Fourth Sunday of Epiphany

Large Crowds of People Follow Jesus

Matthew 4: 23-24

Luke 6: 17

People came from all over the Middle East to hear Jesus teach, hoping that he would heal them from their sins.

Practically the only form of transportation people had in those days was to walk. How far would we walk to listen to Jesus?

Draw or obtain a large map that covers Palestine, Syria and Jordan in the time of Jesus. (Your Bible bookstore should be able to help.)

For younger classes, choose two colors of ribbon, one for cities and one for regions, and show on the map how far people came to listen to Jesus on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The cities mentioned in today's lesson are Jerusalem, and Tyre and Sidon (in modern Lebanon).

The regions are Judea, Galilee, the Decapolis (the region surrounding the ten Roman cities that followed Greek ways), and the eastern side of the Jordan River (the modern country of Jordan.)

Older classes might want to calculate actual miles walked, and then to add the ten cities of the Decapolis, the rulers of the cities and regions, native languages spoken, and how many borders Jesus' listeners crossed to hear him.

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