It is hard to believe the story of the prodigal son and his prodigal father was told almost 2000 years ago. It remains with us to this day, and it has spread to the ends of the earth.
Jesus and his disciples were having dinner with their new friends – tax collectors and other notorious sinners with whom religious people would not want to associate.
Jesus was having dinner with his disciples, and at the dinner special guests reclined with him in a festive atmosphere. Were the special guests, political leaders? No. Were they religious leaders? Not on this occasion.
Jesus is hosting a meal for sinners and tax collectors. The Pharisees grumble about this and Jesus replies with two famous stories about valuable commodities that were lost and found.
Jesus is at lunch with Pharisees on the Sabbath. They are not happy that he heals a man. This leads to a discussion about the great banquet of God, a story about excuses, and who will be in the kingdom and who will be excluded.
Jesus leaves John and walks into the dangerous Judean wilderness - alone. For 40 days he fasts and prays. Loneliness sets in when someone approaches with an offer for satisfaction, power and glory.
Jesus has gone to Jerusalem for Passover. He performs miracles although they are not reported in detail in John. Many profess to believe in His name but Jesus doesn't believe in them. He knows their hearts and turns from them. But one night a knock comes on the door - it is a visitor in the dark, a Pharisee, and he is hungry to learn more. The conversation between Jesus and the Pharisee becomes one of the most famous passages in the Bible.
John the Prophet has been locked in the prison of Herod Antipas in the fortress of Macherus by the Dead Sea. After months of imprisonment and no word from the Messiah and no evidence of the gift of the Spirit, he sends two of his disciples to Jesus with the question, "Are you really the One, or should we look for another?" When the two arrive in Galilee, Jesus gives them an answer they will never forget!
After many months of preaching and baptizing in the wilderness, John is approached by Jesus of Nazareth who comes for baptism. John, the prophet, does not want to baptize this man. But Jesus insists that it was necessary. Why did John hesitate? Why was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized? And what happened when he did.
Jesus has left Jerusalem and is making His way north to Galilee. But instead of traveling on the east side of the Jordan River to avoid Samaria, He travels right through the province and at a well near the village of Sychar enters into a discussion with a Samaritan woman that would reveal the depths of her heart and change her life forever.