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A Synopsis of Paper 165: The Perean Mission Begins

In January, 30 AD, Abner dispersed the entire group of evangelists into the cities and villages of Perea. This region, evenly divided between gentile and Jew, turned out to be the most fruitful in acceptance of the Master's teachings. The Perean mission lasted for three months. Jesus divided his time between teaching the multitudes at Pella and assisting the traveling preachers.

Over three hundred Pharisees and others from Jerusalem had followed Jesus to Pella after the feast of the dedication. Soon after they arrived Jesus addressed the crowd, saying that he knew there were some among them who would die for him and others who wanted to kill him.

 Jesus told a parable in which he described himself as a true shepherd, one who gathers his flock in times of danger and who would lay down his life for his fold. He openly declared that no other person could take away his life: "I have the right and the power to lay down my life, and I have the same power and right to take it up again. You cannot understand this, but I received such authority from my Father even before this world was." His words prompted astonished discussion among his friends as well as his enemies. The next day, half of the Jerusalem Pharisees cast their lot with Jesus.

Toward the end of January, Jesus spoke on trust and spiritual preparedness.  He advised his followers not to fear their religious enemies who have no power other than to kill the body. The apostles were instructed not to be concerned for their sustenance: "Which of you by anxiety can add a handbreadth to your stature or a day to your life? Since such matters are not in your hands, why do you give anxious thought to any of these problems? Seek the greater thing, and the lesser will be found therein; ask for the heavenly, and the earthly shall be included. The shadow is certain to follow the substance."  Jesus also asked his followers not to be anxious about how to answer the questions of their enemies, saying, ".for the spirit that dwells within you shall certainly teach you in that very hour what you should say in honor of the gospel of the kingdom."

One young man went privately to Jesus and asked him to help him regain his inheritance which was being withheld by his brother. Jesus replied that his covetousness in the matter of his material inheritance was causing him to miss an opportunity to learn about his heavenly inheritance. After advising him to take his complaint to the proper authorities, Jesus sent the man away, saying, "My son, what shall it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?"

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