Why did Matthew include a genealogy? Genealogies were not often used to show a direct lineage, rather genealogies (such as Matthew’s) were used to make a theological statement about the person thus making a statement about who that person was.

 

No Room in the Inn? The inn that Jesus was “rejected” from was not a commercial inn like a Best Western or Holiday Inn. The “inn” that Jesus was rejected from was more likely a regular home that had a guest bedroom that was already full of people. Because of this, Jesus likely was put into a manger (either one that was wooden or one dug into the floor) in the equivalent of a living room in someone’s home.

 

How did great crowds hear Jesus’ teaching? The landscape around Capernaum and Galilee has natural coves and amphitheaters so that large crowds could sit and listen to each word that Jesus spoke.

 

What did people wear in Jesus’ day? Most men and women wore a full length, fitted coat or tunic close to their bodies. Over this item of clothing, men and women would wear a cloak. Jewish men would put “fringes” on their garments to remind them of God’s commandments. Sometimes, especially during prayer, men would wear small boxes with Scriptures in them on their foreheads (called “phylacteries”).

 

What did people do on the Sabbath? Jews would hold very strongly to a “day of rest” in the ancient world. They followed rules that prohibited them from engaging in any activities that earned them money and working.

 

How did people fish in the 1st century? Using nets to fish was the most common method of fishing in the ancient world. Hook-and-line fishing was known about but was less popular because it did not bring the amount of fish needed to sustain someone’s lifestyle.

 

What was Rome up to? Rome was large and in charge in the first century. It was under their rule and reign that everything else in the ancient world was subjected to. When Jesus came onto the scene, there was a time of peace called the “Pax Romana” where Rome and its citizens enjoyed minimal military expansion.

 

What drove the economy in Jesus’ day? Agriculture, projects from the Roman empire, and trade provided fuel for Israel’s economy.

 

Why didn’t Jews like Rome? There was tension between the Jews and the Romans because of Rome’s many characteristics. The Romans worshipped many gods, they engaged in immoral behavior, and they thought that their emperors were divinely blessed. Jews, on the other hand, worshipped the one true God, abstained from perverse moral behavior, and were looking for the physical reign of the Messiah to rule over them instead of a Roman emperor.

 

Why was Jesus so counter-cultural? Jesus was counter-cultural because of the things he said, the things he did, and the people he loved. Jesus taught that the greatest is the least, he taught that righteousness stems not from what you do but from who you become, and he loved people no matter their gender, ethnicity, religion, or sickness.

 

What was the family structure like in Jesus’ day? The father was the head of the household. He was responsible for taking care of the family’s physical and spiritual needs. Women were to take care of the home and the children. The children were supposed to honor their parents.

 

What were meals like in Jesus’ time? Eating in Jesus’ day was a very intimate time. To invite someone over for a meal was to say that you love them, accept them, and will not harm them. First-century Jews would use a “U” shaped table to eat on, while resting on cushions. Their left arm would support their bodies, they would eat with their right hand, and they would extend their feet away from the table.

 

Who were the Pharisees? The Pharisees were the religious elite of Jesus’ day. They stressed separation from non-Jews, strict adherence to the Law, and waiting on the coming Messiah who would bring a physical kingdom.

 

Who were the Sadducees? The Sadducees were invested in obtaining a higher social position. Aside from this, they neglected the idea of there being a resurrection. They thought that the soul died with the body.

 

Who were the Essenes? The Essenes were a group of people that stressed denying themselves from any luxuries, obeying their leaders, simple dress, and alternative lifestyle.

 

Why was Jesus so popular? Jesus was so popular because he accepted all kinds of people for who they were. Whether they were tax collectors, lepers, women, children, or Samaritans, he welcomed everyone. Jesus was also popular because he offered eternal life to any who would believe in him.

 

Why was Jesus so despised? The religious leaders in Jesus’ day did not like Jesus because they thought he did not keep the Sabbath, because he spoke with the authority of God, because he healed the sick, because he forgave sins, and because he calmed storms.

 

Why was Jesus crucified? Crucifixion was a common way the Romans killed people in Jesus’ day. It was thought to be the most humiliating, the most painful, and the most tortuous way someone could be killed at the time. Jesus is a “King.” For the Romans, they could only have one king – the emperor. That was why Jesus was killed.

 

What was Jesus’ burial like? Jesus was buried in a tomb wrapped in some linens with over 75 pounds of myrrh and aloe encompassing him. The opening of the tomb was enclosed with a large stone, sealed with a Roman seal, and kept watch over by a Roman soldiers.

 

What languages were spoken in Jesus’ day? People in Jesus’ day spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.