After the transfiguration, the disciples began to argue with one another over who would be the “greatest”—the highest-ranking among them—once Yeshua took power in Jerusalem. Yeshua, disappointed with their haughty attitude, taught them that to be great in the kingdom, one must humble themselves like a child.
Yeshua was slow to reveal the entire truth about His identity to His disciples. But one day, recorded in Mark chapter 8, He asked them who they thought He was. Peter responded: “You are the Messiah.” Yeshua applauded his answer, and said, “Upon this rock I will build My church.”
Yeshua is the Messiah, the promised king who will redeem Israel. But there’s a problem with His messianic credentials if He violated and taught others to violate the laws of the Torah. So what did Mark mean when he wrote that Yeshua “declared all foods clean,” thereby abrogating God’s law?
Yeshua took several opportunities to excoriate the Pharisees. His criticism has long been interpreted as a rejection of Judaism and Jewish traditional practices. However, a closer look reveals that Yeshua’s criticism is best seen as existing wholly within Judaism—part of an internal dispute concerning Jewish law.
What was the root of Herod’s—and more so, Herod’s wife’s—antipathy toward John the Immerser? Why did she want him dead? Their marriage was forbidden by Jewish Law, and John had no qualms pointing that out loudly and publicly.
He knew they were outside, waiting to take Him back to Nazareth, but His loyalty remained with His students in Capernaum. He looked at the disciples seated in the circle around Him, and said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Both Matthew and Mark refer to Yeshua’s “sisters” as living in Nazareth. The plural indicates he had at least two younger sisters, but based upon the average size of a Jewish family, it may be more likely that he had six or seven sisters for a total of 13 siblings.
The Torah warns us “not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot” (Numbers 15:39). Gazing on others with lust constitutes “following after your eyes.” Harboring immoral thoughts in the imagination constitutes “following after your own heart.” This is the adultery of the heart which Yeshua warned His disciples to avoid.
Yeshua warned His disciples that not every place would receive their message. He told them not to waste time arguing or trying to persuade people. Instead, He told them to leave that place, and He said, "As you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them" (Mark 6:11).