness, and one that my be embellished somewhat. However, we should not doubt that Yeshua withdrew and was sorely tested.

[5]    The Greek word here is Diabolou, from Diabolos, which means accuser or slanderer or divider.  Both these words derive from Diaballo which means to throw or convey through or over, to thrust through, to defame or inform against.  It is helpful to understand that the ultimate 'devil' is not a person but is a concept that God himself is alien, evil, inhumane, or non-human; and any person or entity or agency supporting or seeming to support a wrong theology, whether it be a man, a religion, an organization, an angel or even God himself, can be said to be playing the role of the devil.

[6]   The Hebrew word satan comes from a root meaning to block or obstruct or interfere, and should be translated as "the obstructor".

Matthew 4:12-17  Mk 1:14,15  Lk 4:14,15   Yeshua, having heard that John was arrested, returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee; and having left Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the districts of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

"The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
toward the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles;
the people having sat in darkness saw a great light,
and light has dawned for those
who sat in the region and shadow of death."

From that time Yeshua began to proclaim and to say, "The time has been fulfilled.  The kingship of the heavens has drawn near.  Repent and believe in the good news."  And a rumor concerning him went out through all the neighboring country.  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Commentary: A strictly anecdotal account that continues the pattern of the Synoptic Gospel compilers' agenda of trying to authenticate Yeshua by linking aspects to selected Old Testament "prophecies". There are enough passages in the Old Testament that can be cherry-picked to support almost anything.

Luke 4:16-30  Mt 13:53-58  Mk 6:1-6  And it was that when Yeshua had finished these teachings, he moved on from there and his disciples followed.  Coming into his own country to Nazareth, where he was brought up, he went into the synagogue, as was his custom, on the Sabbath holidays.  He came and taught them and he stood up to read.  A roll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.  Having unrolled the roll, he found the place where it was written,

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
therefore he anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the broken minded[7],
to proclaim release to captives,
and new sight to the blind,
to send away the oppressed in deliverance,
to announce a time period acceptable to the Lord."

     Upon closing the roll, and giving it back to the attendant, he sat down.  And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  So he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your ears."  And all bore witness of him, and marveled at the words of grace proceeding from his mouth so that they were astounded, even to say, "Whence comes to this man this wisdom that even works of power are coming about through his hands?  Is not this the carpenter's son?  Is not his mother called Mary?  And are not his brothers James and Joses and Simon and Judas?  And are not all his sisters with us?  Whence comes to this man all this?"  And they said, "Is not this the son of Joseph?"
    Then he said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself!  That which we heard happening at Capernaum, do also here in your native-place.'  Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country, a prophet is not unhonored except in his homeland, and among his own relatives and in his own house.  But I tell you in a truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up over three years and six months, when there came a great famine upon all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them except Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman, a widow.  And there were many lepers in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian."
     Upon hearing these things they were offended by him, all in the synagogue were filled with anger, and rising up, they forced him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built in order to throw him down.  But passing through the midst of them, he went away.  And he did few mighty works there because of their unbelief, except that laying his hands upon a few sick people, he healed them.  And he marveled at their unbelief and went on a circuit teaching among the villages.

Commentary: Again, this is an anecdotal account without much spiritual or constructive merit.

[7]   This is traditionally translated 'broken hearted', but this phrase in translation misses the point in that it refers in modern English to hurt feelings.  Rather, Yeshua came to minister to our minds and attitudes, to our objective, communicable belief systems in order to heal the rift between this and our subjective idealism.  Yeshua came to eliminate or take away our sin, our wrong and negative and destructive concepts of God.

Luke 5:1-11  The crowd was pressing upon him to hear the word of God, and he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.  He saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen having gone out of them were washing their nets.  Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out from the land a little.  And sitting, he taught the people from the boat.
     And as he quit speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."  Simon answering said to him, "Master, laboring all night we took nothing, but at your word I will let down the net."  Upon doing this, they enclosed a great multitude of fish, and their net was being torn.  They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; and they came and filled both the boats so that they were sinking.
     Simon Peter, having seen this, fell down at Yeshua's knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."  For amazement seized him and all the ones with him, at the catch of fish which they took; and likewise James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.  And Yeshua said to Simon, "Do not fear; from now on you will be taking men alive."  Bringing up their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Commentary: It can be noted that this result of a large catch wouldn't require anything but knowledge on the part of Yeshua as to where a school of fish was located. It SHOULD be noted that Yeshua never got up on a stage or behind a pulpit and talked down to people from a higher place. Being in the boat was the lowest possible position for him to take in that situation. He DID stand up to read when others were seated.

