Kathie Lee Gifford always believed the Bible held the answers to every question a person could ask. Her problem was, how could she be sure of what the Bible was really saying, when we are so separated from the ancient Jewish culture in which it was written? It wasn’t until she began studying the biblical texts in their original Hebrew and Greek — along with actually hiking the ancient paths of Israel with Rabbi Jason Sobel, a messianic Jewish rabbi — that she gained a deeper knowledge of God Himself.
Discover the significance of some of the details of the story of Jesus' birth you may have overlooked: Why was Jesus born in a cave? What is the meaning of the manger in which he was placed? What is significant about his swaddling cloths? In what time of year was Jesus born, and why does it matter? Why did the gospel writers specifically choose terms like son of God, Savior, and Lord to describe Jesus?
There are some key factors in Jesus' pre-ministry life that set the stage for his work in the world, which answer some fascinating questions: What was his occupation, really, and how does it relate to his role in creation? What was the significance of a wedding in the Jewish culture, and how did Jesus' first miracle give new meaning to a Jewish ritual? Learn how these early signs demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah who brings order out of chaos.
In Capernaum, Jesus set up his ministry headquarters, but he did not operate like a typical rabbi. He taught using parables, he performed miracles on the Sabbath, he associated with sinners. In one of his teachings, he used the number 490 to instruct Peter how many times to forgive. Rabbi Sobel explains the significance of the number 490, and explores key Hebrew terms in Scripture with that same numeric value that tie together to convey a powerful and unforgettable lesson.
As Jesus' ministry expanded, he repeatedly did things that may not seem so controversial to us, but were deeply shocking to the people of his day. Discover why the idea of crossing the Sea of Galilee was so terrifying; why visiting the other side of the lake was so scandalous; why allowing the tassels of his garment to be touched was so shocking; why having women sit at his feet and learn was so perplexing; and why having the disciples fish from the right side of the boat was so counter-cultural.
During the last week of Jesus' life, he did several things that carried a significance for his followers that we in our current culture may miss. Discover why he chose to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey; learn what his followers expected him to do when he entered the temple, and why what he did do was so shocking; explore the layers of significance in the place he chose to go to pray, and in the manner of his prayers; find out what it was he did that provoked the authorities in Jerusalem to have him arrested.
There are nuances in the way Jesus was treated from the moment of his arrest through to his death that escape most modern-day readers. The process of Jesus' arrest, trial, procession to Golgotha, and crucifixion bear striking parallels to the Roman procession known as the triumph. Rabbi Sobel explains why Jesus had to die on a cross, and had to wear a crown of thorns. In this triumphant final session, we will rejoice in the gift of justification that was declared over us because of the cross.