Ministry in the Decapolis

From the Mediterranean towns of Phoenicia, Jesus returned to the region around the Sea of Galilee, then continued on into the Decapolis, where the population was largely Gentile. It seems that for a period his ministry was mainly among Gentiles, and many became believers in the God of Israel (Matt 15:29-31; Mark 7:31). One of the people he healed was a deaf and dumb man. Because of the man’s deafness, Jesus used actions rather than words to ensure that the man’s faith was active and that he understood Jesus’ actions (Mark 7:32-37).

Again Jesus had compassion when he saw a multitude of hungry people around him and he decided to feed them. On the previous occasion the crowd consisted largely of Jews (see John 6:14-15), but on this occasion it probably consisted largely of Gentiles. That may have been why the disciples doubted whether Jesus would use his power to feed them (Matt 15:32-33; Mark 8:1-4). But he fed them as miraculously as he had the Jews (Matt 15:34-39; Mark 8:5-10).

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