(Mt. 17:1-13, Mk. 9: 2-12, Lk. 9:28-36)
This episode is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why did Jesus withdraw to a mountain for transfiguration, and what is the spiritual meaning of the Transfiguration? Why were the apostles Peter, James and John given the honor to see the transfiguration of Jesus? What did the arrival of the prophets Elijah and Moses and their communication with the Lord Jesus Christ mean? You will find the answers to these and other similar questions in today's episode of the program.
(Mt. 16:21-28, Mk. 8: 31-39, Lk. 9:22-27)
Jesus' prediction of His suffering, death and resurrection was not easily accepted by the Apostle Peter. That is why Peter opposed Christ and the latter rebuked him, calling him "Satan."
What is the way of Christian life; what principles should a Christian follow in order to achieve salvation; what is the most important rule of following Christ, whereby a person can find and liberate himself or herself? These and other similar questions are discussed in this episode.
All three Synoptic Evangelists present the episode about the true confession of Jesus. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He first asked His disciples what people thought of Him, who He was, and then asked the apostles' opinion about the same. Of the Synoptic Evangelists, only Matthew presents in this episode the Apostle Peter as the rock on which Christ built His Church and to which the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were given.
Of the Synoptic Evangelists only Mark has the story about the healing of the blind man in Bethsaida. It is interesting that in order to heal that man, Jesus took him out of the village and returned his eyesight through two actions. When Jesus spat on the blind man's eyes, the latter began to see people who walked like trees, and after being blessed by Jesus for the second time, the man began to see perfectly. What is the spiritual meaning of the story of this healing in two steps — could not Christ heal the blind man immediately?
(Mt. 16: 1-4; 5-12, Mk. 8: 11-13; 14-21, Lk. 12:54-56)
The Pharisees and Sadducees asked the Lord Jesus Christ to show a heavenly sign. The reason was their desire to make sure through a miracle that Jesus was really the Messiah. Naturally, Jesus did not perform a miracle for them and said that the only sign for them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.
In the second part of this episode, we talk about Christ's warning, in which He instructed His disciples to stay away from the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees or, according to Mark, of Herod. At first, the disciples did not understand this warning correctly, but then it became clear that it was not about a leaven in the literal sense of this word, but about the doctrine.
This episode presents the story of the healing of the deaf man that is only found in the Gospel of Mark. The Lord Jesus Christ performed this healing by departing from the crowd.
The second topic of this episode is the second multiplication of bread. This story is not included in the Gospel of Luke. With what aim do Matthew and Mark present it, and isn't it just another variant of the same story of the first multiplication of bread or is it indeed a separate case? You'll learn about all of this in today's issue of the program.
Evangelists Matthew and Mark present the story of the amazing faith of a Canaanite woman. This pagan woman who met Jesus at the borders of Tyre and Sidon had an indescribable faith. She did not lose heart even when after her long requests Jesus did not pay attention to her, when even the intercession of His disciples did not bring any result and when the Lord Himself rejected her, comparing her with a dog. Yet after all of this, through her powerful faith, she finally received the Lord's mercy and found her daughter got rid of demons and healed.
This episode presents the conversation between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Pharisees about keeping the tradition of the elders. This was because of the disciples of Jesus who often ate with unwashed hands, while the Jewish law forbids it: this is about the ritual washing of hands. Jesus tells the Pharisees that for the sake of preserving the tradition created by humans, they disregard the law of God.
The evangelists Matthew and Mark present the story where the Lord Jesus Christ is walking on the sea after giving up His prayer in order to go to help His disciples. Only Evangelist Matthew also talks about Apostle Peter walking on the water. What spiritual lessons can we learn from this wonderful story; what similarities do we have with Apostle Peter, and what lesson does the Lord Jesus Christ give us in this Gospel story? You'll find the answers to this and other questions in today's episode of our program.
Synoptic Evangelists present the first multiplication of bread, during which the Lord fed more than 5000 people. How did this miracle happen? Was that a simple multiplication of bread, or is it possible that by putting the five loaves and two fish in front of people, the Lord compelled the people to put the food they had brought with themselves before everyone, as a result of which it turned out that they had so much food that even 12 basketfuls of food remained after it.
The twelve apostles returned to the Teacher after preaching and told Him in detail everything that had happened to them. After that, Jesus decided to go to a deserted place to give the apostles the opportunity to have rest and be alone. However, before getting off the boat, they saw that on the other side of the sea a crowd of people was waiting for them, which was like a herd of scattered sheep. Jesus took pity on them and began to preach and teach.
John the Baptist was thrown into prison because he never deviated from the truth and valued justice above all. Herod, who had illegally married his brother's wife, fell victim to his own pride. During the celebration of his birthday, he promised Herodias' daughter to give her whatever she wanted, because she pleased the king with her dance. And the girl, receiving instruction from her mother, demanded to give, on a platter, John's head, which she received, because Herod promised her in front of everyone.
Synoptic Evangelists present the story of how Jesus sends the twelve apostles in pairs to preach. Jesus gives them authority to preach, cast out demons, and heal the sick. He commands them to stay at the house of the worthiest man in any place they enter, and to greet that house. If the house accepts the greeting, then the apostles should stay in it, and if not, let them shake away the dust from their feet and leave that place. The Evangelist Matthew adds that the fate and judgment of such a village or town will be worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The version presented by Evangelist Luke about how the Lord Jesus Christ preached in the synagogue of Nazareth on Saturday is more luxurious and interesting. Luke cites the words of the prophet Isaiah, which Jesus read in the synagogue (Is. 61).