Matthew 4:18-25  Mk 1:16-20  And walking along beside the Sea of Galilee, Yeshua saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  And he said to them, "Follow after me, and I will make you{pl} fishers of men."   Immediately forsaking their nets they followed him.
     And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets.  He called them.  Immediately forsaking the boat and their father, they followed him.  And Yeshua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingship and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.
    The report about him went throughout all Syria.  And they brought him all those having sickness, suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, lunatics, and paralytics, and he healed them.  And many crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and beyond the Jordan.

Commentary: The whole idea that Yeshua would summarily call these men to follow him smacks of misunderstanding and embellishment. That these men followed Yeshua is not in doubt, but Yeshua does not command men to follow him, and he was NOT foolish enough to deliberately select these men. The Synoptic Gospel compilers often mischaracterize Yeshua and his words and actions in a tiresome way.

Mark 1:21-28  Lk 4:31-37  And they passed along into Capernaum; and entering the synagogue immediately on the holidays he taught.  And they were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching as if having authority, and not as the theologians.  And there was in their synagogue a man with a foul spirit;  and he cried out with a loud voice, saying, "What's in store for us and for you, Yeshua of Nazareth?  Have you come to destroy us?  I know who you are, the Holy One of God."
     But Yeshua rebuked him,[8] saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!"  And the foul spirit, convulsing him but injuring nothing, came out of him.  And they were all amazed, so that they discussed among themselves, saying, "What is this?  What new teaching is this that with authority he commands even the foul spirits, and they obey him."  And at once his fame spread throughout all the neighboring country of Galilee.

Commentary: Matthew and Mark have a slightly different version of this event than the previous passage by Luke. Nevertheless, this account is the first in the Synoptic Gospels that deals with a miracle of healing, and especially one of "possession". In the paradigm being presented this was certainly a healing, but not a literal casting out of an evil angel life-form "possessing" the man. Either Yeshua was personifying as he often did, or the storyteller reported it this way.

[8]    "Rebuked" is probably an exaggeration.

Luke 4:38,39  Mt 8:14-17  Mk 1:29-31  And rising up he left the synagogue, and entered Simon's house.  Now Simon's mother-in-law was being seized with a high fever, and they inquire of him about her.  And standing over her, he rebuked the fever, and it left her.  Immediately rising up, she served them.

Commentary: Why wasn't this healing characterized as a demon cast out? PROBABLY because it was Peter's mother-in-law.

Luke 4:40,41  Mk 1:32-34  With the sun sinking, all those that had sick ones with various diseases brought them to him.  Laying his hands on each of them he healed them.  And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of God!"[9]  But rebuking them, he did not allow them to speak, for they knew him to be the Christ.

Commentary: The claim that many cried out because of demons and that Yeshua did not allow them to speak is no doubt an exaggeration that got passed down over time. Yeshua in not in the business of controlling people this way.

[9]    The people of that time and culture lived in a world-view of demon and angel beings, which in this paradigm caused by "possession" various physical, mental and psychological disorders.

Luke 4:42-44  Mk 1:35-39  And quite early in the morning he departed and went to a desert place, and there he was praying.  Simon and those with him sought him, and finding him said to him, "Everyone is searching for you."  And the crowds looked for him and came up to him, and held him fast so as to not get away from them.  But he said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingship of God also to the other cities; for this purpose I was sent."  And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea and Galilee, and casting out demons.

Commentary: An example of the misplaced focus of the people, and the casting our of demons was the fallacious interpretation of the time..

Mark 1:40-45  Mt 8:1-4  Lk 5:12-16  While being in one of the cities, a leper comes to him, begging and falling on his knees before him, saying to him, "Sir, if you choose, you can make me clean."  Being filled with pity, Yeshua stretched out his hand and touched him, and says to him, "I am willing; be made clean."  Having spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
     Having strictly warned him, immediately he sent him out, and says to him, "Understand?  Tell no one anything; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses ordered concerning your cleansing, for evidence to them."
     But he going out began to talk a lot, and to spread the news about, so that He no longer was able to openly enter a city, but was out in the desert places; and they came to him from every quarter.  But the report concerning him spread even more; and great crowds were coming to hear and to be healed of their infirmities.  But he was now withdrawing in the desert and praying.

Commentary: What is amazing is that this man completely ignored the strict instructions, which further fueled the seeking of physical healing instead of spiritual healing. This became more of a focus and a problem for Yeshua and his agenda, but his compassion compelled him to do it anyway.