Luke presents the two examples Jesus gave when answering why He did not do great things and miracles in His home town. The first example was about the prophet Elijah, the second was about Elisha. In both cases, the Jewish prophets did miracles by the power of the Lord not in the Jewish community or not for the Jews, but for the Assyrians and pagans. The reason was the following: because they listened to the word of the prophet, while the people of Jesus' home town did not listen to and did not accept what the Son of God preached.
The synoptic evangelists present the Lord Jesus Christ returning to Nazareth after He had performed miracles and preached in Capernaum. Evangelists Matthew and Mark only present how Jesus preached in the synagogue on Saturday. Those gathered in the synagogue mentioned the names of Jesus' "brothers and sisters" whom they knew well, and they were surprised by the wisdom their brother, the son of Mary, had attained.
In this verse, the Lord also utters the well-known words of prophecy: "A prophet has no honor in his province."
Only Matthew among the synoptic evangelists tells the story of healing of two men and of a dumb demoniac. How did the two blind men call Jesus, why did the Lord answer late, and, after testing their faith and healing them, why did He urge them to be careful and not to tell anyone about what had happened? What was the reason that people became amazed at the healing of the dumb demoniac?
After answering these and other questions, this episode of the program touches upon the Lord's preaching in all villages and towns and ends with the Lord's instruction to His disciples to pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
The synoptic Gospels present an episode in which the daughter of Jairus was raised and which was interrupted with the story of the bleeding woman. In order to save his near-death daughter, Jairus asked Jesus to come to his house, while Jesus stopped on his way and revealed the bleeding woman who had touched His garment secretly. When Jesus sent her off in peace, Jairus's servant came and said that his daughter had just died, so there was no need to disturb the Teacher any more. What indescribable pain and disappointment would Jairus feel! But at that moment Jesus said, "Take heart, do not fear, just believe" and entered Jairus's house.
This episode presents the story on the demon-possessed man from Gerasenes, found in Mark 5, Mt. 8 and Luke 8. The man lived in the tombs, always beat himself, and no one could bind him. He went forward to Jesus and, seeing His power, asked Him to leave him at rest and not to torture. The Lord rebuked the demoniac, cast many demons out of him and, at their request, sent them into the pigs, which drowned in the lake. The people of Gerasenes asked Jesus to depart from their borders, because they were interested in and deemed important not the healing of the demoniac but their own pigs and material comfort.
This episode recounts how Jesus pacified the storm. The apostles were frightened and they turned to their Teacher, who was sleeping in the boat, for help, and the Lord woke up, ordered the winds, and the sea calmed down. The Lord rebuked His disciples for having little faith.
What does this story symbolize, how to overcome temptations and fears, what power does praying for each other have? We find the answers to these and other questions in this Gospel episode.
In Mt. 13.44-52 three parables are presented – about a man who found a treasure in a field and sold all his possessions to buy that field; about a merchant who also sold all his possessions to acquire one very expensive pearl; and about a fishing net, all fish in which must be later sorted by fishermen. After these parables, our Lord asks the disciples whether they understood everything, and concludes His words, noting that all those who have become disciples of the Kingdom of Heaven will separate the old and new from all that they have. By this He shows that people who have chosen the way of truth, that is have become Christians, will also use their former skills and abilities for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Between the Parable of the Weeds and its explanation, Matthew the Evangelist presents the Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Leaven. By the parable of the Mustard Seed, the Lord teaches about the growth and development of the Kingdom of Heaven. Even the little preaching and spiritual mission is able to become a foundation for a large and strong church, spiritual community. While by the Parable of the Leaven, the Lord teaches that those who enter into Christian life undergo inner changes: what is done by the little leaven that completely leavens the whole lump of dough, the same is accomplished by faith.
This episode is about the Parable of the Weeds and about its explanation by Jesus Himself. The Lord gives by this parable, preserved only in the Gospel of Matthew, the answers to two questions asked frequently nowadays: "Why does God tolerate sinful and evil people, and how to explain their existence in the Church?" According to the explanation of this parable, this has two reasons: the first is the existence of good people beside the evil ones who can be harmed if God executes just judgment already in this world. The second is the fact that, unlike the life of herbs, in the spiritual life, weeds can change and become healthy and good grains of wheat.
Evangelists Matthew and Mark present the episode where the Lord Jesus Christ answers the question of the disciples on why He speaks in parables with people. He cites a passage from the Prophecy of Isaiah, Chapter 6, where the Lord says that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest they should be converted and be saved. Why does Jesus repeat these words and what does He mean by this?
At the end of this passage in the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord blesses those who see, hear and accept the Truth, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom many prophets and righteous people longed to see but did not see.
After the Parable of the Sower, the Gospel of Matthew presents a conversation between the Apostles and Jesus who explains why He speaks in parables with people. Immediately after this, He Himself explains the Parable of the Sower. The different types of soil that received the seed are the humans that listen to the words of the Kingdom and either they don't understand it, or become quickly inspired but not having a good soil they wither soon; or they don't realize the word of the Kingdom because of worldly concerns and illusion of wealth; or they receive the word readily and live according to it.