Luke 5:17-26  Mt 9:1-8  Mk 2:1-12  And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to Capernaum, his own city and it was reported that he was home.  On one of those days he was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem.  Soon many were assembled so as to no longer have access, even to the door.  He declared the message to them; and the power of the Lord was with him to heal.
     And behold, men were bringing a paralytic laid out on a cot being carried by four, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before him.  Not finding a way to bring him in through the crowd, and going up on the housetop, they unroofed the roof and let him down through the tiles with his cot into the midst in front of Yeshua.  And when he saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Be comforted, my son; your sins are being dismissed."  And behold, some of the theologians said to themselves, "This one blasphemes."
      And the theologians and Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who is able to dismiss sins except only God"  But Yeshua, knowing their thinking, said, "Why do you{pl} reason so or think evil in your minds?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are being dismissed,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your cot and walk'?  But that you{pl} may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to dismiss sins"– he then says to the paralytic– "Rise, take up your cot and walk to your house."
     And immediately he arose before them, and took up the cot on which he lay, and went to his house, praising God.  And amazement seized them all, and they were filled with awe, and glorified God saying, "We have seen wonderful things today.  Never did we see the like."

Commentary: The dismissal of sins by God does NOT mean that the person is a believer or that he has entered the Kingship of the Hevens.

Matthew 9:9-13  Mk 2:13-17  Lk 5:27-32  And passing on from there, Yeshua saw a man called Levi Matthew, son of Alpheus, sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me."  And rising up he followed him, and then made a great feast for him in his house.  It so happened that as he was reclining in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners, having followed him, were reclining with Yeshua and his disciples.  Having seen this, the Pharisees said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"  But Yeshua having heard this, said, "Those who are hearty have no need for a healer, but those having sickness.  After going, learn what this means,

'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.'
For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Commentary: Given that sinning means holding a false concept of God, all have been sinners in the most profound way.

Luke 5:33-39  Mt 9:14-17  Mk 2:18-22  Now the disciples of John and the Pharisees were fasting, and some of John's disciples came to him and said to him, "The disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and also those of the Pharisees  And Yeshua said to them, "The bridegroom's friends are not able to mourn or fast while the bridegroom is with them, but the days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them; then they will fast in those days."
     He also told a parable[ to them: "No one takes a piece from a new garment and puts it upon an old garment; else, both the new will tear and the piece from the new will not match the old.  And no one puts fresh wine into old wineskins; else, the fresh wine will burst the wineskins and it will spill out, and the skins will be destroyed.  Fresh wine is to be put into new wineskins so both are preserved.  But no one drinking old wine right away desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.'"

Commentary: This one of the most important analogies that Yeshua gave. It is straightforward, and universally interpreted as applying to our world view or paradigm, and as such opens the door to challenge ALL of existing religious thinking.

[10]  "Eat and drink" was a phrase that meant acting as per usual.

Matthew 12:1-8  Mk 2:23-28  Lk 6:1-5"  At that time Yeshua went through the grain fields on the second major Sabbath holiday; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears of grain and to eat.  But upon the Pharisees seeing this, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath holiday."
     So he said to them, "Have you{pl} not read what David did, when he was hungry, himself and those with him: how he went in to the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of Presentation, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, except only for the priests?  Or did you{pl} not read in the canon how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless?  I declare to you{pl}, something greater than the temple is here.  But if you{pl} had known what this means,

'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,'

you{pl} would not have blamed the guiltless.  The Sabbath holiday came into being for the sake of man, not man for the sake of the Sabbath holiday; so then the Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath holiday."

Commentary: In this passage Yeshua addresses not only the Sabbath rules but law in general, showing that at best it is all contingent upon a reasonable purpose. Nothing in these passages should be taken to mean that Yeshua was supporting the idea of a legalistic Sabbath, which was originally in Hebrew culture a holiday. It was a day to do anything but to work for making wages r wealth.

Luke 6:6-11  Mt 12:9-14  Mk 3:1-6  Also on another Sabbath holiday, with him entering the synagogue and teaching, a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the theologians and the Pharisees kept close by and they watched him, to see if he will heal on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.  But he knew their thinking, and he said to the man having the withered hand, "Rise up and stand here in the middle."  So rising up he stood there. Then Yeshua said to them, "I will ask you{pl} one, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do ill, to heal a psyche[11] or to destroy it?"  But they were silent as he looked around on all of them with anger, being greatly grieved by the hardness of their hearts.
     He said to them, "What man will be of you{pl}, if he will have one sheep and it falls into a pit on a Sabbath holiday, who will not lay hold of it and lift it out?  How much a man surpasses a sheep!  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath holiday."  Then he says to the man, "Stretch out your hand."  He stretched it out, and it was restored, sound like the other.  But the Pharisees were filled with fury, and going out immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him, on how to destroy him.

Commentary: This account shows that in some (many?) cases the hardened religious heart and mind is immune to the best appeal to logic, reason, and mercy.

[11]  Literally, "heal a life". This type of religion, a form of legalism and sacrifice, still common today, taught and practiced by the Pharisees is destructive to the true human psyche, life pattern and fulfillment of mankind, and Yeshua may be making a reference to this.

Combined Synoptic Gospels Part 2


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